Is being on your own really an excuse not to travel the world? This latest article in the excuse buster series argues that it isn’t.
In the previous article in this series I talked about the excuse of the relationship. How people say they can’t go travelling because they have a boyfriend, a girlfriend or a family, or whatever. But as soon as people complain they can’t go travelling because they are with someone, then the next person will complain that they can’t go backpacking because they are on their own!
I can’t win! It’s like people are making up contradictory excuses to cover all bases now!
So now in the sixth article in the excuse buster series I want to talk about the ‘I’m on my own’ excuse, and why it isn’t really an excuse at all.
Why people don’t want to travel solo.
Many people almost have an innate fear about travelling alone, it is as if their fear of the unknown, fear of change and following their dream is somehow magically suppressed if they have someone to go with, so they fall back on the excuse, ‘I can’t go, I’m on my own’!
Well so what?
Backpacking by yourself, or travelling solo, is in my opinion one of the best ways to travel. That’s what I did the very first time I went away on an extended trip and it was one of the best experiences of my life!
Travelling with someone can be good, don’t get me wrong, but travelling alone can be great.
When you travel solo you have nothing or no one to worry about except yourself. You can do what you want, when you want to do it and the only person you have to worry about is you. You are essentially your own boss, if you want to do something, you can do it. If you fancy changing your plans at the last minute to go hiking up a mountain just to see what is at the top, you can. If you want to have a lazy day and sit in your hammock to finish that book, you can do that too.
There isn’t anyone or anything to stop you from doing whatever you want.
There are countless people, both male and female, who go travelling alone every single year – sometimes for extended periods of time – without any problems arising from the fact they are travelling alone whatsoever.
Of course many people do get concerned about inevitable loneliness if you are travelling alone, but you will always find that there are other backpackers around to talk to, many of whom may be travelling alone too, and it is easy to simply have a chat or ask for advice, or even team up for a day or two to share costs of transport or accommodation.
This is especially true in the type of places backpackers tend to frequent such as hostels or budget accommodation, internet cafes (although much less so now with the ubiquitous free wifi and smartphones and pads everywhere), or bus, coach and train stations. Of course there are always the locals you will meet along the way to chat to as well, so you will find that loneliness really is not an issue.
Saying that, to do this you will need at least a degree of confidence and a slightly extrovert nature, striking up a conversation with a complete stranger will be much more difficult if you are the shy, retiring type. There is no getting around that. But just because something is a little more difficult, that doesn’t make it impossible! In fact solo travel may even give you the confidence you needed to do just that!
Not having anyone to travel with is absolutely no reason not to go backpacking or travelling the world. The level of confidence travelling alone gives you cannot be understated. You will develop more as an individual, learn more about yourself and become ultimately self sufficient. You will have the adventure of a lifetime and achieve something that you can be proud of.
So stop making excuses and go!
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