“The man who goes out alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready”- Henry David Thoreau.
People often ask me ” What is the fun in traveling alone?”. I always say, The whole fun of discovering a place is when you do it by yourself. There are various reasons why I prefer to travel by myself.
You could fill up every single moment as a solo traveller, with things that would fascinate you. You don’t need to depend on anyone or change your plans unwillingly because your travel buddy is whining that they don’t want to do things that you want to.
The benefits of traveling alone are immense.
Your trip planning gets a lot more easier:
Every traveller has a list of places in their bucket list, but often people hold them back because they don’t have anyone to travel with. They feel insecure to venture into a new place on their own. While travelling alone, its only your desire that would matter. You can plan something in the last minute or alter an existing plan.
You get to know yourself:
By travelling alone to a place where no one knows you, you re-discover yourself by shedding your fears and insecurities and by doing things that you really want to do. You will start understanding yourself in a level you may not have known before. When you are on the road by yourself and all decisions to be made are upto you, you would realise things about yourself which you did not know until you stepped out of your comfort zone. You get to try new things and even if it goes wrong no one gets to know that until you tell them.
You see places in your own way:
You enjoy the liberty of seeing the world the way you prefer to and not with other’s perception. You are unfiltered by other’s prejudices. May be you want to rent a bike and ride it to some cliff to see the sun going down, while people usually take a public transport to get there.
You do what you want:
You are your own BOSS, you decide what you want to do, based on what you feel. You spend a day cafe hopping in Paris, or walk the museum mile in Amsterdam or do a biking trip in Bagan (Myanmar). You don’t need to depend on what others want to do.
You meet other people:
The best things of travelling alone is meeting new people. You are exposed to different cultures, food and customs. When alone, you have no chance of clinging on to a person but to interact with other travellers or locals. You never know how well you get along as you discover each other’s personality by sharing your stories .
While I was in Muang Ngoi Neua a remote rural area in Northern Laos, I met a guy from France and a girl from the US, the three of us went on a biking trip along some unbeaten paths and ended up having a local meal together at some restaurant. I felt like I was around some like minded people with whom I shared a great time.
You spend money only for things you really need:
Different people have different taste. When it comes to travelling some prefer staying in plush villas, while some opt to stay in backpacker’s pod. Its easier to stick to your budget when you are on your own. You can easily lower your standards without anyone bitching about it. Personally, I prefer to eat street food and instead of buying expensive pub pints, I opt for the cheap 7-Eleven canned beer or bottled wine.
You become more confident:
I could still feel the fear I had while kicking off my first solo trip to Amsterdam, but nothing makes me more confident than exploring the world on my own. When on the road, you might be challenged by unexpected factors and you would be surprised by how well you respond to them. It’s nice to have someone to rely on, but it’s particularly satisfying when that someone is you.
You become a story-teller:
You will create plenty of memories when you tell your folks about your experience. You will make number of epic accounts as long as you make the most out of your solo travel.
While I was touring the favelas in Rio De Janerio at late night, I was robbed at a gun point. I was petrified by the experience then, but eventually narrating that story makes me feel like I have been on an adventurous trip.
I hope through this post, I have triggered an impulse in you to go and travel – pick up your stuff, shove them in your backpack and go solo and see how beautiful this world is.