Why I Travel Solo
I love my friends and I do still enjoy traveling with them, but there’s just something magical about going solo. When that idea was first bounced off family and friends, I heard so many “huh that’s so dangerous”, “you don’t even know the language”, “isn’t that very sad and lonely”, “you got no friends ar” and “so scary”.
But I went ahead anyway and got hooked after my first trip in 2010 to HongKong, China, Mongolia, Central/Eastern Russia and Korea, and more recently around Europe for my grad trip. The funny thing is, they were right. I’ve lost my bags, missed trains, felt lonely, thought I was going to die, almost get robbed, and even hid from angry locals because of some lads I was with. The funnier thing is, I still love it. And here’s why:
Experience More -Our senses seem to come alive while going solo. Perhaps because you don’t have to focus on the people you are with, you see more, hear more, smell more and feel more (can’t say I tasted more though. no $$ :X).
Never Truly Alone -Because feeling lonely is inevitable, we are in a way “forced” to interact with locals/strangers instead of sticking to our friends. I’ve gained a couple of lifelong friends and travel buddies this way, but what I treasure most is how the cultural exchange has broadened my mind.
Muse -Coming from a fast paced society like Singapore, I love the luxury of reflecting in silence while traveling alone. Just musing and observing without speaking a word to anyone.
Independence -This is pretty obvious as the only person you can rely on is yourself. We learn to become more observant, street smart and aware.
Communication Upgrade -Although language may seem like a problem, I was pleasantly surprised at the conversations we can have with just a few english words, lots of gestures, and a couple of (hilarious) doodles.
Become A Better Person -Through interactions with others, I also found myself becoming more understanding and tolerant to people who are different. Acts of kindness from absolute strangers made me question how uptight we city dwellers are. Like how in a little town near Lake Baikal, a russian lady by the name of Alexandria opened her home to me when I couldn’t find a place to stay.
There are probably a thousand other reasons, but my point is that everyone should do it. Well at least once. Yes there plenty of considerations, but I’m not asking you to go unprepared (although that is another thing you should try).
So get out there because you’ll never know unless you go.