Travelling is one of the most wonderful luxuries we have in this era. The whole world is open and accessible for adventure. What a fantastic time to live in and what an opportunity.
When you consider how one would have travelled a hundred years ago and how many letters and exchanges would have been involved then you recognise the level of progress in such a short time. Also consider the cost and how travel was available for those with wealth. With that in mind, why wouldn’t you take the opportunity?
So before I list my seven reasons for travelling alone… I want to point out I love to travel. Sometimes I travel with friends, sometimes I meet friends on the other side of the world and other times I go to a place of complete solitude – alone.
When I say alone there will be other guests where I am staying but I usually don’t engage because I desire to be truly alone.
When people ask me about my alone trips so many people say ‘oh I couldn’t do that…’ Or ‘I wish I could do that.’ Or ‘I couldn’t be alone that long… I would get lonely.’ I have found in life so many people find reasons why the can’t do something rather than look at the fear as an opportunity to step into Bliss.
So for those who teeter on the edge of travelling alone here are 7 reasons to make the leap.
1) You choose where you want to go without negotiation.
When deciding where you want to go becomes a discussion you know it is best to go alone. I might want to go to Croatia but my friend might want to go to Greece. You might be lucky to have the right travel friend who also wants Croatia, but quite often I have found it is best to make the decision of where you want to go and if people want to meet up then it is up to them.
2) You can go to a place based on your budget.
When I travel alone I usually go to luxury resorts or fascinatingly original hotels. I don’t generally share that information because that is my choice. Plus I don’t have to justify the cost or drop what I want to experience for anyone else’s budget.
Talking of budget I travelled with a friend who had a budget for her spending money. That is very good in my opinion because travel can end up being very expensive and you often by ridiculous things such as carved wooden pigmy head sculptures.
However, it became awkward when she overspent and resorted to buying microwave meals to microwave in the room. I offered to pay for her meals but she was adamant that she had to stick to her budget come what may. So imagine sitting in a nice restaurant where your friend sips tap water and you eat salmon. Now you must be wondering about communication here. Well she told me that she was on a budget when we arrived at the airport. It was only that morning she had examined her finances and realised she had to limit her spending. So her budget was a bit of a travel surprise. Admittedly we did all the tours within the budget. It was just a case that she sacrificed quality food for experience.
3) You can maintain your own sleeping routine.
I am not a late night person. I wake usually at 5.30 or 6.00am. I like dark rooms and silence. In the past I shared a room with a lovely friend who needed a light on and television noise to sleep. Silence and darkness freaked her out. Unfortunately negotiations did not work and I learned a huge lesson when the background noise was a murderous film. I explained that I could not sleep and wanted to get my own room. Unfortunately that freaked her out because she couldn’t be alone. So what do you do? We laugh about it now; however, at the time I was seriously irked. It made me realise I needed to travel alone or meet friends who could have their own hotel room.
4) Bathroom habits – need I say more?
I have a very tolerant friend who travelled around Sri Lanka with me. When I say tolerant I am amazed she still speaks to me.
While we were in Sri Lanka I experienced food poisoning and was violently ill. Basically my arse exploded and I vomited until exhaustion. My friend got experience a whole night of that with me. What made it worse was when I was sick the noise that emerged from me sounded like I was scraping the very pit of my being. It was pure evil in retching sound. As you can imagine I was somewhat ashamed. When it came to her using the bathroom after such a gut releasing catastrophe she was almost asphixiated. Embarrassed? Humiliated? Helpless? What a fantastic friend to not be annoyed or upset. She was even sympathetic.
The poop-pocolypse experience scarred both of us. However it got worse when we were driving through the mountains and had to stop at a farm so I could pass out over a hole in the ground. The couple who owned the farm were very old and very kind. They created a herbal remedy which quickly cleared my sickness. Again we laugh now… The thing is if I had been travelling alone I would have remained in one place until the sickness passed. Obviously I had no idea I was going to pass out over a hole in the ground with a curious chicken watching the unfolding. After that I learned to not travel when one’s bottom is rebelling.
5) The time of quiet and tranquility…
How often do you get to do nothing? Not be anywhere doing anything? You can go at your own pace. Float for as long as you like in a pool and not have a plan or a time table… Bliss.
Often when I travel alone I have great epiphanies. I re-evaluate life and focus on what works in my life and what doesn’t. I often find my normal life can be a bit of a social treadmill, so having quiet and peace enables reflection and time to process.
6) You don’t have to talk or listen.
This could be torture for those that need to talk and be heard. Yet there is a pure joy of not needing to converse and be in silence. Even better is not having someone talk to you. Again this might sound strange but sometimes not being in conversation is lovely.
7) You can choose to engage with people or not engage with people.
Often when I travel alone random people attempt to adopt me. They are concerned I have no friends and want to look after me. In some hotels they have attempted to usher me to a singles table. I have refused. If I want to make friends I will be selective and gage the person and initiate conversation if I want to. If I really feel the need to meet people I will go on a tour. A recent night kayaking tour to experience bio-luminescense, an algae that glows in the dark was epic.
Then an underwater subscooter adventure with a few others literally blew me away. I met people, shared the experience, had a laugh and then returned to my hotel for more quiet. Yes!
If you really feel the need to be with people then there is always opportunity.
The thing is travelling alone enables you to learn your capabilities and capacity. It makes you a stronger person and enables you to get to know you. Isn’t that what life is about?
For those who are wondering about my book writing escapades – here is the link to my books on Amazon.co.uk. You can find me by putting Michelle Dry into the search on any Amazon.
It seems the more I blog on travel the more this beauty sells…
I am still trying to figure out what is increasing the sales on these three childrens’ books:
I am convinced the illustration of an exploding toilet has something to do with it.
Anyway… Have fun… Make the travelling alone leap. It is worth it!