Counting down to the new year can be a mix of emotions: regrets, hopes, stresses, and joys. The anticipation of what’s to come in 2019 can ultimately be aggravating to wait around for. So instead, take the reigns and start the year off by travelling on your terms. To ring in 2019, here are 19 reasons why you should kick off the new year with a solo trip.

1 – You’ll have time and space to reflect on the past year

Surfer on the ocean beach at sunset on Bali island, Indonesia;

The best way to look forward is to start by spending time looking back. When you do so in a familiar setting, it’s natural for the same ol’ feelings and emotions to surface. But transport yourself into a new setting around no one you know and you’ll review your past year with fresh eyes — and perhaps come to new realisations about your own history. Solo travel gives you the opportunity to do the “hard thinking” to reflect honestly about your past year.

2 – You’ll be able to set intentions on your own

When you turn the page of your life story to 2019, it’s up to you to fill the empty chapter titles the way you intend. The process of determining how you want your year to look requires serious soul-searching — and a solo trip always elicits that process. Doing so allows you to “reclaim your inner navigator and find a sense of deep contentment and inspiration as you come closer to your true path,” wellness and yoga expert Joan Hyman tells Wanderlust of the importance of setting those intentions for a new year.

In need of some inspiration? Here are 9 must-try activities to add to your 2019 bucket list:

3 – A new setting will inspire new thoughts

When you travel solo, you’re travelling on your terms. You’re the one who decides where you’re going, and you’re the one who decides how you’re experiencing that destination. Finding a place that’s all your own will help inspire thoughts to plan your year that are 100% your own, uninfluenced by anyone else.

4 – You’ll end one year and start another on an epic high note

stress

Beginnings and endings are hard enough as is. But the act of booking a solo trip is a huge step that will end your 2018 on a high. And then actually going on that vacation at the beginning of 2019 will fuel that adventurous spirit and check off a major bucket-list item just days into the new year. Whether you’re seeking New Year wellness escape, beach getaway or epic hiking adventure, you’ll be well on your way to your #travelgoals right at the top of the year.

5 – You’ll meet new people who can provide fresh perspectives

Our friends at home are amazing, of course. But expanding our social circles also widens our mindsets. The more people you meet, the more perspectives you get on life… and the way we approach our life journeys. Getting out there on your own will help you bond with people in a way you never have before — and just might change the way you look at the issues you need to tackle in the new year.

6 – You’ll learn new cultures that will challenge your everyday patterns

Routines are comfortable. But breaking those routines can actually be the key to propel us forward in life, instead of living Groundhog Day over and over. The more you immerse yourself in lifestyles and cultures different than your own — no matter how foreign they may seem — the more you may discover a different method to the same chores… or even pick up a happiness habit from a completely different part of the world to carry through 2019.

7 – There’s no pressure to find a travel buddy

Flashpackers turn to smile whilst climbing temple steps in Bali

Finding the right friend to travel with is a challenge — you have to match travel styles, budgets, and timing. And no matter how well you get along, the pressure of being with one person 24/7 can get draining. But setting off on a solo trip eliminates that entire problem. And going on Flash Pack trip, the fellow travellers you meet will already be your match on all three of those factors — perfect new travel friends to plan even more trips throughout the year with!

8 – You’ll have a new reason to ring in the new year

One of those dreaded questions for single folks can be: “What are you doing for New Year’s?” Inevitably you may end up at a bar or restaurant with inflated prices (the affordable Olive Garden in New York City’s Times Square costs $400 a person that night!) or at a friend’s crowded apartment with one too many glasses of bubbly. But having an epic plan, like going on your first solo trip in the first months of the year, eliminates that pressure to turn that one night into an adventure and gives you permission to extend the New Year festivities.

9 – You just might accidentally find happiness

In our 30s and 40s, it seems like our friends’ Insta-feeds are chock full of either romantic getaways or family vacations. But as it turns out, the true key to happiness just might being single — and a solo journey lets you celebrate that throughout the year!

10 – You can cross off multiple New Year’s resolutions in the first weeks of the year

Trying a new skill? Pushing yourself beyond your limits? Venturing outside of your comfort zone? No matter what’s on your list of New Year’s resolutions, it likely involves some of those goals in one form or another form. A trip on your own can help you cross off several of those resolutions — and keep you on track to stay true to all of your goals.

11- You’ll gain confidence from travelling solo

If you’re waiting for the right time until you’re ready to travel alone, stop waiting. The only thing holding you back is the fear in your head and the only way to get over it is by just doing it. The confidence you’ll gain will come so naturally that you may not even realise it. And that’s the kind of empowerment you want to take through 2019.

12 – Challenging new activities will redefine what you’re capable of

“I can’t” is such a simple statement. And the more you think it, the more you’ll believe it. But when you go on a solo trip, you’re already redefining your capabilities, which just might fuel you to try even more new things. In fact, you could return armed with a whole new list of “I can”s for the year.

13 – You’ll get a new fresh 2019 passport stamp right away

For some people, a vacation is a road trip a couple of hours away. But with Flash Pack, it’s just as easy to hop on a plane on your own to an international destination you never imagined. Whether it’s bathing in Japanese hot springs, sailing down the Amazon, or going on an African walking safari, you’re just a click away from booking that trip that will earn you a shiny new stamp in your passport to kick off the year.

14 – You’ll have amazing stories to tell

We all have that friend who tells the same stories over and over. But when you’re out there experiencing the world on your own, you won’t believe the number of stories you’ll accumulate. For another 11 months, you’ll be able to talk about the incredible tales from your travels “this year.

15 – Limited cell service means a social media break

Whether you don’t have an international data plan or just have limited service in a remote area, being disconnected can be the best breather to really focus on mindfulness of being in the moment. That learning can help you throughout the year during both future travels as well as stressful moments at work.

16 – You just might complete the travel challenge

mini adventure

Starting your travels early in the year will remind you about the power and importance of finding time for yourself and taking a vacation. In fact, if you start your first trip in January, you could find yourself on your way to the 12 Countries in 12 Months challenge.

17- You can bring some sun (and fun!) into your new year

The cold, dark weather during the winter months has been linked to poor health, decreased motivation, and less sex. But if you head to one of these year-round sunny destinations, you can take a break from those side effects with some fun in the sun — literally.

18 – You can escape the work blues

For many workers, the first months of the year are the most stressful since performance expectations are set high in order to give the year an overall lift. That can lead to long hours and tension in the workplace. But escaping the office might actually be the true answer to more productivity in 2019.

19 – You can make this the Year of You

Once you set aside time and space for yourself, you’ll realise how simple — and important — it is to take time for self-care. After returning from a solo trip early in the year, you’ll channel that same effort through the rest of the year to dedicate time to making yourself the priority — a far more balanced way to live life.

Images: Flash Pack, Shutterstock


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