I love my alone time. I crack myself up, I could easily spend an entire day reading, and I find parties to be an absurd form of torture. That being said, even I get tired of traveling solo 24/7. Every now and again I want some company. Someone to bounce ideas off or to tell me that, yes, that is a dangerous idea and, no, I shouldn't do it. Like anything in life, there's a lot of great things about traveling solo. But there are also a lot of challenges. Here's a bit about both...
Why traveling solo is the best thing you can do for yourself
I'm always shocked by the number of people I know that have never gone to a restaurant on their own. I can't start to count how many times I have eaten solo, in public, with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
It's natural to be a little bit scared of ourselves. What secrets lie in that silence and solitude that we work so hard to avoid? The only way to find out is to dive head first into that silence and let your quietest side burst forth. Anyone who has traveled solo will tell you that their solo adventures taught them more about themselves than they knew was there to learn.
When you travel solo you learn to trust yourself, listen to yourself, take care of yourself, and, most importantly, love yourself. You become your own best friend and you learn that when you have a little faith in yourself, there's nothing you can't do.
Why we all need a break from ourselves some times
On the flip side, too much time by yourself can be dangerous. You risk getting trapped in your own head and forgetting how to compromise and play nice with others. Anyone who has traveled solo knows how difficult it can be when you travel with others again and can't just do whatever you want whenever you want. It's the same thing most college students experience during their first summer home after getting a big taste of independence.
Whether it's joining fellow travelers for a night out or inviting your friend from home to come travel with you for a few weeks, it's as important to learn the joys of traveling with others as it is to learn the joys of traveling solo.
Every person you will meet along the road has a unique perspective. By listening to and interacting with these people, you open yourself up to unimaginable experience. It's impossible to share the life-shattering experience of travel with others without learning from them.
Traveling with other people can provide safety, a built-in social life, and a variety of unique challenges. And you may be surprised to realize how much other people can teach you about yourself.
There's no wrong way to travel
When all is said and done, there's really no wrong way to travel. Whether you are totally alone for months on end or spend every minute surrounded by your peers, you are bound to learn a lot and grow along the way. I think it's healthiest to strike a balance between the two, but what matters most is that you get out there and find your adventure.