I Want to Travel, But I Don't Want to Travel Alone
18 November 2016 | Mri Grout
1. You Get to Go Where You Want To
Rob and I have fairly similar tastes, but even with us we both get dragged to somewhere we don't want to be and forced to do something we don't really want to do (or rather, watch the other one do). For me, it's mechanical displays like planes and cars and stuff. An hour's alright, but four!? Um...n-of course, babe; that sounds great! lols. And for him it's my obsession with dinosaurs and other "lame" for-kids stuff. And no, I don't mean he thinks the dinos are for kids; I mean I literally drag him to kids' entertainment programs and have no qualm with competing against or playing with twelve year olds. What, I really like face painting and coloring and playing with balloons. haha But when you travel solo, you only have to go where you want to go. You don't have to compromise with someone else or feel bad about wanting a detour to something only you will fully enjoy. There are way more benefits to traveling alone than just this, though. So if you think traveling solo still isn't for you, keep reading and hopefully you'll have the chance to experience one of life's greatest hidden treasures.
2. You Don't Have to Go Half Way Around the World on Your Own
Traveling doesn't have to mean going abroad. It doesn't mean that you have to go somewhere exotic or foreign or even anywhere much different from home. You can travel just a few kilometres down the road for your first trip and build from there if you so desired. But if you didn't, then that's cool too because you would be surprised at how many treasures are hidden right outside your door. For instance, we spent six months in a small town in Spain where there was only one main street and yet, we still didn't get to the chance to see all of the free attractions located within a four hour's drive. So if you can already go shopping on your own or not need anyone looking after you for a full day, then you can definitely go on a solo adventure. Traveling really is as similar as that and if you need a bit more persuasion, then check out my short day trip to Preston.
3. The Solo Road is Rarely Lonely
As weird as it might sound, you actually meet more people traveling solo than you do than when you're with even one other person. You're simply more approachable on your own, both to other travelers and random people you meet on the way. You're also more available and flexible in accepting amazing opportunities like volunteering or working abroad. There are so many wonderful perks you just automatically get when traveling alone that you really have to work for when traveling with another. But even if what scares you about traveling solo is setting off on your own, you actually don't have to. re There are many opportunities out there to find a traveling buddy both while you're on the road and when you're about to go on it. Couchsurfing, a free site dedicated to getting travelers in contact with each other and locals, is fantastic for this. There are forums and groups available and each person has a profile to check out that's complete with reviews so you can make sure you don't meet up with a psycho. Another option are Backpacking Facebook Groups. You get a real community going in some of them and can find loads of people to meet up with.
4.Traveling With Others is So Overhyped
I love Rob, I really do - otherwise I wouldn't have married him - but traveling together isn't always easy and it's definitely not the constant sunshine and rainbows you always hear about from traveling couples. As a little exercise, think about when you and your friends or family or whoever you want to travel with get together to watch TV. Who gets to choose what to watch? Is it an easy decision or does an argument always pop up? Now think about you all going out to eat. Same problem? Then of course there's the whole hassle with 'living with' another person either in a van or in numerous hostels' rooms. If you think having roommates is annoying, try living with them in the same room without ever being able to leave. Yeah, traveling with others can be so overhyped.
5. You're Way More Capable Than You Think You Are
When I left for my very first adventure at a mere 19 years of age, I didn't even know how to feed myself anything other than a peanut butter sandwich. I wish I was joking, but I barely even knew how to work a microwave at that point (constantly being able to take work leftovers home made me really lazy...). Oh, and I also managed to get lost on a straight shot where the entire set of directions was 'go that way for one mile and then turn back around to come home.' I was completely hopeless when I set out and yet, I still managed to travel half way around the world without getting kidnapped, murdered, or have something else horribly happen to me. The world isn't as scary as the media makes it out to be. People are more friendly and helpful than not. And you, yes you, are way more capable than you think you are.
So What's Stopping You From Traveling Now?
After having traveled both with others and on my own, I can honestly say that traveling solo is just as good. In fact, it's even better in a lot of ways - as I already mentioned above! So where do you wish you could travel? Where do you wish you could spend the day or week relaxing? And are you finally going to realize that the courage you're looking for is already inside of you. (: See you on the road!
Travel Tip #4
Do you have any other budgeting tips for when on the road? If so, we'd love to hear all about them in the comments below!