Traveling alone may be the single best catalyst for personal growth.

My solo traveling experiences have created quantum leaps in various areas of my life. And every person I’ve met who has traveled alone has been among the most interesting and awesome people I’ve encountered.

Read more about my solo travel adventures and the resulting insights here:
Why I Left My Job

The Joy of Minimalism: Traveling the World with Only Carry-On Luggage

11 Unique Ways to Optimize Your Travel Experience Wherever You Go

It may sound paradoxical, but the more you explore the world outside, the more you explore the world within. Solo travel gives you free rein for the exploration of both the external and internal world.

Sure, it can be lonely at times, but you meet a lot of people and get to know yourself when there aren’t familiar faces always around. And yes, it’s hard leaving your friends and family behind for any period of time. But it’s completely worth it and you will come back a better person.

9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life

1. Self-sufficiency – You learn to be independent, do things on your own, problem solve for yourself, navigate on your own and become your own best friend. Self-sufficiency is an invaluable byproduct of solo travel.

2. You meet more people – When traveling alone, you’re forced to talk to more people (unless you just want to be by yourself 24/7, which would drive anyone insane). I’ve gone out alone plenty of times and I always end up meeting more people than if I went out with a group of friends. Why? If you go to a bar alone, for example, you’re not just going to stand in the corner by yourself. It forces you to leave your comfort zone and talk to anyone near you (which leads to the next reason).

3. You become a better conversationalist – Because you meet so many people when traveling alone, you naturally enhance your conversation skills. There is no one else who you can depend on to carry a conversation; it’s all on you. So naturally, you get better at starting conversations and less hesitant about approaching people.

4. You get comfortable being uncomfortable – During solo travel, you’re almost never in your comfort zone. You get used to the excitement, the adventure and the bold decisions. Though you’ll undoubtedly face inner resistance, push through it. This is where the magic happens. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Growth only happens when you push your boundaries. This is a big reason why traveling alone spurs so much personal growth.

5. Flexibility, freedom and spontaneity – You are in complete control of everything you do during solo travel. If you want to do something, there’s no one else to consult with and no consensus to be made. You just do it. Traveling alone gives you ultimate flexibility, a high degree of freedom and the opportunity to be as spontaneous as you wish.

6. You’re able to put yourself first – This is most applicable to highly empathetic individuals, but still applies to everyone. When you travel alone, you have the rare opportunity to do whatever you want, whenever you want and spontaneously follow your own intuitive desires on a whim. It also allows you to work on any personal projects or develop specific skills you desire while traveling. To use myself as an example, I get much more writing and blog work done when traveling alone compared to when I’m with other people.

Traveling solo creates a situation in which you can put yourself first, without worrying about hurting other people’s feelings and having to come to a mutually beneficial consensus about everything. If you’re at all empathetic, you always make sure that people around you are happy. This is good of course, but sometimes you have to put yourself first in order to really know yourself (which is the next point) and evolve. And don’t view it as selfish; when you do the inner work, you actually expand your capacity to give to others.

7. You get to know yourself – When you have to do things on your own and spend time alone, getting to know yourself better is an inevitable side effect. You become more self-aware (in a good way). You become more in tune with your emotions, tendencies, habits, patterns and the deepest aspects of yourself. “Know thyself” was inscribed on The Temple of Apollo at Delphi for a reason. It’s that important.

8. The lone wolf aura – There’s something beautifully enigmatic about someone who’s confident when they’re alone in a new place. I call this “the lone wolf aura.” People are curious and intrigued by someone who is genuinely self-assured. Solo travel cultivates your own unique lone wolf aura.

Read my poem “The Lone Wolf Aura” for a deeper look at this.

9. It’s a pilgrimage – You’re the hero, the star of your own movie. A key component of any hero’s journey is some form of pilgrimage. And it’s always been a crucial step on the path of life for humans.

