Over the last decade, I have traveled with both, friends and tour groups; however, the majority of my travels have been solo.
Solo traveling is exciting. There is no greater buzz than standing in an airport preparing to board a plane to a far off country all by yourself. The thrill of adventure and the unknown is amplified when traveling solo.
However, like every mode of travel, it is a two-sided coin; it has its good and its bad. Here are some of the pro’s and con’s of traveling solo, and why I think everyone should try their hand at it at least once.
Pro – One of the biggest pro’s of traveling solo is the intense sense of freedom that is at your fingertips.
Do not like where you are at this very moment? If not, you simply book a ticket and leave.
Want to stay in a city longer? No, problem, you can!
Traveling solo means you call the shots.
You can go where you want, when you want. The thrill of the entire world being an open book ready to be explored is amazing.
Realizing, you get to navigate it as you see fit is indescribable. When you travel with tour groups or even with friends, you have to take into account what the entire group wants to do.
Sometimes it is frustrating to come so far to visit a country and still miss some of the sights and experiences on the top your list because the majority of your group wanted to move on.
Con – Traveling solo can sometimes be lonely. There is a lot of down time traveling such as waiting in airports, bus stations, trains.
When this happens it is easy to get lonely. You find yourself in a very busy but transit place and chances are there will be none one to talk to.
Sometimes while traveling you experience something that you wish you could share with someone.
For instance, there are times when you look at the sunset and wish someone was with you to enjoy it.
Pro – The sense of adventure of navigating the world is priceless. Traveling between and into foreign cities, wandering around a city where you can’t read the signs or speak the language, trying to find your bearings and locate the essentials can be extremely overwhelming.
However, soon the unfamiliar become extremely comfortable and you feel a deep sense of accomplishment knowing that you are connected to this world on your own.
Con – The first couple weeks can be extremely difficult and some people who travel solo get homesick quick during this period.
The foreign seems too overwhelming and well…..foreign. I have met many people that couldn’t take it and headed home.
Pro- Traveling solo you meet many more people than what you normally do when traveling with people.
When traveling in groups, people tend to get clicklock. You meet a lot of people, but you tend to hang out with your group.
However, when you are alone other backpackers become like your family. I find myself much more outgoing and will talk to anyone for hours when traveling alone.
Con- When you are travel alone, you feel almost secluded. There is a lot of busi-ness surrounding you and sometimes you are even apart of it, but then everyone, including yourself goes a different way. Even returning home can make you feel almost secluded, as if no one understands the wonderful experiences you just had.
Pro – Traveling with friends strengthens your bond. You have a once in a lifetime experience together, figure out mistakes together, and immerse yourself in other cultures together.
You share a unique and precious memory and whenever you see one another again, you almost instantly pick up where you let off as if no time had past.
Traveling solo has it pros and cons, but I think it is a great experience as it opens up the world in unforgettable ways.
It has changed my life in many ways. I recommend solo travel for everyone at least once in a lifetime. Perhaps, it will lead to discovering a whole new world.