Why I travel solo, and how it started

Why I travel solo, and how it started
Bagna birmania

 

Why travel solo? Isn’t depressing? Or boring or dangerous? So why should a person decide to travel solo? And why more and more people are likely to make this choice of travel? Why did I decide to pack up and go without even trying to find a companion to share this moments?

 

I have been traveling solo for almost 4 years, blogging since then and from email I receive everyday this is the most asked question.
The main reason why I did it the first time is that no one has proposed to come with me. No candidate in a competition never actually laden.
A journey is a beautiful event that we do so for long or short periods, excited by the choice made I did not even begged the company, nor asked around if anyone was willing to leave their jobs for six months and follow me. I did not need it, and above all I already knew that the general response was “I would love to but …..”.
So the main reason that is typically behind the choice of traveling alone is that you do not find a companion. Simple!

 

But are there other reasons that encourage us to make this choice?

Travel with someone, I mean trips that exceed the weekend and the week in which the company even if isn’t the perfect one won’t harm anyway, it’s like living in a relationship, there is a commitment to be together, to make decisions and share decision, discuss them and find compromises.

 

Things then go far beyond the “travel together” and the need to have company. Sometimes you have to give something up just to make happy the other person. When traveling with someone you must be ready to give up with your selfishness, if we want to see in romantic terms, set aside what I want to do to accommodate even the counterparty and vice versa, of course, keeping in mind that there is a risk: ruin friendships of years or discover that the friend you are traveling with is a good one but when at home!

Hence therefore the need to weigh well the choice of travel partners or begin to consider the possibility of going away on your own.

But there are real benefits to doing it?

Bocas del toro Panana
Io a Bocas del Toro, Panama

Why you should travel solo – A few reasons why you should give it a try

I’ve been thinking a lot about it, knocked out a number of ideas, read in various blogs about the subject and I pulled my conclusions or plausible reasons. Here are the main reasons why to travel alone, more than the one I guess let us make, and I would like them summarized in the following points. Your comments and suggestions as always  are welcome!

  • I am tired of everything and everyone. I need a break! 
    This is the second reason that pushed me to go away for a few months and do it alone. I had the need to disconnect with the past and all it could remind me of it. I was looking for a sort of new beginning and a traveling companion would have been like an umbilical cord that would have not helped me to cut. I was looking for a new beginning and I felt I could just found it alone.
  • If I don’t do it now I won’t probably do it in the future
    By dint of waiting the right moods of others it turns out that even we will never be what we would do instead. So I made my first trip alone in 2004, I had just realized that if I had to wait for someone joinig me to a trip to Morocco then it wouldn’t have happened. Now or never, that’s it … because in 20 years I don’t want to say  “if only I had done what I wanted, perhaps I would not be here to regret things undone rather than those made”? Not worth it!
  • I want to meet new people
    At the beginning perhaps traveling alone is a bit more difficult but the sense of survival pushes us to open ourselves to others much more than we would do if we travel with a friend who becomes our microcosm. Are we alone? Willy-nilly we have to make friends with someone.
  • I want to experience freedom
    Some people have always done things their way despite what others want us to do, like myself. Others find it difficult to make decisions without leaving intrude someone (family, lovers, friends, relatives and so on …).
    Traveling alone let you physically move away  from these voices that intermittently disturb our stances and do not let us do, even if subliminally, what we really want. Out of sight, away from the heart, we finally find out a bit of time to make our own decisions in complete independence and freedom and take on the responsibilities of victory or failures.
  • I am scared but I want to take the risk
    Sometimes the only way to overcome our fears is to face them … or go to analysis! The reactions of each are different, but the biggest prove is to admit that you are afraid of something and deal with it. If you are afraid of loneliness it is worth giving a chance to yourself and go away for a while and then remove this “monster” that we have create and realize that ,often, our fears are beliefs that we thought were real or symptom of a culture that has been inculcated but also without real foundation.
  • For once in my life I want to make the decision 
    This ground usually comes from a break with our daily life. Maybe we feel forced into a cage, every day we are told what to do and how. We just want to take back the reins of our life and the only way to do this is to switch off and go away.
  • I am not good at compromises 
    want to travel and have time but hate to deal with compromises even when it is needed as when traveling. Call me selfish but not everyone likes to have to discuss every little movement. There is nothing wrong if the journey is an event that you want to live selfishly, we’re not stealing anything to anyone, just go there to make decisions without arguing with someone, too fussy or too arrogant, following instead what your instinct tells you to do.
  • I am more scared in traveling with other that on my own
    I thought about this very often especially when I met friends who were fighting all the time or were in constant discussions. Happy to be alone and think, as an old italian saying: better alone than in bad company. It doesn’t mean that the partner is a bad company but sometimes a journey is sometimes really intense and it proves you. If your travel companion feels the same then little trobules can become bigger and bigger. Of course you can continue to travel alone … but you have lost a friend.
  • I want to feel free to stop into a place I like 
    I plan to stay long in some Countries longer than I was supposed to. I hate “tour de forces” and I want to feel free to stop when and where I feel like without having any real predetermined route.
  • I just want to make a change
    This was not the cardinal motivation of my solo trip but it turned out being a pretty important one. As a solo traveler I revolutionized my life, it was not only a beautiful journey but it changed me a lot. I discovered myself being even more essential than I was already , stronger than I thought, more courageous than I could admit. I have seen and reviewed my past and present life thousands of times and I swerved on several occasions following what instinct told me. I do not know actually what will happen from here in four months but I feel I have embarked on a path quite different from the one I thought was the right one just two years ago.
isabel a island galapagos
Io a Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Why I travel solo