Jesus apparently went to Asia for many years to hone his spiritual practices. Buddha supposedly ventured into the woods alone and meditated under a tree for a while. Ash Ketchum traversed Canto and Joto to catch ‘em all (I had to drop a Pokemon reference). The hero archetype is brought to fruition by some form of a pilgrimage.

What’s unfortunate about our society today is that there is no real guidance regarding this stuff anymore. There are no rites of passage in the modern world.

But that missing ingredient is why pilgrimages have been making a resurgence in the form of things like backpacking and world travel. People are exploring the world more now than ever before. So this phenomenon is becoming something like a nondenominational pilgrimage. Not subject to any rigid rules of what you should or shouldn’t do. It’s a personal journey. And the details of it are up to you.

2456363834<em>25e9a85b59</em>o

I hope this post inspired you to embark on an adventure of your own. It may take time and effort to line everything up, but it’s totally worth it.

I’m not condemning traveling with others either (I’m doing it right now for this part of my trip). However, I believe that everyone can benefit immensely from solo travel, even if it’s only once in your life. If you feel that inner calling, take heed and make it happen.

It’s all about the journey.

Live each moment to the fullest.

– Stevie P!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

me
Stephen Parato (aka Stevie P) is your friendly, neighborhood Earth traveler. A holistic health & wellness advisor, Reiki master, unorthodox yogi, life coach, explorer of consciousness, philosopher, writer, poet and positivity connoisseur. Stevie P’s internet home base is his blog Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great.

Website link: http://www.feelingoodfeelingreat.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FeelinGoodFeelinGreat

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteviePThatsMe

YouTube: Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great

Read More

RELATED POSTS

Full Moon in Sagittarius, 9th June. Set your sights high and aim for the Moon!

By Vivienne Micallef-Browne

Set your sights high and aim for the Moon!

Full Moon in Sagittarius, 9th June at 18 degrees.

This Full Moon in Sagittarius brings the promise of a new chapter and exciting new adventures on the horizon!

Sagittarius, the adventurer, inspired by breadth of vision, aims his bow high.

It’s time to reach your highest potential and set your goals and visions high.The fire sign of Sagittarius blazes a courage trail towards the unknown and illuminates his path ahead through inspiration.

Aim for the moon, if you miss you may hit a star

The Sun in Gemini in opposition, shines his brilliant light onto the Moon in Sagittarius, lighting up our highest ideals with enthusiasm and joy, no longer prepared to settle for a false concept of truth.

The Full Moon in Sagittarius is exceptionally potent as the ruler of Sagittarius, the planet Jupiter, stations direct on the same day and is therefore at its most powerful. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and the most beneficial planet of all. Jupiter expands everything he touches and bestows us with more fortune, happiness, joy and optimism. Jupiter rules over fun, generosity, teaching, knowledge, philosophy and spiritual seeking. Sagittarius is the sign of great sages, wise-men and women and spiritual teachers. Open-minded and seekers of wisdom and truth.

Saturn who represents the wise old soul, is conjoined to the Full Moon, helping us to access our inner wisdom and to discern our truth, which is the very basis, for making wise decisions that we may find ourselves confronted with, as the Sun in Gemini offers us many options. The influence of Saturn, urges us to take responsibly for creating a better future and to make conscious decisions based on sound judgement and wisdom instead of dogmatic opinions and delusions.

Saturn makes a wonderful grand trine to Uranus and the North Node of fate until October. Uranus is the awakener and the North Node our destiny. We are destined to awaken to a higher consciousness, that is triggered by this Full Moon. The more awake we are, the more we recognise and embrace the Truth.

The Sun and Mercury in the intellectual sign of Gemini gather`s information from many diverse sources, which the polar sign of Sagittarius integrates into deeper knowledge and wisdom. The most important knowledge and wisdom of all, is the knowledge of self.

Reclaim your power by getting centered and realigned with your Wisdom Self/Soul.

