Traveling Solo - Why You are Never Alone

Me and my Australian Sister

Why You're Never Alone When Traveling Solo

Why you're never alone when traveling solo

In 2 years I was alone for 52 hours the longest

"Don't you get lonely when you travel alone?" A question I hear all too often. My answer is simple as I try not to laugh... "I am never alone!". I'm really not even lying. In a span of almost 2 years on the road, the longest amount of time I truly spent totally alone was 52 hours...and I still found someone to have a chat with along the way.

What is loneliness?

 My first group of friends made on the road traveling solo! Yay!

My first group of friends made on the road traveling solo! Yay!

I guess it depends on how you see loneliness, but for me, loneliness is the inability to turn to someone, start a conversation and see where that goes. I'm totally aware that I am lucky that I have the social confidence to do this, but it hasn't always been this way. For 3 months I traveled with a group of friends from back home and we stuck together. The comfort of knowing each other and a partial amount of laziness meant that we could be complacent and just hang out in hostels or rent out whole rooms so we didn't even need to make small talk with strangers. But once I was on my own... I had no choice. December 31st, 2013 I arrived in Lima, Peru. Alone and Jetlagged I was determined to find a group of people to ring in the new year. So as soon as I set my bags down in the hostel, the introductions began.

The travel chat is pretty generic and once you've had it once, you're going to have it a hundred times more. Simple questions of where you're from and where you've been traveling slowly develop into a conversation of where you're planning on going until you suddenly find yourself inviting this total stranger to come and explore the new city with you.

And just like that, you have a new friend.

Now I'm not saying that every time I go out and explore with someone for a day, I have a new lifelong BFF, but I am saying that in the very special cases I have developed relationships with people that still continue to blossom from opposite corners of the world. I had a couple of friends from Reno inviting me along to travel with them through the south of Peru and to Machu Picchu, I had an Australian sister who salsaed her way through Colombia with me and I even got adopted by a Canadian family in Ecuador that took care of me when I didn't even realise I needed it.

When I travel alone, I am opening myself up to so many new possibilities. With no plans in place, I am free to change my direction from one day to the next and I've learned that if the group feels right, to just go with it. It's not to say I haven't had bad experiences, but honestly, the good outweighs the bad by far! I can't help but preach and encourage everyone to take a solo trip at least once in your life. It gets you out of your comfort zone and pushes your limits and see where it gets you.

 

 The crazy things that have you bond with new friends immediately!

The crazy things that have you bond with new friends immediately!

To make it a little easier for you, here are

My top 3 tips for Solo travel:

1.      Stay in a hostel - You will almost be forced to meet people and most people are in the same awkward no friend situation you’re in

2.      Be open to saying yes to something that may be totally new (in the means of your comfort)

3.      Challenge yourself. You’ll be surprised how many times you can surprise yourself when you put yourself out of your comfort zone.

 
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