Traveling alone is said to be a liberating experience. Imagine- you travel to the other end of the world with just your bag-pack and a ticket, having no one to rely on or click photos with. After conquering a trip on their own- you’ll feel exhausted, but also exhilarated. While many of us give importance to travel in our lives, few have the guts to do it on their own. Here are some pros and cons, which will provide some insight on-is traveling alone worth it?
First, some PROS which make me believe that traveling alone is worth it:
1. You Have Full Control
When you travel with someone else, you have to reach compromises to make decisions. Whether it’s where to eat, where to stay, when to wake up, which places to visit- you’ll have to meet halfway if you have conflicting opinions. And that can be annoying. For instance, when we travel, I love experimenting with food and trying out local cuisines, but my sister prefers to eat at a fast-food chain (which is infuriating). So we settle on lunch from a local food truck and dinner at McDonald’s.
You can make your own decisions when you travel alone. You get to move at your own pace when you’re not controlled by an itinerary or a schedule. If you feel like sleeping till noon and having a relaxing day at the spa, you can do it. If you want to rise early and watch the sunrise from a hilltop, there is no one to stop you. When you ask yourself- is traveling alone worth it? Think of it as a glorious opportunity to make the most of your trip on your terms.
2. Freedom is Empowering
Traveling alone means that you have to take care of yourself. With other people, you might rely on them for things you aren’t adept at. But traveling alone means being independent. It doesn’t matter if you hate negotiating for prices or washing your clothes, you’ll have to do it anyway.
Does that sound like a con to you, or make you apprehensive about- is traveling alone worth it? That means you need a solo trip! Even if this level of independence is hard, it will force you to get out of your comfort zone. You now have a sense of responsibility towards yourself, and no choice but to fulfill it.
When you become an independent person and have no need to depend on someone else, it makes you feel empowered. It means that no matter what, you can take care of yourself. You’ll improve and adapt, and come out of the experience, a stronger person.
3. You will Become More Cultured
By traveling, you open yourself to other cultures. You learn to appreciate the beauty of diversity. When you travel alone, you get time to soak in the pleasures of being in a foreign land. For instance, I received a culture shock when I went to Hong Kong. Their style, food, music, and infrastructure was vastly different than what I was used to. But the more I traveled on their streets and ate local food, the more I embraced the very essence of the city (Kowloon).
You meet new people and make new connections when you travel alone. People in foreign countries lead different lives than yours. Their troubles, joys, and ideas of fun will be a stark contrast to yours, which is what makes them so exciting! You’ll be overwhelmed with a beautiful feeling of Sonder.
But when you’re with other people, you don’t have the chance to talk to the locals. Alone, you’re more approachable, and the chances of having crazy encounters and wild stories for later are twofold! Does that answer your question- is traveling alone worth it?
4. You, Will, be On a Journey of Self-Discovery
When you’re in a foreign land all alone, your thoughts are your only company, and your skills decide how far you can go. You don’t have to let any inhibitions stop you. In our busy lives, we forget to schedule quality time with ourselves. But being alone in a new environment, you break your routine, and push yourself to extents you didn’t even know you had the capability. It’s a refreshing break from the monotony of life. If that makes you wonder- with this much hassle, is traveling alone worth it? Remember that while it can be overwhelming, it is also rewarding.
You get to embark on a journey of self- discovery, where you have to face yourself. Sadly, so many of us forget who we are as we grow older. It’s even more disheartening that many of us forget to love ourselves. If you want to remember your dreams and longings, go on a solo trip. Do what you like, connect with your thoughts, and treat your mind and body to a well-deserved break.So, we do get a positive vibe when we think that is traveling alone worth it?
These simple reasons may have already answered your question- is traveling alone worth it? But, hold on! Now, here are some CONS, which show that traveling alone might not be the dreamy experience it’s made out to be:
1. It Can Be Dangerous
It’s indisputable that foreigners are more susceptible to danger in another country, more so if they don’t know the language. If you’ve landed yourself in a pickle, you’ll need someone else’s help. And depending on a stranger makes you vulnerable. In such a situation, it’s better to have friends or family. Being in a tight group will help you dodge off some troublemakers.
If you’re traveling to a country where English is not spoken, you need to be assertive, or you will be taken advantage of. Because falling into danger’s lap in a country where you don’t know anyone can be hazardous to your life. So when you’re deciding about- is traveling alone worth it? Consider everything!
2. You Might Get Lonely
Even if you think you’re an introvert who doesn’t need company and is content on her own, chances of feeling lonely in a foreign land are very thick. On a solo trip, you’re doing new activities and partaking in adventures alone. You might feel the urge to share your excitement with someone, get a picture clicked together at a beautiful location, or just have someone to listen to your exclaims. Loneliness can cause misery, which might ruin your trip. That would mean a wasted journey and money down the drain. And regret will make you wonder- is traveling alone worth it?
Of course, it depends on the kind of person you are. If you’re sure you can be adventurous and spontaneous without having someone to nudge you, then don’t hesitate- pack and leave! But if you are afraid of becoming a victim of loneliness, think about it. Sometimes, your peace of mind is more important than forcing yourself to leap.
3. You’re Taking Care of Expenses Alone
There is no doubt about it- traveling alone means spending more than you’re prepared for. If the situation calls for it, you might have to exceed your budget because you don’t have the luxury of asking someone else, “Hey, would you mind paying for this one?” Also, locals tend to charge more from foreigners, and that can prove to be very harmful if you don’t have excellent negotiation abilities.
It’s you and your wallet against the world. You have to be careful about expenditure and ensure that you always have sufficient cash. Every country has a different credit system. If you aren’t careful, you might eat a hearty meal in a restaurant, before finding out that they don’t accept international credit cards, and you don’t have enough cash (happened to a friend of mine). Can budget constraints make you second guess the fact- is traveling alone worth it?
4. Two Minds Come Up With Better Plans
On a solo trip, you have to make all arrangements and plans alone, which might not be very enjoyable. What if you miss out on a wonderful thing to do, eat or see, simply because you didn’t know enough and the Internet offers only mainstream knowledge? If you aren’t a big voyager and you’re alone, you won’t be inspired to go deep in the city or town and explore the place to its depths.
Also, if you aren’t great at planning, you’ll be stuck with a lousy itinerary, which can ruin the trip altogether. And if you choose to wing it, and explore without a plan, you might not get to visit the very sites the place is known for. But with someone else, you can come up with better plans, making the trip worthwhile. You don’t want to wonder at the end- is traveling alone worth it?
Like everything else, traveling alone has both good and bad facets. However, it mostly depends on you. Many have been known to find peace and calm when they travel alone. You might surprise yourself and enjoy it tremendously. But it could also be a harrowing experience. If you want to know which way it goes for you, try it out! Add it to your bucket list, and do it as soon as you have enough money and determination.
And then decide- is traveling alone worth it?