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.
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.