Solo Travel vs Travel Buddies

At times I feel as though I have always been alone. I’m an only child and it’s very easy for me to say that I have taken care of myself all by myself but that would be an untruth. If it were not for my mother I wouldn’t have succeeded in this life that I have existed in for the past 34 going on 35 years now. But since my adult years I have always done things on my own and have relied on myself to get what I want in order to be where I want. And my latest want is the want to travel. I have found that it is something that I really enjoy. So for the past 4 years I have enjoyed traveling to other countries with friends. But here lately I have had an itch to trek on my own.

Lately I have begun reading blogs about solo travel such as The Fearful Adventurer,Solo Traveler, Twenty Something Travel and Solo Woman Traveler. Who knew it was even a topic worth blogging about? Blogging topic or not, I don’t find any problem with taking a journey alone. My first venture was to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I learned that I had the guts to cross international borders without fear. My second solo journey was a recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, MX. There I without a doubt had the best time out of all my journeys solo or otherwise. But there lies the question in my mind of whether or not I’m courageous or just plain ignorant for doing such a thing. I guess a little of both. On my last travel to Mexico I purposefully didn’t tell anyone except for close friends that I was going on a solo vacay. I didn’t want to cause any unnecessary worry amongst my peers and co-workers. For me it was no problem to go traipsing off on my own and do my own thing. I mean, I’ve had 34 years of being an only child that has prepared me for it. But why do others find it so hard to do the same? I guess, if one is not comfortable enough with themselves to have a good time by themselves the concept is inconceivable.

Pros of going on solo travels run a neck to neck race with going it with a group of friends. I have found that vacationing on my own gives me a sense of wanting to explore more than when I’m with a group. Which some might argue is foolish and dangerous. When I see it as adventuresome and exciting. I also feel I wouldn’t have met the wonderful people that I met if I had my normal posse of travel buddies with me. Oftentimes they can deviate you elsewhere from where you’d like to go. I did my own thing without worrying about how others might feel. It felt good to know that I was my only companion. That I was able to make it on my own in a foreign place without playing leader or follower with my friends. A push from yourself can take you places and make you face up to certain things you would not normally do. I even found a joy in eating alone which is something I would never dare think of doing back home. There’s a sense of independence that only comes when you are by yourself, depending on yourself.

Not a self-pic. :-) Had a friend from there take it.
Not a self-pic. :-) Had a friend from there take it.

On the other hand traveling with friends is part of the fun of travel. Sharing experiences with them and learning more about one another from those experiences. Traveling with friends, just as in traveling solo, can help you better understand who you are as a person by how you interact with your travel mates. Knowing there’s someone else in the trenches with you is another reason to love traveling in a group. If money is short or when unsure about a situation there’s always someone there to help you out in a sticky sit-u and you’re so glad that they’re there. Have you ever seen something awesome and thought: “I wish such-and-such were here.” or you turn your head to tell your buddy how cool that was, yet no one is there to share that moment with you? So there’s still a delight in having others with you when you travel. Especially when you can be one another’s photographer. There’s just something odd about trying to take self-pics that just makes things kinda awkward and weird-looking to others passing by.

So again, what’s better traveling with friends or going it alone? Honestly I think it’s a toss up. They both have their pluses and minuses. At the end of the day you’re still on your vacay and hopefully will enjoy it no matter what, whether it be surrounded by a ring of your fellow traveling buddies or enjoying the company of your own intellect.

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Comments 18 comments

cookies4breakfast profile image

cookies4breakfast 4 years ago from coastal North Carolina

Thanks for sharing this! I totally agree. Sometimes it's just great to venture off by yourself, and sometimes, when you're in the mood, friends are wonderful travel companions. I spent two wonderful weeks in Egypt and had several fabulous trips to Puerto Rico solo, and as you say, I had unique experiences alone that I never would have had should my friends have been with me. Voted up and thanks again for sharing!


