I'm ready to go to Memphis. I have cabin fever, so I need to get out!
I often get asked if I travel alone on my trips, and my answer is "Preferably."
I've noticed that other frequent travelers share the same sentiment, so I'm going to list out some reasons why solo travel is excellent:
Traveling with other people is like juggling; each additional person makes the trip harder to coordinate. Everyone is different, and even close friends/family have different interests. Thus, the larger the group, the more complex trip planning becomes to make sure everyone is happy. For example, some people like going to museums while others like sitting in a café to people watch. There's no correct answer. Often, members in a group
compromise until they can't take it anymore, which leads to my next point.
One of the main benefits of traveling alone is less drama. Have you ever gone on vacation and had a dispute with your travel mate(s)? It's not fun, and the fight is often about trivial matters like not taking enough selfies. To make matters worse, you get annoyed for being upset because you paid a bunch of money just to get into a fight. (Please Note: If you're traveling with me, expect to take 100 selfies,
When traveling alone, there's no drama. I walk away if someone is being a jerk to me. I don't know them, so I don't owe them anything.
Instant access to activities
I love traveling alone because I don't have to make as many reservations. For example, there's usually room for one person at the bar, even at popular restaurants. This also applies to other venues like Theme Parks. At Universal Studios, I basically had the Fast Pass because there was always one empty seat. Few people travel alone, so most businesses can fit in one additional person.
Solo traveling allows me to appreciate an area more because I have more time to process my surroundings. There's no one distracting me from what I'm experiencing. I can also choose to spend as much time as I want in any area.
I can't describe it, but I think groups can intimidate locals. One American showing up at a local venue is manageable, while ten feels like an invasion. Thus, I've noticed locals are more willing to open up to me when I'm alone. The restaurant staff is more inclined to talk to me and suggest where to go. Also, I have more profound and more meaningful conversations with locals. Maybe they feel sorry for me, but oh well. LOL
Face your demons
Traveling alone forces you to face your insecurities and core problems. When traveling alone, you are away from your previous lifestyle (e.g., material possessions, family, friends, hobbies, job, routine). You're an outsider in a foreign land with people different from you. For many, this is intimidating. However, our previous lifestyle can sometimes be a distraction that can take you away from those unanswered questions
- What do I want to accomplish before I leave this earth?
- Am I living in alignment?
- Am I happy?
I know this is heavy stuff on a Monday morning. Do I have it all figured out? Definitely not. My demons are still there, but at least I can comfortably sit and have lunch with them.
Try traveling alone. You may not want to go back. ;)