Today, we are bombarded with reports of rapes, murders and back-packing horror stories in the media. Tragic accidents, thefts and people being conned. Not to mention all the movies to put us off exploring the globe. Hostel, Wolf Creek.. The Hills Have Eyes! Eek!
It’s not only enough to make you not want to leave the country, but also enough to persuade you to lock yourself in your room and never come out! It’s understandable why so many people are not comfortable with the thought of travelling solo.
But, from experience, as long as you’re sensible and keep your wits about you, solo travelling can open up a world of opportunities. Just because you leave on your own, doesn’t mean you’ll be alone for long. You shouldn’t underestimate how many people you’ll meet on your travels and how they’ll affect your trip.
I have travelled alone and I have travelled with friends. For me, neither one was more advantageous. You don’t always need your best bud there to lean on.
Luckily for me, I am blessed to have a best friend who, coincidentally, wanted to uproot and venture around the world the exact same time that I did.
In fact, I distinctly remember a phone call from her when I was at work convincing me to be brave and ‘just do it!’ So really, I have her to thank for giving me that little nudge I needed to finally grow some balls and head on out in to the big, wide world.
But if you don’t have someone to go with, and you’re contemplating going solo, here are some points as to why it’s ok to go it alone.
We’re all in this together. People are a huge factor when it comes to what makes back-packing so great. You may have your trusty travel guide to hand, but these people were literally just there! They can offer advice, tell you stories and sometimes even get you a good deal on a place to stay.
Not only can you benefit from their knowledge, you could gain a friend. Sometimes you’ll change all your plans so you can head off somewhere for a week with a new buddy. Be open to new experiences and go with the flow.
You can be selfish
You have absolutely no one to think about, but yourself. If you want to go for an early dinner, do it. If you want to lie on the beach all day, go ahead. If you want to get a bus to the other side of the country (just because you feel like it), you have no one there to run it past.
My best friend and I are like two peas in a pod. We were fortunate enough to pretty much agree on every decision we made whilst we were away. About 2 months in, we were in Melbourne and not particularly enjoying ourselves. It wasn’t for any particular reason, but I could feel how restless we were becoming. After one quick chat, we were on the phone, booking flights to Vietnam.
I always think back to that and wonder what would have happened if one of us had wanted to stay! Awkward..
Leaving work or uni to travel, is a long road of rediscovery. At home, we are often enslaved by our responsibilities, friends and family. How often do you have time to sit and really think about who you are?
Travelling alone allows you to get back to basics and think about the good old ‘me, myself and I.’ You’ll discover dreams you never knew you had and you’ll become painfully independent. You’ll have only yourself to rely on and that builds character.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll arrive back home thinking ‘I did that all on my own. And I didn’t die. I’m unstoppable!’
There is no one in the world you have more in common with than YOU! So, go on. Take yourself on holiday. You deserve it.
Become friendlier, confident and more open-minded
It’s easy, when travelling with a friend, to just stick to yourselves and not interact with others. When you’re on your own, you are forced to meet new people. Especially if you don’t want to eat alone every night.
I always considered myself quite out-going on the surface, but underneath it all, I was actually quite shy. I used to hate even going to a shop on my own.
But now, I’d happily go out for a meal or to the cinema by myself.
Travelling on your own is a great way to drag yourself out of your shell, and quite often, out of your comfort zone. And my word, does it feel great!