Many people turn their nose up at the idea of being a single traveller. Branching out on your own into the wilderness of the world. But is this really the case? Is it such a scary and intimidating thing to do? Well let me tell you more about it, and then you can make up your own mind?
So lets start with the simple facts. What are the advantages and disadvantages of travelling alone?
- The time and budget are completely your own. You are in charge of where you go and when, and how long you stay there, and even how much you spend.
- It is a lot easier to meet new people, make friends and to become acquainted with the locals.
- The trip is about you and your time, therefore you only have yourself to please.
- You are much more flexible when you travel alone, therefore if, for any reason, there were any hiccups or complications, you would find them much easier to deal with.
- Travelling alone gives you a divine sense of freedom like no other. You make the decisions, you can go wherever you want whenever you want.
- Many people see it as an adventure, and as a form of therapy. I always hear the term ‘finding yourself’ as a little bit of a flakey statement. But I guess that is what being a single traveller is actually about. Building your self-confidence, self-accomplishment and reviving your beliefs.
- I guess a bit of a disadvantage of travelling alone is that you have to carry your own luggage with you at all times, as there is no one to keep an eye on it.
- Travelling alone can also be a little more expensive, as there are things like single supplements and costs etc.
- It can, at times, be a little bit lonely.
What advice can we give anyone who is thinking of travelling alone?
Although you may feel free and alive on your adventure, you must also try to keep somewhat level-headed. It is all about using your instincts and trusting them to the ut-most. Things like:
- Making sure you travel to new destinations during the day time.
- Travel to a place where the language is the same, or where you know the language well. This tends to avoid any communication problems.
- Make sure you let someone know you are going and where you are. You must keep in regular contact throughout your trip, so that someone knows where you are.
- Travel with the essentials, and do not over-load yourself with luggage.
- Do not carry valuable items.
- Always ensure that you have a medi-pack with you, that also contains fluids.
- Sometimes, it is worth paying that little bit extra for security and comfort.
- Try to make some friends, and get to know the locals. You will get a lot more out of your trip through learning from the natives, and being welcomed into their culture. This may also have another advantage, as you may even be invited to return again one day.
I hope there points have been of some use. Although being a singe traveller may sound a bit scary, it is only because to the majority of us it is un-known. I recently watched a film called ‘The best exotic marigold hotel’ (the screen play written by Ol Parker, directed by John Madden, and based on the novel by Deborah Moggach). It is about a group of older people who travel to India, some alone, some in pairs. But they go to “find themselves”. Aside from that fact that the film has a wonderful cast, it is a story of how people overcome their fears and learn to love a place, literally from the ground up. It is the story of how someone travelling alone, suddenly makes friends, and then later becomes part of a community. Although it is a fictitious display, it is a film I would highly recommend if you are considering travelling alone.