NiaG profile image

NiaG 4 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Thanks for taking the time to read cookies4breakfast. As long as we're cautious and safe I don't see why we can't happily do some solo traveling.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hiya: You been playin' in my manor, sweetcakes! I lived in La Paz (north of Cabo) for years. I hope you took in La Paz? For fun, Cabo San Lucas, but for peace and living, La Paz.

I have travelled with and without various women all my life. I am old now and alone, too, so I head off on my own. I never feel alone or lonely in Mexico, they are the most wonderful people to be around.

Nice photos. What beautiful hands you have (the rest of course, too) but I especially noticed your fingers.

Bob


NiaG profile image

NiaG 4 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Thanks diogenes! That's why I love that picture for the way I held my hands. It's so funny you noticed it too.

No I've not been to La Paz. A guy from there tried to get me to go with him but I opted out on that offer. But I always hear how beautiful it is there. I absolutely love Cabo. And the reason I am planning to move there is because it is so fun. Perhaps when I'm ready calm down a bit I will look to La Paz.

Thanks for stopping by...as usual! :-)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

I will be back there in October. (La Paz) I'll buy you a beer!

Bob

PS Please consider La Paz to live rather than Cabo which can get to be too much on the long term: of course, if you're that wild!!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

I've traveled a bit with friends and had fun - but solo travel is for me - I meet sooooo many interesting people. It seems people leave you alone if you are with someone but want to say hello or include you in their group if you are alone - so much kindness in the world. I've traveled much of the world alone on my schedule and it has been fantastic.

Hope you have a great time where ever you chose to settle down. Yay!


NiaG profile image

NiaG 4 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

I know BkCreative. It was my daily routine to go down and chit chat, learn some Spanish and get to know people. Loved it. And when I returned home I later found out some people were worried for me. Some people don't and won't get it. Not my problem.


NiaG profile image

NiaG 4 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

The only reason I fell in love with Cabo Diogenes was because of the beach. And I don't mean in a sense of beauty but because it's so busy with locals and tourists and there's a buzz there that I just love when I walk it. I feel I'm always meeting someone with a high energy. Maybe on my next visit I'll try to visit La Paz. It's about an hr away? I'm supposed to go to Cabo in the fall w/ some friends. In Oct. perhaps? ;-)


shermanblake profile image

shermanblake 4 years ago from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nice topic. Got me thinking. Traveling alone can sometimes lead some interesting and strange people to come into your atmosphere, that might not have otherwise if you are in a group. As long as its safe, those delightful and curious people may offer a person valuable memories....and stories to share for another day.


NiaG profile image

NiaG 4 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

You're absolutely right shermanblake. That's exactly how I feel. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!


Henry 4 years ago

YEah!!


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 3 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

I do a lot of walking alone in the woods and hills of Costa Rica. However, some have cautioned me to be careful in this regard, especially in tourist areas. Thieves abound. Be sure to ask about the safety of the areas that you want to go to. Being accompanied by a guide may be the best insurance of enjoying your trip safely.


NiaG profile image

NiaG 3 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Very true Randy. Thanks for the added tip. Hope you're enjoying Costa Rica. I bet it's a wonderful place to live.


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 3 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

There are perks!


NiaG profile image

NiaG 3 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Thanks appsthatpayyou! It's always a toss up when it comes to solo vs travel with friends. I still don't know which I like most. Have a good day!


Man of Strength profile image

Man of Strength 3 years ago from Orlando, Fl

Hi, Nia, that was an excellent hub. Your pics were great as well. I agree traveling alone gives you the chance to know yourself & enjoy yourself. At the same time, you want to share your experiences with friends & family as well. While alone, I've found myself saying, "I wish so & so was here."


NiaG profile image

NiaG 3 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Thanks Man of Strength! I know what you mean. I'm still torn on which is my favorite type of travel. Probably always will be. Thanks for stopping by!


Man of Strength profile image

Man of Strength 3 years ago from Orlando, Fl

Your welcome, keep up the good work.

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