Travelling solo is my mantra. Yes, travelling with a group has its own fun and adventures but when you are travelling alone, you get a lot more than you ever expected or thought about. Travelling alone is always a thing that I prefer.
With all the times of travelling alone, I have listed down a few points that I have thought of are beneficial to anyone who travels alone –
It will help you get out of your comfort zone
Travelling in group somewhat makes you feel comfortable and dependent. You tend to rely on your mates in many occasions. When you are travelling alone, you don’t have the luxury to depend on others. Yes, you can do that to a certain extent like relying on the locals but all the time, you will have to be aware of everything. This actually helps in coming out of your comfort zone and do something totally new and life changing.
Comfort zone is something we love to be in – it is the zone we give our best in. But as someone said, You will never develop in your comfort zone. And it is true. Until and unless you step out of our comfort zone, you will not learn something new, you will not be able to challenge yourself, you will not know your limitations or your true potential.
Success is all about being a little better than yesterday. It accumulates over time. Travelling helps you get better.
You can make plans and change plans as you wish
Ever been in a situation where you want to do something too much but couldn’t do that because someone else got late or is unwilling to do it? Happened to me on a number of occasions to be honest.
Travelling alone lets you make your own plans. You can either get up at 3 in the morning if you wish or sleep till late in the afternoon, again, if you wish. It is completely up to you. You can make your own plans or cancel or change it if you wish to do so.
This is also applicable when you are backpacking on your own and not going with some travel agency. You can make your own itinerary – change it if you wish to, like for example, if you came across a beautiful place with cool air blowing through your hair and kids playing with flowers and a beautiful stream flowing beside you – you can stay back and play with them the whole day if you want to or lie down on the grass and see the blue sky and be all philosophical about life thinking ‘What is life?’. You might achieve Moksha there, who knows! No one is there to push you to change it.
You will learn to rely on yourself – you are the hero in your own movie
Ever wanted to be the hero in your own movie? This is the chance.
You are the one who will do the adventures, you are the one who will fall and have to get up yourself, you will be the one who might meet the heroine of your movie anything and everything is possible.
When you are all alone travelling into the world, you will be able to rely more on yourself and your decisions as you will see that with time, your decisions will get better and better and you can see things more easily than you ever could. In time, you will be able to trust your instincts and perform better in every aspect of your life.
You can be completely thrifty – like shamelessly thrifty
Tell me honestly, how many times have you bought something or did something that have costed you more than you wanted to spend – especially because someone with you did/bought the same? Yes – there definitely has to be a lot of times and you can’t avoid those situation. It just comes to you every now and then. Travelling solo solves it all. You can avoid any unnecessary expenses, you can avoid those costly stalls and find the cheapest option there is. ‘You can be shamelessly thrifty’ – as I term it – when travelling alone. You need not worry what others are thinking about you, you can be you, you can save whatever amount you want to spend, any way you want to do.
You can make silly mistakes and do not have to explain it to anyone
There are times when we make a silly turn and walk/drive a long way realising we made a tremendous mistake doing that. This happened to me when travelling to Golaghat on my Enfield. I took a wrong turn and ended up in a tea garden, far from where I wanted to visit. But I had to explain no one. I laughed on my own – I laughed the whole way. Only after talking to some locals, I found the actual road. I literally extended the trip one hour with that one wrong turn. One another lesson – trust Google Maps only upto a certain limit. In remote places, Google Maps may not give you the best answers. Talk to the locals. Talk to a lot of locals.
When travelling alone, you can make those silly mistakes but that’s where the fun lies. Often times, these mistakes are the only moments that we remember our whole life. It is fun to remember those or share with others. These become good tea time talks in hostels or at the homes of your guests.
You will have enough time to work on your creative projects
When it comes to creative works like photography, videography or writing a blog etc, you need time to work on it. Travelling alone gives you a lot of time to work on those. You can give all your time in doing those things. As for example, when trying to get the perfect shot that is in your mind, sometimes we tend to spend a lot of time – like hours. You cannot possibly do that when someone is there waiting for you to finish the work. They might even try to kill you for that. Travelling alone gives you the independence to concentrate on your work without any responsibilities or commitments.
It will definitely improve your personality
I have seen that when we are travelling in groups, there are people like me who tends to push the work to someone else – like he will talk and bargain with the taxi, he will go and talk to the travel agent for the packages, etc. This will never be the case when it comes to travelling alone. You have to do everything on your own. You will have to be the person who goes up first and talk to the taxi person, you will have to bargain with the local shopkeeper for the apples that you are dying to eat. You are the hero in your movie.
Apart from the usual stuff, you will also be more responsible than you ever were. You cannot trust a lot of people when you are travelling and so you will have to be aware of your surroundings. When you are backpacking through a country, your backpack is your only property. It has your life in it. So you got to be careful. Also, in an unknown land, you can never predict what can happen the next second. This is a fear/concern that every traveller has in mind and that is completely a valid reason. So travelling alone, although can be a little challenging, helps you have all-round development.
It will improve your language skills
Adding to the previous point, travelling alone with help you with your language skills as well. As in a group, the person who knows the local language better than everyone else will always do the talking. This gives less chance to everyone else. Travelling alone gives you the best chance to work on your language skills; you have to be the only one who will do the talking. If you want, you can even sit with the local shopkeeper for some time and talk and learn from them their local language. When I was in Bangalore, I would go and sit with the owner of the shop and try to learn a few works, the cab drivers would teach me phrases which I used later with others.
When travellers try to speak in their local language, the locals feel connected. Imagine a person from Russia come up to you and tell ‘ki khobor?’ (‘How Are You?’ in Assamese), wouldn’t you be smiling and get excited? Same is the case with everyone. They will get amused and happy. This helps in a lot of ways – getting discounts, getting additional advice that you wouldn’t have normally got, get help when you need, etc but more importantly, you make instant friends. That’s what travellers value the most, right? Making friends along the way. Working on your language helps. Helps a lot.
It can improve your problem solving and decision-making skills immensely
If you are travelling, there comes times when you have to make decisions. Travelling alone gives you all the chance to make all those decisions yourself. You will need to make flight plans, apply for visa, accommodation plans, travel plans, expense plans, etc. You alone have to make the tough decisions – these sometimes may be right, sometimes may be wrong but with time, you will get more experienced in making decisions. These will improve your decision-making and problem solving skills immensely – some pretty important life skills, right?
This I feel is the most important for many. When travelling along, you need not worry about anyone else who can’t do the trek which you desperately want to do, travel to the place that you want but the other person is not willing to make, eat something that the other person or people are cringing at the sound of it. This happens to all of us. Happened with me a lot of times, so I know. When you are travelling along, you need not worry about all those dramas from people. You can work alone, you can travel at your own pace, you can eat whatever the heck you want to eat. You are far away from the drama of people.
What do you think? Have I missed anything that you think you gain when travelling alone? Do comment below and help everyone else reading it. I will definitely include those points with proper credit.
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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Traveller