Traveling. Seeing new places. Feeling alive again. Getting away from the rut of life and into a new world. To explore, to feel, to soak in. Most of us are travel-junkies at heart―we conjure up images of far off places and breathtaking escapes. We sigh through images of foreign locations and long to be there. We will ourselves to walk through those nature trails. We think ‘let’s go on an adventure’, and then quietly smother that voice down just as soon as it spears its ugly head. Because, alone.
*Long awkward silence.*
I get it. Traveling all alone? Doing things all by yourself? Or how about the far more philosophical one … going alone without having anyone to share those experiences with? Yes, traveling alone without anyone to share those experiences with, and doing things all by oneself. But how? Why?
Because, memories. Because, freedom. Because, unbelievable, innumerable, countless moments. That’s why.
WHY IS IT GOOD TO TRAVEL ALONE?
It’s not easy, we really do get it. Especially if you’re not used to traveling all by yourself. So what we’re asking you to do is begin by taking baby steps. Go on a weekend trip alone. See how that feels. Then maybe, take off for a week all by yourself. You’ll find that once you’re over your initial apprehensions, it isn’t as bad as it seems. In fact, you may even like it. So why should we not be sacrificing our travel times because there’s no one on the horizon to go with? Here’s why.
You’re the boss
Oh, yeah. So you wake up on the first morning of your trip, right, and you don’t really want to be rushing out the door and into a tourist bus packed with people who all want to go see the magnificent something or the other… guess what? You don’t have to! Why? That’s right. You’re the boss. You decide what you want to do, you decide what you want to see, you decide when to go where, and you also decide what you want to skip. Oh, the joys of being alone and doing what you want.
Do what you want, when you want
Remember that trip you took way back with all those friends, and all that happened on the trip was a lot of asking around ‘what do you want to do?’, ‘I don’t know, what do you want to do?’. So much precious time was spent in this back and forth exchange that you ended up missing out on many places that you would have liked to see. Or how about all those places that you had to give a miss because someone else had circled in some others that they just had to see? You see where we’re going with this? You get to plan exactly what you want to see and when you want to see it. Getting the most of a trip, now who would not want that?
Getting all responsible and everything
Whether you realized it, and whether you wanted it or not, the moment you decided to take that trip alone, you automatically became responsible. Yup. You know that you’re going to have to take care of yourself. You know there’s going to be no one to run to for every single thing. And since you’re going to do everything for yourself, and you might as well do a swell job of it. And you know what this will do? You’ll end up learning so much―taking care of accommodation, learning how to navigate a map, learning the ropes of public transport … you’re going to be filled with a deluge of experience. How about that?
Here’s to meeting new people
… and experiencing new things. So let’s suppose you’ve taken a trip with friends. You’re probably not going to end up meeting anyone new on that trip. I mean, why would you when you have all the people you need, right there with you? But, when you’re alone, there are going to be times when you’ll find yourself with completely new people―sitting beside someone on the bus, or sharing a table at a restaurant. And just like that, you’ll get an insight into their lives and their stories. What a whole lot of new perspectives to take back home.
And getting over inhibitions
There are a million reservations and countless inhibitions that we carry along. But when you’re traveling alone, you learn to get over them somewhat quickly. What else are you going to do? Sit in your room and wait for things to happen to you? Yes? For a day or two, maybe. What after that? You are going to get up and go looking for things to do, and in doing that, you are going to get over your inhibitions. And once you’re out of your comfort zone and into the adrenaline-pumping experiences, you’re going to pat yourself for getting over those silly reservations and giving a chance for memories to form.
How about getting to know the real you?
It works out this way, whether you realize it or not―when you’re traveling with someone, you end up going along with the flow. Like, if they want to visit a particular place, you’re not really going to refuse, are you? When you’re on your own, you learn so much about yourself. You learn the kind of places you like, the kind of food you prefer and random things of the here and now. Would you have had the time to contemplate on those things while you were with someone else? Probably, but not always. But here, it’s as if the experience is intensified. Because who’s distracting you from you? No one. Not one soul.
And learning to reflect
It’s during times like these, when you’re by yourself and you have all the time in the world, that you can listen to what you’re trying to tell yourself. There are no distractions, there are no droning noises vying for your attention. This is when life’s answers come to you. You get clarity about what you want to do, what drives you, what you want in life. All you have to do is listen. How does it happen when you’re alone and not with someone else, you ask? It just does.
Let’s take home some memories
And finally, my friend, why you should travel alone―for the memories. The things you take back when you travel with company and the things you take back when you travel alone are so different. The experiences and the thoughts in your head and the things you’re thinking about… anything and everything takes on a whole different meaning. How about that time when you missed the tourist bus, and the lovely local lady showed you around town? Or how about the time you almost didn’t go sky diving and the instructor egged you on? And how about when the lone selfie atop the highest peak was graced by that mountain goat? Memories. What else do we have?
So you see, there are a million reasons you should travel alone and a countless reasons more. So all we’re saying is, give in to that voice. Go take that adventure you’ve always wanted to. Just go.