Traveling alone! Most people frown upon it as a sign of loneliness, a lack of fun, dangerous, or just plain out stupid. Everyone is surely entitled to there own opinions. One word I would like to generally tie to all of these responses is the word fear. Sure there is fear of loneliness or danger. Of course there is a fear of not enjoying ones self. I was once there. Typically, these mindsets share the common feeling of fear when it comes to travel alone or let alone doing anything alone just like going to the movies. Personally and oddly, I can easily go to the movies alone just because I love movies with a passion. Although I prefer company, If I really want to see a flick and can’t bring my girlfriend with me, unless she really wants to see it also, I just go alone and enjoy the movie. The same goes for traveling. Traveling alone is something I just do out of norm and by default. Although it can entail missing out on more moments, spontaneous group decisions, less safety or having that extra cameraman for that perfect picture, you do end up finding it easy to make decisions on the fly and worry less about who can afford what. As for having a girlfriend who wishes to travel but can’t right now, it does make planning solo trips slightly more painful.
If I do plan a trip to a new place overseas or within my side of the world, chances are I will travel alone and meet people along the way based on how my trips have turned out. Solo travel for me didn’t begin by choice though. Several years ago, a week after my college graduation, I made a stop in Miami for a few days before celebrating my first travel trip post-college in Key West. Ready for a nice celebration with about five people, the day of departure, I saw each individual back off for different reasons leaving me, my bag, my car and the road in front of me. Although the Florida Keys is not off the beaten path, a simple drive down the scenic US 1 changed my perspective for travel in an entirety. I left for the Keys with the hopes of enjoying myself and returned twice as satisfied as anticipated.
Later on, I’d find myself enjoying the island of Jamaica, Bermuda, and the cities of Toronto and Montreal alone with many more destinations possibly solo as well. But in general the appreciation of having a plus one, two, or three would be better, I still do not let invitation stand ups hold me back. You are more than welcome to come but I shall not be your chaperon. I just go! Do it now and while you can. Traveling solo does not mean you’re alone, you just don’t depend of the company of others to follow your dreams. It is a discipline and surely a lifestyle at this point. The world is far too big, life too short, and youth far shorter to say I can do it later. So if you want to go somewhere that may be difficult for other to tag along, don’t turn away from that dream. Just do a little research, go, be safe, and come back with great memories and no regrets.
Traveling, whether alone or not, you are bound to meet amazing people.