Traveling Solo

May 12, 2010
By canuckingabroad
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Alone you say? Really? Nobody wanted to come with you? Don’t you get bored? Lonely? Scared?
Ah, the myriad of pointless questions and assumptions directed to the lone traveler. Even if I did get lonely and scared, would hearing somebody else imply that they ‘figured as much’ really be relevant? That’s like saying ‘a hernia eh, isn’t that uncomfortable?’. But if you must know-no, no I don’t.

Taking off and traveling all alone can be a daunting decision. My advice to you is to book your ticket, get on the flight and worry about it later. If you always make it tomorrow’s problem, I promise you, you will never have to deal with it. And before you know it, you’ll have been alone for 5 months, made imperative self discoveries, countless realizations, and had one hell of a time.

I’ve attempted traveling with partners before, yet both times I ended up flying solo. So I figure why fight the inevitable. I prefer to travel alone. First of all, it’s an adventure, and more importantly, it’s MY adventure. I come and go as I please. I eat what, where and when I want. And I am really only alone when I chose to be. Provided you are not socially retarded, you will always have plenty of company if you want it. Just don’t be afraid to talk to people. The beauty of this is that you can pick your friends based on pure compatibility. Travelers are, for the most part, very cool and like-minded people. Before even meeting someone, you at least have one thing in common. You are bonded by a sense of adventure which can go a long way in a friendship. You probably won’t hit it off with everyone you meet but the great part is that you have no obligation to continue the relationship. Breaking up with them is easier than getting your buddy to pass along the note in math class. Just move in a different direction. And with those you do get along with, you will find a special bond that makes a two week traveling relationship on par with a 5 year friendship at home. I have had many short term travel partners which I still talk to quite frequently and would consider them friends for life. We have shared wild and memorable experiences which only they and I were apart of. You get to know your new friends really fast when you share a bed with them and the Thai hooker they picked up. And you know it is really special when you all go for coffee in the morning.

There is a lot to learn about yourself as well. Since you are always on point, you do not have the luxury of going with the crowd. Life is too easy when you follow the crowd all the time, which is a very common rut to fall into. When forced to make every single decision, you quickly learn how to think on your feet. Being alone in a foreign country will really test what you are made of, making you a leader and giving you confidence in both your decisions and your abilities.

I think we rely on others for way too much. Have you ever eaten out alone? A simple necessity, and yet something I bet many people have never even thought of doing. And why not, is the dinner conversation really that intriguing? What about a small trip to get away for the weekend? Well that would be just the tip of the ice burg. Lone adventuring may not be for everyone, as it can be tough at times. But you can’t claim that if you have never tried it. It is an incredible experience that just might change your life. What have you got to lose?

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