Published by Johnny Ward on February 10, 2012
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:
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.
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!