The idea of traveling alone, whether you’re a first-timer or a grizzled backpacker, will always feel like a prelude to a roller coaster: You’re scared, but at the same time, super excited to see what the near future has in store for you. And just like the aftermath, you’ll come home from your trip with an incredible feeling of self-empowerment and a handful of life-changing realizations, like what we’ve listed below:

1. Packing light is a science you’ve mastered.
You know how stressful it is to lug around a giant bag all by yourself, and as much as possible, you’d like to avoid even just a few shirts too many for all your future trips. If packing light were a subject, you’d definitely ace it…and you scoff at your gal pals who bring two huge bags containing everything but the kitchen sink to a three-day trip. Amateurs.

2. You’ve become more responsible when it comes to your stuff.
It’s hard to not feel the need to stay on top of things when you’ve only got two eyes to watch over your belongings. Your stuff may seem like a chaotic mess, but make no mistake, you know where EVERYTHING is. You’ve even developed measures to ensure that you’re nakaw-proof while catching a much-needed nap before your red-eye flight back to Manila.

3. Navigation is totally your thing.
People say girls and maps don’t mix, but after making your way through a foreign land alone, you can definitely consider yourself an exception to the rule. Thanks to your adventures, you can now proudly say that you’re an ace map reader and a shameless direction-asker.

4. Your freedom is absolutely yours to make the most out of.
The thought of being able to do what you want, when you want, and without giving a damn about what others want is exactly why you enjoy traveling alone. Not in the mood to party while in Boracay? You could totally call it a night by 8:00 p.m. Want to have lechon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while in Cebu? Go ahead, girl. Your trip, your rules!

5.
Talking to strangers ain’t hard!

It’s as easy as asking that cute guy you met at the hostel where he’s from and where he’s going next and letting the conversation run its course. Seriously, it’s super easy.

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6. Yes, you can trust people.
You’ll be surprised at how welcoming and helpful people can be, both locals and fellow travelers. They’d point you in the right direction if you’re lost, offer to show you around, invite you to share meals with them, even offer their place for you to sleep in. Just don’t be super trusting: If it doesn’t feel 100 percent right, get out of there ASAP!   

7. Flirting has never been so. Much. Fun.

We don’t know if it’s the adrenaline rush of being in a new place or the fact that you could choose not to see that person ever again, but we do know it’s ridiculously easy to let go of all your inhibitions when you’re in a foreign land. There’s no pressure to bind yourself to someone for life, so you could test out your flirting skills on every cute single person you cross paths with. Embrace it, girl.

8.
You have no qualms about asking total strangers to take your photos.

and you also offer to take their photos, which, 99 percent of the time, are way nicer than the photos they took of you. Buti nalang libreng mag-crop. On a related note…

9.
You have mastered the art of taking selfies.
…because that’s what happens when you’ve got no one to take your pictures. You might think the selfie stick-wielding crowd is sort of jeje, but you secretly, deep down inside, would love to have a selfie stick of your very own.

10.
You don’t have to deal with people who don’t travel like you do.

You love your BFF to bits, but she only stays in five-star hotels when traveling, and you just don’t have the budget or the patience to deal with her high maintenance ways. Traveling solo means not having to consider someone else’s wants and whims, and it’s absolutely exhilarating.

11.
The outside world isn’t as dangerous as it seems.

So many people say it’s not safe for a girl to venture out into the big, bad world alone, like everyone’s out to take advantage of you. The thing is, there are bad guys everywhere, both at home and outside. As long as you’ve got all your wits about you 24/7, you’ll most likely survive, whether you’re in Boracay or Belize. In fact, we bet you’re more likely to get mugged while on the MRT than during a trip to Malaysia.

12. It’s really a life-changing experience.

Yeah, it’s super cliché, but it’s also super true. Going somewhere far away from home with only your luggage and your thoughts for company makes you learn a lot of things about yourself and the world around you. You’ll get new insights about your beliefs and capabilities, and you become empowered to improve your life after seeing how it could’ve been in a different world.

13.
You’ve learned the hard way that being alone isn’t so bad after all.

Before, you couldn’t even imagine venturing to the mall all by yourself. Now, you’ve literally gone to places you only used to dream of all by your awesome lonesome and lived to tell the tale. Give yourself a pat on the back, you fabulous, confident, independent girl!

PHOTO: SplitShire/Pixabay; GIFS: Giphy

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