In the world we live in, we’re hyper-connected. It’s not just the fact that we’re on different social media platforms and are connected to people around us, but also the fact that we can access the internet on our phones to look something up, we can open up our maps app to find where we need to go, and we can get news articles and TV shows and podcasts and songs anytime we want.
Being connected to everything and everyone around us can be helpful in several ways, but also exhausting, especially if we’re always connected to someone or something. Being too connected can make us too dependent on that someone or something, which can discourage us from doing things alone.
We need to do things alone sometimes. I recently took a solo trip to Lisbon where I was alone most of the time. I rode the bus by myself, navigated a new city by myself, ate by myself, and went out by myself. Granted, I did meet people on my trip that I chatted with, but this was a really important trip because of the fact that I was by myself for the majority of the time. I did everything I wanted to do, ate where I wanted to eat, rested when I wanted to rest; I called all the shots. And it was liberating.
I learned on this trip that most people are afraid of doing things alone. We don’t want to be the person eating at the restaurant by ourselves, the person in the back row of the movie theater by ourselves, the person at the bar drinking by ourselves. But honestly, it’s truly fine, and healthy, and okay to do things by yourself. Why wait around for someone to want to do the same thing you want? Go by yourself and have a good time; life is too short.
There’s a stigma around doing things by ourselves, especially eating, going to the movies, and going out. People think it’s embarrassing, boring, and lonely to do things alone, but in actuality, it’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself and be more independent. You have the ability to set your own schedule and move at your own pace, especially when traveling alone. You learn how to deal with loneliness and feel good after accomplishing or doing something on your own. You also learn to see things in a new light.
If you ever have the chance to do something by yourself and disconnect, I encourage you to do it. Go to that new museum. Go on that solo trip. Go to that restaurant you like (and get dessert). Go to that workout class you’ve been dreading because you won’t know anyone there. Do something alone that you enjoy and discover how independent you really can be.
Also published on Medium.