We all have moments in life where we must make a tough decision. It’s happened since we were kids. We play a game of tug of war with the reasons why we should do something or why we shouldn’t – why we should go down one path and why we should go down another. There’s always that feeling deep inside of you that pushes you in one direction, urging you to make that choice and follow your gut.
Our gut – our intuition – is a powerful thing. I know it took quite a few mistakes for me to realize that I should always go with my gut. Even if you don’t fully understand or stand behind your decision, if your intuition tells you to do something or not to, you should listen. We all learn this valuable lesson at different times in our lives, depending on where we are and what decisions we’ve made.
You’ve heard it during your elementary school days, when our parents or teachers would tell us to just go with your gut on the tough questions. However, the power of listening to your gut can impact much more than multiple choice tests in grade school. Your intuition can impact your entire life.
I’ve always believed that everyone should travel alone at least once in their lifetime. Yes, it can be scary. Yes, it can be uncomfortable at times and yes, it can also be enlightening and change your perspective on life. It can also teach you to follow your intuition and trust in it, especially during times of doubt. Read on for four ways travel teaches you to follow your gut.
The planning phase of your trip is an important one because you’ll make decisions based on your destination, transportation, accommodations, activities, etc. The biggest decision of all is your destination. I know it can be difficult to choose one destination because there are so many places to explore in the world. Even if your friends and family try to push one place on you, if you don’t feel like it’s right for you, don’t go. Go where your gut wants to go, and don’t think twice.
If you’ve always dreamed of going to Paris or Greece, your decision should be an easy one. If you go somewhere your heart isn’t really into, you’ll regret it because it won’t be the trip you had in mind.
Traveling to a strange place by yourself can be scary at times because you don’t know anyone. You don’t know who is good and who is bad, so you must depend solely on your intuition to determine which people you want to associate with and which you want to stay away from.
Especially if you’re a single woman traveling alone, pay extra attention to your surroundings. If you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable, follow your gut and get away. Even if someone comes off as polite and harmless, if you feel that nudge deep in you, it’s time to go. Report anything suspicious you see because you could end up not only protecting yourself but other people.
There’s no other way around it when you travel alone. There’s just me, myself and I, so I must trust myself and my instincts. This can be difficult until you’re all alone in a foreign country, with no one else to turn to you can trust. The beauty in this is that you must learn to trust yourself. Hone your travel gut beforehand if you can by being more aware of your choices and those that are driven by your gut.
If you’re lost on a hiking trail and see a couple ahead of you, cautiously approach them and feel them out. You’ll know whether you can trust them to give you directions. Sometimes you won’t have time to think out a situation and will have to act quickly. This is when your gut comes into play – that feeling inside of you. Listen to it. Asking for help will undoubtedly be a huge part of your travels because you won’t always know where to go.
Sometimes the only way to truly feel out a situation is to take a leap. These leaps don’t have to be walks into dark alleys all alone or a hike off the beaten path by yourself, but some of these leaps won’t be crystal clear to you – like going out on the town alone at night. I find that once you’re out, and you’ve taken the leap, you can then carefully assess those around you to see who is approachable.
Jump feet first into things, and let your gut do the rest. If you don’t, you will shelter yourself from experiences and meeting new people. Traveling is all about trying new things, exploring new areas and immersing yourself in a new culture, and you can’t do any of that without taking chances.
Your intuition is your best friend, especially when you travel alone. It can guide, protect and teach you – if you let it. Learn to listen to that tug deep inside of you before you decide or enter a situation that’s questionable. Whatever you do, don’t ignore it because it could be the one thing to save you from harm. It can also be the one thing that pushes you to have the very best experiences you can have.
Travel teaches you all of this because you are in a strange place all alone with only yourself to depend on. Therefore, your gut is your everything, and you will learn very quickly that you need it to survive. Stop thinking so much, listen to your feelings and trust yourself.