Wow, it’s been ages since I wrote. I promise myself I’ll blog more every time but fail. Oh well, let’s hope this time I keep the streak going! Today’s “topic” of musing: travelling solo.
I get asked this question a lot “why do you travel solo”? And while the one word answer is “Happiness”, I’ll hit you up with the longer version.
I believe that travelling solo can really provide you with a fresh perspective on life, yourself, and the world around you. You have no constant company but your own and you’re left to your own devices to discover places, explore, relax, appreciate the little things, and understand your own thoughts. It gives you a chance to venture down untried avenues. There’re no limits to what you can and can’t do. You can try out any new place to live, eat, and visit. There will be no clash of opinion on what you want to do or where you want to eat or where to go next. You can be as free as you like, have no responsibility towards anyone but yourself, not have to worry about waiting for the other person or being on the same page with them, and enjoy the absolute freedom to do whatever you want. You are tired and want to spend the day lounging around inside, you can. You want to go exploring and take risks and go on an adventure sport, feel free. You feel like a three-course meal and want to indulge, go for it. You want to take a 1-hour walk instead of the bus to wherever, hop on. You want to sit in the park and read your favourite book in front of the gorgeous cathedral instead of going inside, do it. The opportunities are endless. Much of the time that goes in convincing your travel companions with what you want to do, or even simply brainstorming and coming to a mutual decision, you save all of that.
Moreover, travelling solo also allows you to mingle more with the local community and other travellers – you stop and talk to random people, make friends with tourists and locals alike at places you visit, take pictures of whatever you want and ask others to take pictures of you, and sometimes even join surprisingly pleasant strangers for a meal somewhere. Meeting new people and getting to know those who may not be like-minded, or befriending someone who you differs a lot from your usual type of friends – these are the socialisation perks of travelling solo. The best part? You can exchange contact details if you wish to stay in touch, or simply not, and then, once you’re done mingling with someone as much as you like, at any point of your liking whatsoever, you’re simply free to walk away without obligation. You have the luxury of switching between being among people and being on your own throughout and you can make full use of it to get to know yourself, your surroundings, and the people inhabiting/visiting it. Really, the journey and the destination are both completely yours.
Lastly, travelling solo really helps you become more self-aware and organised in a way. You have to manage your own budget, expenses, take care of your own belongings, figure out your own routes, rely on Google and other sources of information to decide what would be the best option, and essentially strike a balance between having fun and ensuring your trip doesn’t end up badly all on your own. Usually, we tend to rely on others to “police” us, remind us to do this and that, but when you’re on your own, there’s no helpful friend to sort out your stuff or take care of you when you need help, you’re responsible for yourself, and it’s a pretty big responsibility.
Bottom line: once you’ve travelled solo, you feel like you can do anything and it’s a divine feeling.