Female entrepreneur’s top 5 reasons to travel solo
Congratulations! You won your dream vacation. There is one condition; you must travel alone. Will you go?
After fifteen years of solo travel, I will help you say yes. I was a timid little girl, and my mother reminded me that I would not come out of my room after moving to a new home for months. What changed? As Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
In 2007, I founded my law firm and began my entrepreneurial journey. Once thrust into the entrepreneurial life, I realized that the safety net of a large firm was gone, and I needed to grow a robust entrepreneurial mindset for the survival of my firm.
Mindset development happens all around us, and solo travel is my favorite classroom. The entrepreneurial mind skills learned from solo travel are a useful souvenir when we return home. The stronger our mindset becomes when facing options, choices, and obstacles during travel, the more confidence we possess to survive and thrive with uncertainty in all areas of our life.
An entrepreneur’s top five reasons to travel solo.
1. Keeps an agile mind.
Amazon show “Sneaky Pete’s” main character, Pete Murphy, is a con man who plans elaborate cons, and whenever he faces an issue, he uses the line, “work the problem.” The solo traveler’s motto is to work on the issue and not let anxiety about the unknown distract you. This process of forcing one’s mind to remain directed at the present urgent issue is a skill that all entrepreneurs need but are rarely forced into use in our well-structured or curated daily life.
Solo travel forces upon one the requirement of making decisions with a small frame of reference since the environment is new and no one familiar is there to assist. No crutch or person to resolve it, as the solo traveler must get to the heart of the matter in a situation quickly, fix it, and move on to the next. Solo travel decisions frequently are without the luxury of time. An immediate decision is needed to resolve a barrier for one to proceed with the trip.
COVID was a solo traveler’s Mount Everest as each country had its own set of shifting entry requirements. So, I applied Sneaky Pete’s advice when I stood at the Egyptian Airlines check-in counter wanting to board my flight to Jordan but did not have the proper COVID paperwork. Singular focus on resolving the paperwork issue, not all the distracting questions like, what if I miss my plane, what happens if I get stuck in Egypt without a hotel room, or my driver left, all while holding up a check-in line consisting of eight (8) people watching me and waiting for their turn. My mind automatically remained working through the paperwork problem without additional self-talk. The global COVID paperwork problem is solved, at the counter, with no outside help. I boarded my flight without delay.
This “time-slowing” skill of focusing on the problem, by eliminating the “what-ifs” from one’s mental conversation, gives one’s mind time to break down the primary problem from which all others flow. This process builds extreme mental strength and stress resistance. Also, repetition increases one’s mental time and speed with a good byproduct of controlling one’s anxiety.
When traveling solo, the unknown is in every moment; thus, one becomes accustomed to the elevated level of uncertainty. A solo traveler learns to quickly review a list of options to solve an issue, apply them and see which works. If that option doesn’t work, the solo traveler, like an entrepreneur, mentally reruns the list, eliminating the failed options and replacing them with alternates. The mind’s ability to quickly review options and put them together like a puzzle to resolve an issue is a skill developed by real-time problem solving under pressure.
We solve problems daily in our routines, but we create a system that limits the need to make decisions over time and removes unknown variables. We know the way to drive to the office. We know our schedule or community and who to call if a variant occurs.
Our daily decisions tend to be system problems that are safe to resolve with little long-term stress. One’s mind becomes lazy—little need to invent or see opportunities. A solo traveler does not have this luxury. Every choice from the moment she wakes up until going to sleep is new. Easy decisions may be where is the breakfast served to more complex; my driver does not speak English; how do I get where I want to go? Solo travel forces one’s mind to remain agile.
An entrepreneur needs an agile mind to answer or solve the problems others cannot. She sees the solution from afar, solving the puzzle by rearranging the pieces mentally and piecing together the solution. Solo travel is the training ground or “survivor” course for an entrepreneur’s agile and focused mind.
“ Ms. Renee Marie Smith Esq. is a true professional in her field. She is highly knowledgeable of the law, had a passion for the job, and a willingness to listen and answer every question. ” Paul Troiano