For those who follow me know that I write the travel time in solitary enough and on several occasions I said that for me the solitude has never been a real obstacle. I learned to live alone and to appreciate the moments when I do not have people around. I learned to come forward with people whenever I want company and know when to say no instead getting back to my room spending time in silence or enjoying my own company. And I do enjoy it!

The basic problem, and you don’t have to be psychologist or an expert to understanding it, is that we are all afraid of loneliness, that too often project their own needs and the needs of other people, as if they alone were not able to sbrigarcela.
Loneliness, such a terrible word that echoes in our heads, the absence of a friendly face makes us feel as lost in a world inhabited by billions of other people, and these people are scary. The alien terrorizes and unleash the innermost fantasies and macabre.

The moment I decided to travel alone I have not even considered the problem, there was no company and I just wanted to go.
I decided to go away knowing that none of my friends wanted/could come with me. That was enough.

Have I ever been afraid of traveling alone?
Actually no. Or not of travel alone but I got scared when I realized that the taken decision could have changed the direction of my life. And YES that was scary.

My fear wasn’t related to the fact that I was alone, it was instead related to the fact I started questioning my life on a personal level.
When I learned the difference between being alone and radical change on a personal level I thought “Giulia, this is the time where you have to prove that you have balls”.  (do you say this in english? If not I am sure you understand what I mean :-).
24 hours later the fear was gone.

Traveling alone forces us to rethink behaviors and attitudes, old habits or acquire new and different.
we must set up new rules, in fact we experience freedom of our choices but that freedom means likewise give us also limitations and learn how to manage your life in stranger places so far away from people we love (and we are loved).

Traveling alone has basically taught me one thing: Freedom doesn’t mean doing what I want to do indiscriminately, it rather means doing what I want without missing a sense of responsibility, that is bigger when I am away from home.

What is your say about it?  Have you been traveling solo? If so, why? Let me know what you think about it!
Cheers from South Africa!

Giulia Raciti

Esperta di Africa e Latino America sono in viaggio perenne dal 2011. Ho fatto un giro del mondo in solitaria durato 3 anni. Mi occupo di realizzazione viaggi personalizzati e su misura in Africa e Sud America

Questo articolo ha un commento

  1. Candy

    Good point. I hadn’t thoguht about it quite that way. 🙂

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