Should I go Traveling Alone?

by Johnny Ward

Waking up in the morning not knowing where your next destination will be, making new friends from all corners of the globe, finding romance on some foreign shores – there’s nothing better than hitting the road but doing it alone can be scary. So scary that lots of people don’t have the cajones to follow it through, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of going backpacking alone:

Should I travel alone?

Pros:

1) Freedom. When social conformity dictates that we require a schedule, a routine, a Sunday afternoon tennis appointment yet all we want is freedom to do what we want on a daily basis, travel is the best solution. With solo travel you’re as free as you can ever be, you can forgot dreading Monday mornings, forget another argument with your partner about some mundane issue you can’t even remember and you can finally set yourself free. Pretty cool huh?

 

2) Personal development. Without getting too ‘new age’ on you guys, personal development is a great plus from some quality time to yourself on the road. A new-found confidence, independence and enhanced people skills are all qualities you can’t fail to pick up. People will be noticing the difference in you as soon as you come back, be prepared though – they’ll all still be the same, you most certainly will not.

 

3) Choice. Traveling in groups is all well and good but what happens when you wanna do A but your mates wanna do B? Conflict time. Traveling alone means you’re holding all the cards, you make your own rules and draw your own routes. No need for compromise here, it’s all on you. 

 Should I travel in a group?

Cons:

1)   Loneliness. Without doubt the biggest issue with traveling alone. Alexander Supertramp put it well when he said ‘True happiness is only known when shared’ and it’s hard to argue with that. That being said, we’re never truly alone on the road and remember everyone else in the same boat.

 

2)   Cost. Unfortunately traveling alone is more expensive. Cab fares, rooms and bottles of dodgy alcohol all become a lot cheaper when you’re splitting the bill between 2 or 3 more people. If you’re all on your lonesome, your footing the bill mate.

 

3)   Fear. Traveling can be a scary prospect, especially for first timers. Fears about safety, accommodation, transport, destinations – it can all get too much. If you’re traveling alone these emotions get amplified. But don’t worry, everything always works out fine.

 

So traveling alone is a big step to take, but one well worth taking. Try to think through your fears and understand that they’re really not so bad. It’s not anywhere near as dangerous as people think, just Compare Travel Insurance online, sort it out and you’re all good. Hitting the road with or without friends will undoubtedly be the best decision you ever made. Happy travels!

 

Johnny

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

26 thoughts on “Should I go Traveling Alone?

  1. mazza

    I’m off travelling in april to thailand, quiting my job and just going for it! I’m 33 and leaving alot behind to follow a dream.
    I just hope i dont have any regrets…. I’m very nervous about the hole idea but sure I’ll have fun! :)

    Reply
  2. Ruta

    I’ve been long dreaming about hitting the road and just travelling the world but… I’m affraid to do it alone. Actually, not because of the lonliness but because of my fear of being attacked – I’ve already been attacked a couple of times: when hitch-hiking and just in the streets in eastern Turkey. Luckily those times there were a couple of us to defend ourselves, so I guess I’m just scared of what if I’m attacked by some perv when I’m alone.

    I know this may sound silly but that’s pretty much my biggest fear that stops me. And, to be fair, the only way I can afford travelling is by hitch-hiking as I am literally empty-pocketed, so I guess I still have to manage my funds for the big travel step as I have no idea how to make money while on the road. For now I just try to enjoy one trip once in a while, although I’d love to quit everything and just hit the road.

    Anyway, I’m just really happy that I found your blog. I really admire you and can’t help but envy you (in a good way).:)

    By the way, maybe you have any tips for females travelling alone?

    Reply
  3. Joseph

    Most of my travels were done alone. and yes, while it gives you an awesome freedom, is does get lonesome, not to mention sometimes you just need to vent your frustration on someone (did I mention my trip to Israel with a truckload full of Russians? and I don’t speak Russian at all – that went really well, I must say).
    And also traveling with someone gives you a different perspective of a place.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey mate, yeah it’s true – a different perspective is always welcome, especially when you get jaded from being on the road so long. And i’m always keen to vent my frustrations :P

      Reply
  4. Natalie jones

    I found you travel blog randomly, and i just fell in love with your lifestyle! I’m planning to do the same ( my plan is to spend 2 years away) but i always find ppl to discourage me , so it’s good to see someone who has the guts to do it and share the wonderful experiences and lessons learnt. To be honest I’m quite unsecure to travel solo, because of the cons you listed , i think it can be dangerous ( specially when you are a woman, alone in a strange country). On the other hand i think is just marvelous to have all kinds of adventure, and being alone can make you have the iniciative to overcome any obstacle we may find on the way. As i’ve been saving up for years, most of the cities i will stay in hostels and i even arranged to stay in some guesthouses. Anyways just want to congratulate you for the blog and thank you for the nice tips ;)

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      Hey Nat,

      Thanks for checking out my site, and thanks for the kind words! I wouldn’t worry so much about the danger, especially if it’s quite a tourist-orientated country like Thailand, it’ll be safe as houses. Good luck and keep me posted!

