Travelling solo might be a daunting thought, but it’s also a deeply satisfying way to explore and experience the world. We caught up with solo traveller, Amanda Sandlin, to get her take on solo travel and why she loves it.
Travel has been a big part of Amanda’s life from a young age. By the time she was a mere 11 years old, she had been lucky enough to see a lot of the world already. As it turns out, Amanda couldn’t shake the wanderlust and is now trekking across America in the hopes of exploring more of the world this year.
What inspired you to travel solo?
I was absolutely terrified of it – not so much traveling solo, but living by myself in a van. It feels like a super vulnerable existence, and as soon as I felt the fear I knew I had to do it.
Have you faced any difficulties along the way?
Absolutely. More than I could even describe succinctly. Loneliness; depression; anxiety… I am a highly introverted person, but by living in my van alone I discovered that, for me, life is meant to be shared (and not just virtually or over the phone) and I realised the desire to feel loved and be a part of a community does not make you weak.
How did you overcome your fears and difficulties?
I did a lot of internal work around self-compassion and empathy. Toward the beginning of my 6-month trip I viewed loneliness as a sign of weakness. It took almost the entire trip for me to realise that it is okay for me to feel however I feel. Instead of judging my emotions, I learned to let them be. Consequently, their grip on me gradually began to soften.
What is the best thing about solo travel?
For me, it’s the deep lessons and realisations I have learned about myself and the world that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. There’s no running from yourself when it’s just you on the road.
Where will your solo travels be taking you next?
I’d love to explore Montana and Wyoming this Spring.
What’s your advice for anyone who is looking to embark on solo travel?
Release all expectations. Live in the moment. Let things be as they are.