“Discover yourself, otherwise you have to depend on other people’s opinions who don’t know themselves.”- Osho

Only when we have accepted ourselves through self-love and knowledge, can we then communicate our truths to others.

“Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling.” ― C.G. Jung

Be your own hero! Saturn reminds us to rely on ourselves, first of all, to make things happen. To take responsibility for our dreams and turn them into reality. Helping us to get highly motivated and determined, with staying power for the long haul.

With Neptune square the Sun and the Moon, we need to be aware of some choosing to manipulate through deception and delusion. However, Saturn can make this a time of reckoning for our past actions, while Jupiter in Libra is balancing the scales of justice. We need to question the true motivations and honesty of any information being presented to us. We are no longer prepared to accept things at face value. We need to stay aware and determine what our inner truths are at every step of the way.

Sagittarius is all about expanding our horizons through travel, new experiences, creativity, higher learning and spirituality.

We can feel the urge to be more sociable, have fun, meet new people and to experience different cultures, traveling to new countries or new places that can help to stretch our horizons, inspire and motivate us.

Sagittarius is the seeker of truth and freedom lover, who needs to stretch his bow and aim his arrow high onto a new goal that is just out of his reach, yet within his sights.
It’s what he needs to feel truly alive.

You may find that you need a new goal or challenge in your life, to inspire and expand your talents and creativity, as well as expanding and seeking more fun and joy in love.
We have the self-confidence now, to rise to any challenges in life and love.

Sagittarius has a great sense of humor and can be the life and soul of the party.

They can seem larger than life as their ruling planet Jupiter has a tendency to expand their personality traits, including going to excess at times. It’s their way of testing and expanding their own limitations.

So there could be a tendency to go over the top as Venus now in the pleasure seeking sign of Taurus, loves to indulge her pleasures and senses. We will find now, and over the next few weeks, we are calmer and more grounded than in recent times as Venus in Aries had an unusual long stay in Aries since 3rd February to the 6th of June due to her retrograde phase, has been an exciting but at times a wild and erratic ride.

Venus in Taurus until the 4th of Juli, together with Jupiter and her later meet up with Pluto, ensures we will find support for our ventures and a wealth of hidden resources, with the potential to attract good luck and promising opportunities to expand our projects, gaining more power and influence.
Saturn, Venus in Taurus and now Mars in cancer, will help us to focus more easily, on our goals with a much more calmer and patient approach.The earthiness of this sign gives the grounded vision necessary to turn dreams into reality. The recent weeks, while Venus was in Aries and Mars in Gemini, have been at times, fast-paced, exhilarating and full of surprises and we may have felt as if we have lost our direction and grounding.

Saturn calls upon us to take a more realistic look, to make a better judgement call on the priorities, It calls upon us to get more ambitious, to take better, more deliberate aim, and to accomplish something of true and lasting significance.

Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, is optimistic and knows no boundaries or limits, making us feel anything is possible now in love. Jupiter now direct in his last four-month phase of his twelve-month stay in Libra, the sign of relationships, is eager to fulfil his promise of working magic in love. Many have already made a deeper commitment or will have brought their relationship to the next level. For some still looking they may well still find “the one” by October. Jupiter in the sign of Libra since last September has been bringing many karmic lovers together. Others have discovered the pleasures of being happily single as Jupiter has improved our feelings of self- love.

Jupiter in Libra is working particularly strongly now, to right all the wrongs, in the Libra and Sagittarius themes of justice and fairness. In particular, on a political level, exposing the manipulation, delusion and untruths.

It’s time now, to no longer hold back and live life to the fullest!

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

We no longer have time for small, mindedness, drama, untruths, or being defined by other`s expectations and opinions.

Pushing the limits is easier now, and you can extend your influence much farther than ever before. When you know your destination, we can demonstrate an unwavering determination to arrive there.
No matter what the difficulties, we can overcome whatever is in our path, trusting in what is positive regardless of conditions. This period can reawaken your faith in the best that life and you have to offer.

