Solo travel is not for everyone (but that’s ok)

Solo Travel - Man Walking - Jonathan Kos Read
Solo travel is sexy and cool, yeah? photo via Flickr CC by Jonathan Kos Read

You’ve seen all those travel blogs out there, lots of people out there expounding on their love for solo travel, swearing that it is the ultimate freedom, spending time spent on their own without heed for anyone else, scorning the herds of tourists being led around by a flag… It seems to be one of life’s greatest challenges, to strike out on your own and experience amazing adventures!

Sometimes, it feels like you’re not a proper traveller if you’re not traveling solo.

Solo Travel - Woman Reading - Mo Riza
There’s something about being solo – photo via Flickr CC by Mo Riza

But guess what – it’s perfectly ok not to like solo travel if that’s not your thing.

There are so many ways of travel, and going solo is just one way to go about it. I’m very much about traveling however you like as long as it makes you happy. Maybe you just like having a familiar voice in your ear when in a foreign place, or having a buddy beside you to share the experience with during and after a trip, but you shouldn’t feel any less of a traveller just because you don’t like traipsing off on your own.

Solo Travel - Snowfire by Snugg Lepup
Sometimes it’s nice to have a friend to travel with! photo via Flickr CC by Snugg Lepup

But that being said, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it for yourself! I never thought I would love travelling on my own until I actually embarked on that first solo trip to Seoul, and now I’m making it a point to do at least one solo trip in a year. You’re never gonna know how you really feel about it until you actually do it, right?

Solo Travel - Self reflection - Eole Wind
Solo travel is great for contemplation, and you don’t always need to travel somewhere fancy just to find it – photo via Flickr CC by Eole Wind

Travelling solo is an adventure and a big step for lots of people who are used to being with others. If you’re eager to try the solo thing but are not sure whether you want to plunge right into it, there are lots of things you can do to get that feel and see if it works for you. My advice is to start small – don’t immediately embark on a long RTW solo trip unless you’re prepared for it, or you might just end up hating it and being really lonely. Perhaps start by making parts of your group trip solo, by taking half a day or a day off to amble on your own. If you enjoy that, start extending that to days, or go on trips earlier/later than your friends and see how you like being on your own. You’ll start to get a better feel of your comfort level being on your own.

Stormtrooper Duck
Sometimes you just gotta try and shake things up a bit! Photo via Flickr CC by JD Hancock

And while I think you don’t have to like solo travel to be a traveller, I think it’s important to always be self-reliant whether you’re on your own or with a group – the thing about traveling with other people is that you start to overlook the details, and that takes away from your own experience. Always make sure that you’re contributing to the group planning and in the event you’re suddenly left on your own, you aren’t left helpless because the planner is not around. Be a traveller that others want to travel with, and not the clingy helpless cautionary tale everyone bitches about!

Solo Travel - Helpful - Loren Kerns
Consider being a little more helpful than this when you’re travelling in a group! Photo via Flickr CC by Loren Kerns

Are you a solo travel lover or one who prefers to have a group? What type of travel do you enjoy?

Enjoyed this posts? More of my musings here at Travelling Occasionally

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