Travel solo or not to travel solo? That is the question!
Having traveled solo for more than 3 years makes my answer clear: yes to traveling alone, but while recognizing the great thing about this mode of travel, because this is what is about, on the other hand, I do not want to demonize even the other possible ways, nor want to make of the traveling alone THE jOURNEY best of all.
Because it is not.
The traveling solo definitely has its pros and, let’s face it, most of us, lone travelers, have made this choice in the first place out of necessity, the most basic and simple that you can imagine: not to have company.
From there the transition from thinking to do to really do is a great stumbling block, that I maybe take for granted make it sound so simple, but that for many it is not so immediate.
Traveling alone is scary, because it is an uncertainty and as is known, it is a certainty, that if anything should happen or simply the fact of feeling alone, you have to learn to know how to deal with it without the support of anyone.
I have suffered a lot the loneliness during my months of traveling in Asia. Hostels that are not so many, so the number one factor, that to meet friends on their way, is missing.
At that point, one has to be a bar person, one that goes to the bar armed with goodwill to chat with strangers (not me), or to take part in organized tours where it is easier to socialize (more me), or the possibilities to tag along with someone else will decrease exponentially.
Because traveling solo does not mean staying alone but it means to go somewhere alone and then get to know other travelers that, hopefully, follow your own path. It means having the liberty to choose traveling companions but also to strive to find them.
Fear number 1, and the more I think the more I believe that everything revolves around this: to be left on your own. Understandable.
But about the benefits of traveling alone I have written and many others too have done so and I’m not here to dwell on the pros and cons.
What does not result to me and that I try to explain in this post, is this craze to want to necessarily make of the traveling alone trip as the best absolutely when in reality it is nothing more than one of the numerous ways of traveling.
Traveling solo is not the best way to travel, mind you, I am not saying neither the worse nor the so and so, otherwise I would have been crazy, I am simply saying that it is one of several ways to do it and with the same dignity.
I think everybody should do at least once in the life, but, on the other hand, I don’t think it’s necessarily the only real way we have to enjoy our travels.
I have traveled for many years solo, therefore, I think, I can be arrogant to the point of being able to say that I have done a lot of experience in the field.
It was during my last trip to Morocco, that I did not do alone, and that gave me back at the same time the desire to get back on the move, when I realized how my travel perception had been deeply changed from 2011.
The only certainty I have is that if on one hand there is the desire to return to travel, on the other, the very idea of doing it again on my own, tires me and no longer calls my attention, not all the time.
As I say in all haste, I do not think I can/want to do it alone anymore, not for the long periods that I allow myself, unless it is about living for a while somewhere in semi-permanent fashion.
I’ve had enough time to know myself, I’ve had time to become probably stronger and more determined than what I already was, as well.
Icarry with me every single day the lessons from the past journeys I have learned, but it is not what I believe suits me anymore me.
Traveling alone is definitely a concrete step towards independence. One becomes independent and learns to adapt to everything and to everyone, in some ways also authoritarian and perhaps uncompromising. The lone traveler always takes decisions without consulting anyone, not even his temporary travel companions, makes decisions without too much regard for others, and whatever happens he knows that everything depends only and exclusively on his own self.
So far so great. But let’s come to the dark side of this glittering situation.
It’s hard to feel the weight of your decisions knowing that you cannot discuss it with anyone, tiring in some situations to make friends, to be nice when in truth you’re pissed black or you’re not in the mood to chat or to make jokes, you’re tired and you just want someone who can keep you company for the next 15-hour trip. You would like to be able to share that beautiful sunset and that beautiful sunrise with someone you know and that had done a journey with you not just another random person, you want to have someone near that when you have a fever of 40 will bring you a bowl of soup, and I could go on for much longer.
It is not true that once you start to travel alone you not ever going to stop, and it will be for you the only and best way to travel. This is true for one year. For 2 maybe.
It’s true that you know you can do it and if you cannot find a mate it will not make you lose heart from this situation nor will you live it as a disadvantage if not as something that is impossible to realize in any other way, and so okay this way.
Spending a few months of solitary adventure, the joy of freedom, and it strengthens you, but eventually the sense of direction will progressively fade away so much so that: you either stop or you take your return. The weight of the journey in solitude at some point makes itself felt.
Traveling alone is an experience that I think should be done at least once in a life time. Then as you discover the world you realize that it’s really a shame not to share it with someone.
Is this not the real reason why we travel bloggers have decided to create this online diary?
I therefore ask the inveterate lone travelers: if you had the opportunity to share the journey with someone on your same wavelength, are you still sure that you will not consider the possibility of sharing these moments with him/her rather than convince yourself that traveling alone is the best, if not the only way, to discover the world?