"You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making”.” – Stephen Richards, Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free

Uranus in a flowing trine to the Moon and Sextile the Sun, is giving us an out of the box thinking mode enabling us to see everything from a new clear perspective. Helping us to find new solutions to old ways of thinking

The Sagittarius full moon will be making us feel optimistic, self-confident and adventurous.Sagittarius loves to spread joy, laughter and good vibes.

Traveling, meeting new people, expanding our horizons, moving out of our comfort zone, higher learning, spirituality and creativity are all being supported by the universe right now, taking us to where we are meant to be.

“Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” -John Lennon

By living by our truth, we will find freedom and liberation

© All rights reserved, Vivienne Micallef-Browne

Read More

New Study Reveals Medical Cannabis Users Consume Less Opioids, Antidepressants and Alcohol

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology reports that patients suffering from chronic medical conditions used less opioids, antidepressants, sleep medications, alcohol, and other substances after using medical cannabis to treat their symptoms.

“So what we found is that after starting medical marijuana that many of the patients that were previously using opioids reduced the use of those agents,” said Brian J. Piper, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and lead researcher for the study.

“So over three-quarters of the medical marijuana patients who were using opioids decreased the use of those agents.”

The numbers make a pretty strong case in favor of medical cannabis. The final results from the study show a 76.7% drop in regular opioid use, a 37.6% drop in antidepressant use, and a 42% drop in alcohol use. They also discovered that almost 72% of patients took less anti-anxiety medications, 67% of them used less migraine medications, and 65% of them used sleep aids less after beginning a medical marijuana treatment regimen.

Chronic pain, however, is by and large the main reason people seek out medical grade marijuana in the first place.

“Over two-thirds (70.4%) of patients in Maine and Rhode Island listed intractable or chronic pain followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (25.5%), severe muscle spasms (12.2%), or nausea (10.6%) as their qualifying condition,” reads an excerpt from the study.

Additionally, subjects of the study reported that medical marijuana provided the most effective treatment for pain following incidents of trauma. On a scale from 0 to 100% (100 percent indicating “complete relief”), subjects were asked to rate the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating the conditions listed below and this is what they found:

  • 77.9% relief in the treatment of pain following trauma
  • 77.5% relief in the treatment of menstrual pain
  • 73% relief in the treatment of neck and back pain
  • 72.3% relief in the treatment of neuropathic pain
  • 75.8% relief in the treatment of cancer pain
  • 72% relief in the treatment of post-surgery pain

At the moment, only eight states in the United States have legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Thankfully, 28 states across the country have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Yet, the substance is still classified by the government as a Schedule I drug, sitting next to heroin in its description of having "no medical value."

Do you think it makes sense that cannabis and heroin are in the same category of substances? Maybe it's time to reevaluate the potential medicinal benefits of cannabis and its effectiveness in treating some of the most common chronic conditions that exist among the population today.

h/t Saludmovil

Read More

Coincidence Vs. Synchronicity - Signs You Should Do Your Best Not to Ignore

Sometimes things happen in life and our first reaction is to think “Wow, how lucky was that?” Seemingly small events that many of us consider merely coincidental are actually synchronicities at play.

For example, a few nights ago I thought to call a good friend of mine that I hadn’t spoken to in a while. Oddly enough, he was calling me at the sametime! We hadn’t seen each other for years, and yet, here we both were, trying to reach out for one another.

Synchronicity is a reflection of one’s interconnectedness with the rest of the world. People who are highly interconnected will experience these subtle moments where things just seem to perfectly align. This is because on the spiritual plane, everything is connected somehow.

So, next time something perfect happens to you--whether it’s a newly opened parking space or a random, incredible job offer--recognize that it is because of your interconnectedness, and not merely coincidence.

Signs of synchronicity that often get written off
Now that you’re aware of synchronicities, you’re going to start recognizing them more often. Here is a brief list of signs of synchronicity that you should pay attention to.

