When traveling solo for the first time, you are pushing yourself to step out of your comfort zone. This can be a good thing for your well-being. Traveling with family and friends will always have its own added benefits and convenience. But there’s something about jetting off to a new exotic place alone that helps us become a more well-rounded citizen of the world. When dipping your toes into solo travel, it’s best to do so at a destination that is deemed safe, fun, and conveniently close by. Belize fits the bill for this criteria, having earned a Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council. The country also has available flight routes from most of the major airport hubs in the U.S., with an average flight time of only two hours. There’s no better place to start our solo travel journey to health and self-discovery than in Belize.
Not only is Belize a great stepping stone for learning to travel by yourself, but the mental health benefits waiting for you at your solo destination are insurmountable. After the taxing couple of years we’ve had, we all could do with a little solo trip to re-ground ourselves.
When you’re traveling alone, you come to terms with the fact that you only have yourself to rely on. This means that tours, accommodations, getting around and everything else included in a vacation will fall on you. This is when you truly build on that resiliency and self-reliance that comes with solo travel. It’s a good thing Belize makes this part easy, with hotels and tour companies being more than happy to help you land the perfect itinerary for a health-focused solo trip. By testing your independence and resiliency should something go wrong, you gain even more confidence in your own abilities. This leads to personal self-growth and trust, something we all benefit from in the long run.
Embracing The Unknown
Any new destination comes with its own set of experiences, regardless of who you’re traveling with. But when it comes to flying solo, you tend to be more of a risk-taker since you’re already doing this grand feat on your own. Your mind and soul are more open to new ideas or activities you wouldn’t otherwise do if you were still in your little bubble. For instance, Belize lends itself to testing the boundaries of your comfort zone.Strap on a harness and fly through the jungle when ziplining in Western Belize. Or don your headlamp and squeeze through the crevices at ATM cave so you can see the Maya skeleton with your own eyes. Want something a little more adrenaline-inducing? Hop into the warm waters at Shark Ray Alley and swim alongside actual nurse sharks. By the time you check all these activities off your bucket list, you’ll notice your fear of the unknown has minimized. Instead, you’ll go looking for the next big adventure waiting to teach you new lessons and give you lifelong memories.
An Abundance of Connections
Speaking of memories, Belize has no shortage of birthing connections between the travelers and the lands they visit. With a multitude of cultures swirling throughout the country, you can’t ever say you don’t fit in. Each and every Belizean welcomes you warmly, and since you’re traveling alone, you tend to respond to social interactions with even more gusto. Without leaning on friends or family, seeking out the local residents becomes easier. This leads to long-lasting friendships, finding kindred spirits, or – at the very least – gaining an Instagram follower or two.
The connections go beyond the people, however. Belize holds a rich, diverse ecosystem where its lands are brimming with places to center yourself. Verdant rainforests and nature reserves are ideal spots to try your hand at forest bathing. By taking some time out to be alone in such greenery with only your thoughts and the sounds of nature, you develop your body and mind. Studies show spending at least two hours in nature a week helps with one’s mental health and well-being. So strap on your hiking boots, grab some bug spray, and set off for any of Belize’s 103 protected reserves for some much-needed meditation. You can opt for a short hike like at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, or a more arduous one like at the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Either way, when you spend time with yourself with the health and beauty of Belize surrounding you, you’ll be left wondering why you hadn’t done solo travel sooner.