Traveling alone around the world
A risk? Or the chance of a lifetime?
Backpackers usually travel with their significant other, a friend, in a group, and sometimes they prefer traveling alone. More and more travelers are deciding to explore the world by themselves. Just you and your backpack – a trip characterized by independence and freedom. But is this the best way to travel? What are the benefits? And what are the drawbacks? Stick around and we’ll fill you in!
Why should you consider traveling alone?
One thing is certain. Independent travel is an enriching and beneficial experience. If you are alone, you open yourself up to new opportunities and possibilities that you wouldn’t otherwise experience if you were in a group or with a partner.
A journey with yourself to discover yourself ‒ that sums it up perfectly. When you travel alone, your personal development and growth are the main focus. There is no one to speak up for you. No one to take care of the planning or deal with whatever problems may arise. It is only YOU, your abilities, and ideas. What may seem a little scary is actually an opportunity. A trip alone takes you to unknown places and gives you experiences and insights you otherwise may not have. Do you think independent travel might be the perfect opportunity for you?
For starters, you will have the opportunity to get to know yourself better. You are alone with your thoughts and can take time for yourself and just switch off. There are no conversations or distractions. In many cases, an independent trip is a good solution for any issues you may be experiencing, a possibility to get some answers, or to just clear your head.
People are finding it increasingly difficult to be alone and need more external distractions and stimuli. It is precisely these mind-sets which independent travel combats. You can have some time alone, learn to listen to your thoughts, and pay attention to yourself. Very often the ability to do this gets lost in everyday life. However, when you’re traveling alone, far from home, you can get in touch with yourself.
One obvious benefit that you get from traveling alone is autonomy. When you travel alone, you can do what you want and are free to make your own decisions. You can plan your days and excursions according to your wishes, and you don’t have to make any compromises. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
But that’s not all. Traveling alone also has many benefits for your personal development. You learn to be more independent, to take matters into your own hands, and to deal with issues yourself. You will become more open and courageous, gaining more self-confidence. You learn to organize by yourself, for yourself, and how to keep planning especially in difficult situations.
You don’t know what to do. You are lost. And now you don’t have a partner to help you figure it out. Admittedly, in situations like this, everyone would probably prefer to be with someone, but it’s precisely in these moments that you grow ‒ and more than ever, when traveling alone.
The benefits of traveling alone at a glance
- Personal development and growth
- More time for yourself
Difficulties when traveling alone
However, there are obviously some drawbacks that you should consider before you decide to travel alone. Many backpackers who toy with the idea worry about getting lonely. If you travel with a buddy or in a group, you always have company and entertainment. You can share the experiences and memories as well as the worries. But it’s different when you travel alone. However, you don’t actually experience true loneliness. You may not be with your closest friends and may not have company every minute, but you are never really alone. You can always find some company, strike up a conversation, and meet new people in the hostels. Of course, there will be more moments when you are by yourself, but you are in control of the situation. You can join a group or just spend the evening alone ‒ there are many possibilities, and you don’t need to worry about being lonely.
One drawback, which often becomes a bit of a hindrance, especially for backpackers, is the cost. Of course, you’ll pay as much for a hostel as you would if you were traveling with a friend, but in other situations you’ll notice a difference. For example, if you would like to have a single room, you’ll have to shoulder the costs yourself. The same applies to taxis and tour guides.
Are you a passionate Instagrammer, or do you just want a few photos of yourself to send home? Who is going to take them? This gets tricky for most backpackers since they no longer have their personal photographer. But there are simple solutions for this as well. If you own a camera, you can use a tripod or just ask strangers to give you a hand. In any case, you shouldn’t give up on the idea of an independent trip just because you don’t have someone to take photos.
As you can see, for every drawback is a solution or different point of view. Traveling alone is obviously different from traveling with someone else, but these drawbacks are in no way so great that they will greatly affect your trip.
The drawbacks at a glance
- Higher expenses
- No photos
Traveling alone ‒ isn’t that a little dangerous?
For many people, the thought of traveling alone raises one major question: Isn’t it dangerous? Walking alone in foreign countries, alone through the streets, aren’t you putting yourself in danger? First of all, it has to be said that there are some countries where it’s not a good idea to travel alone. This is especially true for female backpackers, and there are certain countries which they shouldn’t visit alone for any reason. These include India, as well as certain Muslim countries.
However, it’s absolutely safe to travel alone in most of the popular backpacking destinations. Tourism is well established, and you don’t have to worry too much. Of course, you should always be cautious, especially on the way home in the dark or in remote areas. However, if you behave respectfully and present yourself in a self-confident manner, you will not be in great danger even as an independent traveler.
The idea that traveling alone is dangerous is more of a myth. As long as you are careful, you shouldn’t have any problems.
10 destinations that are perfect for solo travel
We talked about whether traveling alone is lonely or dangerous. The next question is: Where can you travel alone? As a rule, you can backpack alone to just about any country, and you will definitely have an unforgettable experience. But there are some destinations that are ideal, usually due to the good infrastructure or the local offers, which are also good for independent travelers.
The suitability of the destination also depends on the atmosphere of the country itself. Certain countries can turn a destination into a party, while others focus more on the spirituality or the development of the traveler. And it’s precisely in these countries where you can begin your journey as an independent traveler.
- New Zealand
A trip all by yourself ‒ put it on your bucket list!
Are you getting wanderlust? Try and plan a trip on your own. If this makes you feel a little uncomfortable, you can start with a short city trip to get used to the idea. If you want to learn more about yourself, have some new experiences, or just get some peace and quiet, then an independent trip is just the thing.
In any case, traveling alone is a step out of your comfort zone, and a big one at that. And how does the saying go? Life begins at the end of the comfort zone. And this also applies to independent travel ‒ so let’s go!