1. Looking at the clock only to see a pattern of numbers. For example, 11:11, 12:34, 12:12, 22:22. While any particular set of numbers will only last for 60 seconds at most, somehow you glanced up exactly when it was set on this brief period of time. This type of synchronicity is believed to be representative of purpose.

2. You’re whistling or humming a certain song and then the song suddenly comes on the radio or television.

3. You’ve been contemplating big decisions or questions in your life for a while, when you realize that the world is trying to give you hints about what choice you should ultimately make. The universe knows what is right for you, and it’s trying to communicate this through synchronicity.

4. You randomly meet certain people who somehow have the best advice or information regarding the problems you are currently trying to solve. You probably didn’t even have to mention exactly what is wrong, yet this person you just met seems to have the answers you are looking for.

5. A friend or loved one gifts you an item that you’ve been thinking about getting for yourself, even though you never spoke a word of it to anyone.

These are all signs of synchronicity, and synchronicity is a sign that you’re on the right track, so embrace it!

h/t Mystical rave

Read More

What Is Your Biggest Fear in Life? According to Your Zodiac Sign

Turning to the stars to learn more about who you are and what life has in store for you is a ritual that has been done for centuries. The zodiac is chock-full of insight and wisdom, making it a good place to start when trying to find yourself.

Here’s what the zodiac has to say about your biggest fears in life, according to your sign!

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Although fiery and somewhat fleeting at times, Aries absolutely cherish their close relationships. Your biggest fear is having these close relationships end. But, because you so fear that your relationships will end, you become much more thoughtful, caring and loving towards these people.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

As a sign that values stability very highly, the Taurus does not like the unknown. They feel most comfortable when it’s smooth sailing, and things go exactly as expected. Turbulence causes the Taurus to overthink, ultimately causing anxiety.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

Gemini have a strong inclination towards perfection. They want things to be done and done right. Failure is by far the biggest fear that Gemini have, so they make up for this with a solid work ethic and organized goals. Unfortunately, this can also lead to them feeling as though they never do enough.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Cancers are sweethearts who want nothing more than to be included in life. They hate feeling vulnerable and their worst nightmare is being rejected by their friends, family and loved ones.

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Always one for the spotlight, Leos enjoy receiving praise when they go above and beyond. And while they are good at exceeding expectations, their biggest fear is not being recognized for it. They work hard and do well, so it stings when no one pays attention to them.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Virgos are known for their organizational skills and strong need for independence, which means their biggest fear is that they’ll one day become dependent on someone else. They never want to find themselves dating someone who is unorganized and unmotivated.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Libras tend to have strong empathic traits, meaning they enjoy caring for and nurturing others. Their biggest fear is that they will somehow hurt the people closest to them, even though this is highly unlikely.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Scorpios can be a mess of emotions at times, even though they like to portray the image that they are completely invincible. It is emotional pain that scares the Scorpio the most. Being betrayed is the probably the most painful thing a Scorpio can experience, which is why they often choose to build their emotional walls high.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

The free-spirited Sagittarius is deathly afraid of being tied down in any way. They need the freedom and space to be spontaneous, to make mistakes, and to live life the way they want to live it. Which is why they tend to find partners and jobs that are like-minded.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 20)

Capricorns have big dreams and put forth a determined effort to turn those dreams into reality. Their biggest fear is that all of their hard work and effort will be rejected, belittled or dismissed by their peers.

Aquarius (January 21 - February 18)

A natural protector, the Aquarius enjoys being strong, for themselves and others. They enjoy being the cool-headed, dependable, pillar of strength that others can lean on in times of need. This leads to their biggest fear being that they won’t be able to find their strength or courage when they need it most.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Rejection and abandonment inspire the utmost fear in a Pisces. They cherish all of their relationships greatly, so even thinking about being shut out is enough to rattle them to the core. Though there’s not much that phases a Pisces, being cast out by friends and loved ones will do the trick.

h/t Urbo

Read More

Please Wait...Loading