A lot has been written about solo travelling. Travelers from around the world are doing this from decades. Chasing the unknown, all under the company of their own solitude. There is some excitement in it. Some addiction. Feeling a bout of the jitters while planning where to head next – is a kind of adventure in itself.
I remember the first time I traveled on my own, I had no intention of doing it. I was desperately looking for a partner – calling, texting everyone I knew – hoping someone would tag along. But nope. It seemed everyone was busy, trying to save their holidays for the last month of the year, as if they all wanted to spend them, almost uselessly, struggling to be a part of crowded beaches in Goa, chasing beautiful girls and getting wasted, drinking alcohol. To hell with, I had to go alone.
And it was perhaps the best thing that happened.
No, I am not saying it out of ego. I am saying it because I got into solo travelling by force, and as I completed my first journey alone, I realised how amazing and invigorating solo travelling can be, than travelling in a group.
Solo Traveling Helps You Lose Your Fear
Many of us are not comfortable with the idea of travelling alone – either because we find it risky, or we find it awkward to wander on streets on our own. But over time, when we are not scared anymore and learn to improvise, we start enjoying the freedom.
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready” Henry David Thoreau
Solo travelling makes you a complete new person. You start counting on yourself rather than counting on others. It makes you confident about the choices you make and allows you to explore more about yourself. Each day travelled alone makes you a stronger and positive person.
Your Journeys Become More Awesome As You Meet New & Interesting Friends
Starting solo doesn’t mean you’re going to be sad and grumpy the entire journey. You always bump into amazing and friendly people who make your journeys much better. And if you don’t like them you can go separate ways, any time you want. After all, it’s your adventure.
When I travel alone, I always look for excuses and push myself to talk more with people around me. I try to smile to locals, speak with them, share gestures, and this has only led to indulging in a happening conversation in the bars of Thimpu, only to end up being invited to traditional dinner parties; (taking) a motorcycle ride between the lakes of Tawang Valley; hitchhiking on the world’s one of the most dangerous roads; and trekking in the unexplored mountains of Himalayas.
The Journey Schools You In Many Ways
When you’re on your own, your journey becomes a teacher. From some of the most important life lessons to some of the most hard-hitting truths – you learn it all. You shape your experiences by whom you meet, rather than who you travel with.
I remember at one time in Nepal, I got to spend an evening speaking to a young man about his experiences of 2015 Nepal Earthquake, and now, that everything is (almost) back to normal around him, how he views the past. Though I could hardly decipher the language he spoke, I had all the time to understand the emotions he bravely fought with.
And that’s the beauty of solo travelling. You speak to locals, you respect their time, and you learn many things in the process.
You Own Your Trip With No One To Nag On You
We all have our own whims and fancies, and when we travel with someone else or in a group, we have to brutally murder them and travel in a way that is hardly our style. But solo travelling gives you full control, a complete freedom, and allows you to revel in your own company.
I mean there would be times when you really want to try the authentic Tibetan style thupka while wandering the alleys of McLeod Ganj, but other people would nix your plans because they’d fancy a Big Mac from the local McDonalds. It often happens when you travel in a group. But when alone, everything runs on your schedule. You don’t need to worry about someone else’s interests and can enjoy the eternal freedom – something every one of us take a vacation for and travel, right?
And then there are other advantages like getting easy and free rides, invitations for free food and other such, which makes your journey so much cheaper, better and interesting. You can moreover do all the stupid things if you’re solo and you have a guarantee that what you’re doing is not going to follow you home. And then again, I am not saying that going solo fits everyone’s style of travelling. Different people have different taste. But if you are one of those who are looking for cultural experiences or who are majorly into long-term offbeat travelling, then going solo could be your answer.
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