      Reply
  5. Harrison

    I travel solo, mainly because, well … all my friends are either at 9-5 jobs, at college, or simply don’t have the funds to travel (most likely cause they are spending that money on other things instead of travel, as I believe everyone can definitely afford to travel!).

    So that leaves me to travel alone. And definitely agree that loneliness & fear are the two biggest worries, but on my travels, like you mention, us solo travelers are never alone. There’s a bunch of us around to share our experiences.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey harrison,

      i agree – everyone can afford it, but it’s a choice. Do you wanna sacrifice nice restaurants for a few months so you can spend 5 weeks longer traveling? Some say yes, some say no – but it’s definitely a choice.

      Reply
  6. Alex

    Solo travel is by far the best way to go. It seemed a bit daunting at first, but it’s something I came to love – the ultimate freedom if you like, and it can get addictive. There’s nothing better for a person’s development in life than by stepping out of your bubble back home into an unknown – but extremely friendly – environment. You’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey alex,

      it’s def daunting a bit at first but it really does help us develop as people. That being said, personally i prefer to travel with friends.

      Reply
  7. Michelle

    Great points! I love solo traveling…although I’ve never encountered loneliness. In fact, I usually have to sneak away from people every now and then to get some much needed alone time, haha.

    Reply
  8. Jodi

    I have traveled alone multiple times but only for a few days at a time. I just spent xmas and new yrs in Thailand and came back home (Florida) with an intense longing for more of southeast Asia. I am currently enrolled in a TEFL course and plan to return the beginning of this summer on a journey throughout those countries. I’m nervous but more excited. Hopefully i will be able to find teaching jobs along the way to fund this adventure for about a year.

    Reply
  9. Mark

    I’m currently a month in to a long solo trip starting in Jordan and hopefully ending in cape town.

    The whole time so far in Jordan and Egypt I have very rarely been alone and that is with very few tourists (backpackers at least) around. I find when you are on your own you are far more open to meeting new people, which is part of what travel is all about. I also find it nice to be on my own in certain places and do things at my own pace. It’s not for everyone sure, but I am extremely happy doing it so far.

    Just on the cost issue, I’m not sure if I 100% agree. Sure you can’t share costs as much but many places there are dorm options, there usually are alternatives to taxis too. Also, I find that when you are travelling with mates you are more likely to go out sit down at a restaurant rather than take some food in the hoof. More importantly, you are going to be more socially active and will end up going for that extra beer or 2 (or shisha and tea if you are in the middle east). On your own after a long day you are more likely going to read a book or something like this which costs nothing.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey mark,

      awesome! i did that trip in reverse 2 years ago, amazing! you definitely meet a lot more people when you’re alone, absolutely true! As you delve further into africa on this trip mate, dorms become a thing of the past. In tourist countries like JOrdan and Egypt, sure they’re available but not for long!

      Reply
  10. TinTin

    I enjoy travelling alone… I enjoy travelling with someone too. There were times that the person you’re travelling with get into your nerves, but it’s quite rare in my experience…

    Yeah, it can be lonely to travel alone. Esp when something bad happens and all you want is a hug or a cuddle from someone you know can really comfort you and there’s no one to give you one…

    Reply
  11. AJ

    Done it a few times but all for a few days to a week. Does that count? I guess it depends on where and for how long. Doing it solo in a city or on the beach somewhere for a week to 10 days sounds good (and sometimes very relaxing)…but definitely not a month long. ugh.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey Aj! of course it counts missy :P a month on your own is tough, but it normally doesn’t work out that way, you’re quite likely to meet someone on the way

      Reply
  12. sarafina

    i am literally getting on a plane in 6 hours to travel alone around asia for several months. this is the first time in my life that i’v ever done anything like this. i am scared, excited, and a whole bundle of other emotions. thanks for reminding me about both sides of the coin for what awaits!

    Reply
      1. sarafina

        starting in vietnam, then cambodia, laos, and hopefully burma, and then thailand. if you have ever been to burma and might have any tips, please def pass along! i am most nervous/intrigued by the prospect of visiting that country, but it doesn’t seem to be on everyone’s list!

        Reply
  13. angie

    I wholeheartedly feel solo travel is incredible. When I finally did it, I was so happy that I did. Sure there were times when I wished I had a partner with me to share experiences or sights. But, it was so wonderful to do exactly what I wanted when I wanted when I was on vacation. I also met lots of wonderful people from all over the world. I would never have met these people if I wasn’t alone.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *