Do you travel alone? Do you ever (or always) get asked why? Do people pity you for it?
I love travelling alone. And I get asked „why“ a lot. And I think a lot of people feel sorry for me.
But really, there is no reason to. I actually love to travel alone.
I have always been an independent person. My parents say it started when my brother was born when I was 2 years old. I have never had THE one best friend. Of course, I always had a best-friend-at-the-time, but those would change every few years, as we grew older and we grew apart.
Also, I am not much of a relationship person. My last long-term relationship ended very long ago and I also don’t date much. I am pretty happy to be by myself. And after a while, you become quite selfish and it is hard to compromise for a relationship when your life alone is fun and fulfilling.
So, of course, I travel alone. And I like it! Mostly because I never stay alone for long. It is so much easier to meet people when you are not in a group, or a couple, for that matter.
I also sometimes go on group tours. Yes I know, *group tour*, but it is hiking in the desert, or horse riding in cool places. And you just can’t do that on your own.
So why do people look down on or pity others who travel alone? Is it because they couldn’t imagine themselves travelling alone? Because they are scared? Because they would be lonely? Because they cannot be by themselves?
Being alone has never scared me. Well, being in a dark alley in the wrong part of town definitely scares me, but that is not what I mean. I have never been scared of being alone. And I very rarely get lonely.
I actually feel sorry for people who cannot do anything by themselves. Eat out. Shop. Go to the movies. Live.
When you travel together you always have to compromise. You can never just do what you want, when you want it. You don’t meet many new people. A lot of people end up arguing, fighting, breaking up, be it friendship or relationship. I know a few people who had their holiday/travels ruined because of this.
And yes, I get it, I am a hypocrite for saying I pity them and they should not feel sorry for me!
I couldn’t imagine travelling with any of my friends for more than a week. I just need too much time to myself. And I love to sit in a cafe and read and people watch for hours. They would just get bored. Also, I like to hike alone. It is pretty meditative and I can really sort my thoughts.
I actually quite enjoy going to movies or the theatre by myself too. Also, I don’t mind eating out alone. I always bring a book or Sudoku, and sometimes I just meet people anyways. When I travel for work I have to eat out alone quite a bit. But I don’t mind. After a busy day, I enjoy the peace and quiet.
I realize this post sounds like I am a totally selfish person. And maybe I am. I am just not willing to compromise on the things that make me happy! Is that so bad?
I also realize this makes me sound like a loner. Which I am not. I love being around people. Meeting new people. I just don’t need them around me constantly.
It’s what I love most about travelling alone. Meeting new people every few days, or hours. And then we separate, never to meet up again. Or in rare cases, we do meet again, in another time and another world.
So, if you are a shy or introverted person, should you travel solo? In my opinion, yes, definitely! I am sure you will find it much easier to approach a stranger in a hostel than in your hometown. Easier to have a meal with other people at a night market in Asia than in your local favourite restaurant. And even if you have a hard time finding the courage to talk to strangers, they might just come talk to you. I know I would!
So what do you have to lose? Only like a million cool experiences, friendships, personal growth and the awesome feeling of overcoming your fear. And much much more.
Good for you Eva! Totally get the best friend thing and sharing holidays with friends only for it to cause angst. Enjoy every second! And….. I was lucky,we did meet again after we met in Wyoming. Looking forward to seeing this blog develop. Happy wanderings hobo xx
Oh! by the way! I forgot to tell you that we have another thing in common: I’m a doctor too. I’ve read in your profile that you are a Radiologist, I’m an Orthopaedic surgeon… maybe there’s a connection between medical profession and the passion for travelling ????????
Hi Eva! I’ve found your blog through Amanda’s Thoughtful Travel podcast and facebook group. Today I’ve read what you write about travelling alone, and I’ve felt sooo identified with you!. I’m and independent (and maybe shy and intronspective) person, who travels alone most of the time.. and I enjoy it a lot. My friends are always teasing me because they think I must have a secret boyfriend or something ????.. they don’t quite understand my solo trips. Congrats for your blog, what I’ve read so far is really interesting!!. Nice to meet you and merry Christmas! ????