A lot of my family and friends are surprised that I am travelling the world alone. They call me brave and say they would never be able to do that. Think I’m crazy? Read on to see why I actually prefer to travel the world alone.
1. You can do whatever you want to do. I am meeting up with my family at a few different parts of my trip, which means that I will have to do things that they want to do, maybe things that I am not super interested in. But compromise is part of travelling with another person. But you won’t be compromising when travelling alone! I will be doing what I want, whenever I want, however I want. I can stay where I want. I can go on the tours I want (and skip the ones I don’t). The hardest part of travelling with another person for me is forking over money to do things that I don’t have that much interest in. This is by far the number one reason I love to travel alone.
2. Personal growth… and all that stuff. Travelling alone to Thailand actually gave me so much more confidence in myself. I had some scary experiences, but I came out of it completely unharmed and a stronger person. Scary experience 1 = missing my flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. This was my last flight of the three flight series to my destination, so I know it could have been much worse. After I learned that I missed my flight (I somehow got the time mixed up), I had a mini breakdown in the Bangkok airport and then figured out what to do by asking a person who works there. I was sent up to the little office of the airway that I was flying on, got a free cup of coffee, and got put on the next flight for $30 USD. Not exactly my favorite way to spend money, but I was so relieved. They then sent me to a free WiFi room with little treats and more coffee. I’m a sucker for coffee. It actually worked out quite well as I got to spend a few hours relaxing in the WiFi room and grab some food before my flight.
Scary experience 2 involved getting lost. Alone, after dark, with no cell service. Luckily I know that Thailand is a very safe place to travel, so I wasn’t as scared as I was annoyed. I was meant to meet a friend for a lady boy cabaret show and dinner. I missed both of these and ended up eating at some random restaurant, alone. I connected to WiFi at the restaurant and got back to my guesthouse by way of the main roads. Tip for Thailand – never try to get somewhere by going down the little roads. They are evil.
3. It’s cheaper. Guess what? Ever been on couchsurfing.com? You probably have heard of it considering I talk about it in nearly every post. Well, couchsurfing is primarily for solo travelers. If you are travelling as a couple, you will need to stay in a hostel or maybe try WWOOFing. Couchsurfing, however, is most likely the best thing known to mankind, as you literally stay in someone’s house, make a friend, and get a tour guide… for free. It sounds like a win-win-win situation to me, but most places only take one person at a time.
4. Meet new people. Travelling alone is a fantastic way to meet new people, as you are much more approachable when you’re alone. I’ve met some amazing people who were travelling through my hometown alone. I’ve actually made friendships with people who have come back here to see me. Make sure to get contact information! I made a friend in Portland staying at an Airbnb, missed out on getting contact info, and now I really wish I had.
Anything I missed? Let me know your tips and/or fears of travelling alone in the comments!