Solo travel is all the hype right now, and I want to get in on it…eventually. At the moment solo travel is not my first choice, so why do I feel like it should be?
At a point I thought it was my only choice, so I booked a Contiki tour, flew to London by myself, and then spent the next 2 months traveling across Europe with some amazing people before meeting up with some friends and family. And that’s why a lot of people choose to travel solo, to meet people.
Every solo traveler I have met will always tell you that the people are the best part, that you make the best of friends, and that it was all worth it.
And I completely agree.
I went solo to Phuket for a few days and met people to hangout with, and I spent some time alone, and that was okay too.
But lately, especially when I first started travel blogging, I began feeling guilty for not traveling solo, and even more so for not wanting to.
I thought that people wouldn’t see me as someone as brave as solo travelers, that they wouldn’t think my information would be as useful, and that I was missing out by not getting in on the craze while it was still a craze.
The truth is that I don’t like solo travel all that much. No, I haven’t done a ton of it, and no, I’m not saying that I’ll never do it again. But it’s time to tell myself that it’s okay to want someone to be there with you. What’s wrong with a constant companion through your travels? My companions happen to be my best friends, who love travel like I do, and who want to share their experiences with me.
That to me is very important, extremely heart-warming, and makes me feel grateful for the few friends I have (girls you know who you are!).
I think there is a lot to be learned from solo travel, just search solo travel in Google and you’ll find loads of inspiring articles about it. People grow so much as individuals through solo travel, they challenge themselves, learn organization, planning, and develop amazing people skills.
All true, but I was only allowing myself to think of the positives of solo travel. What about traveling with someone? What’s wrong with that?
Traveling with someone can be, in my opinion, as difficult and as much of a learning experience as solo travel. You have to share roles and responsibilities, learn to trust someone else, and work on your relationship/friendship constantly. Being around the same person always can be tough, so self-control can become a skill (I know I get annoyed when I’m with the same person always). You learn about balance, giving and taking, and about yourself too.
I’ve had to remind myself multiple times that traveling with someone was not giving up on solo travel, that I was no different as a traveler, and that I’m just as brave.
I’ve quit multiple jobs, moved to Thailand by myself, and found ways to make travel work for me in many different ways. I was still a brave, and adventurous traveler, experiencing the world how I wanted to see it and with whom I wanted to see it with.
Just because solo travel is all the hype doesn’t mean that you have to be a part of it. I’m a strong believer that solo travel is not meant for everyone, though I do encourage everyone to try it at least once. I did, and I learned that it’s not always for me.
I sometimes feel the peer pressure to travel solo when every fifth article I see is about traveling solo. Woah, flashback to high school all over when peer pressure was the real deal.
Solo travel is so beneficial, but so is traveling in itself, no matter how you’re doing it.
I shouldn’t feel guilty for not getting out there on my own. I should feel thankful and happy to have people who want to travel with me (this is nothing against solo travelers!). I should feel proud that I’ve helped to encourage some of my friends to travel and experience the amazing wonders and change that travel brings to our lives.
Just because solo travel is the most talked about way of travel right now doesn’t mean I have to do it, and I certainly shouldn’t feel guilty about not participating in it.
So go ahead and keep publishing all the articles about how beneficial and amazing solo travel is, because it is. But don’t tell me that I should only travel solo, that it’s the only way to travel in order to truly grow, or that I’ll learn more from traveling solo. Traveling with people you already know is okay, just as well as traveling with someone you just met is.
Here’s to all types of travel being equal, influencing experiences, and the times of our lives.