By Davey Wavey
In all the traveling that I’ve done, I’ve come to realize that even more important than the destinations you visit is with whom you’re able to share the experiences. Traveling with a close friend or loved one is a great way to amplify the experience.
Moreover, with a friend at your side, it’s much easier to laugh at your misfortunes or tribulations. A missed flight doesn’t seem so bad and culture shock just isn’t as shocking. And having a travel companion gives you an added sense of safety and security. You have a bit of the familiar even amidst the unfamiliar.
While I do prefer traveling with a friend or loved one, there are some unique aspects of traveling alone that I’ve come to appreciate and even crave. Indeed, solo traveling can have some unique advantages.
1. You can do it on your time. It’s hard enough to fit a vacation into one person’s busy schedule—let alone having to take two or three or more into account. In planning trips with friends, the back-and-forth of finding a good vacation date can paralyze your plans—or, at the very least, put them on the backburner. When you travel alone, on the other hand, you have the freedom to spontaneously book a trip without having to negotiate anyone else’s schedule.
2. You can do, see and eat what you want. As a child, I remember traveling with my family and having to see the sights that my mom, dad and sister wanted to experience—even if I was painfully uninterested. When you travel alone, you’re able to take the itinerary into your own hands and really do whatever you want to do. It’s very liberating!
3. You’re more likely to meet new people. When you’re traveling with a companion or friends, you have each other’s company to enjoy. But when you’re alone, you’re more open to meeting new people. In fact, you’ll probably make more of an effort to strike up a conversation or make acquaintances with the folks around you.
4. You can experience some romance. Let’s face it, traveling alone doesn’t mean you’ll always be alone. When you have a hotel room for yourself, you—at the very least—have the opportunity for a little vacation romance. It definitely counts for something! Just be careful. STDs don’t make for good souvenirs.
5. You get a sense of accomplishment. When you go to a faraway land and manage to not just survive, but to actually thrive, you’ll experience a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction. Prove to yourself that you can do it—and, along the way, you’ll probably learn a lot about yourself and you abilities. It’s a great way to both build confidence and discover of what you’re really made.
Sure, traveling with the people you love is great. But few things are as intoxicating as the personal freedom and sense of excitement you get from traveling alone. By stepping outside your comfort zone, you invite in the magic of a true adventure.
Do you prefer traveling alone or with friends, family or loved ones? Let me know in the comments below!