Why travel alone

Why travel alone – Reasons and inspiration

Why travel alone? Isn’t that depressing? Isn’t that boring or dangerous? In short, why would a person decide to travel alone ? And why do more and more people tend to make this travel choice? Why do you decide to pack your bags and go without looking for a companion to share this moment with?

I’ve been traveling alone since I was 25. Today, when I am editing this post from 2013, I am 41. Just to put everything into context, including the fact that in 15 years the motivations have never changed.

When I left for a solo trip around the world (2011) the main reason why I left alone was simply that I believed there was no one willing to drop everything to follow me on this rather nebulous adventure.

In reality, no candidate for a competition has ever been presented. A trip is a beautiful event whether you do it for long or short periods, thrilled by the choice I made I didn’t even beg for company or ask around if there was anyone willing to leave their job for 6 months and follow me. I didn’t need it and above all I already knew that the general answer would be ” I would like it but….. “.
So the main reason that generally lies behind the choice to travel alone is that you can’t find a travel companion. Simple!

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: Why you should travel solo at least once in life

man wearing orange and black hiking backpack sitting on log on shore looking at distance during daytime

Is it better to travel alone or with the wrong company?

If it is true that in most cases the first step towards traveling alone is taken because traveling companions cannot be found, I also see that there are many other reasons that push us to make this choice. They depend and change from person to person, which is why I limit myself to listing mine here.

I don’t deny that for a long-term trip , I’m talking about months or years, the company, if anyone ever proposed, should have been the right one and not a random person who wants to do something but needs a stick to lean on during an experience that is ultimately an unknown for both parties. It could be heaven or hell.

Traveling in the company of someone, I am referring to trips that extend beyond the weekend and the week in which the company, even if not the perfect one, does not harm, it is like living in a relationship , you are committed to being together, making decisions and sharing them, discussing them, find compromises.

Things that go far beyond ” let’s travel together ” and the need to have company. Sometimes you have to give up something just to meet the other.
To travel with someone you have to be ready to give up your own selfishness , if we want to see it in romantic terms, put aside what I want to do to also accommodate the other party and vice versa, obviously always keeping in mind that there is a risk: ruining friendships of years or discovering the friend for what you didn’t want to see when everyone lived at home and saw each other at the weekend or, as I have seen in many cases, causing the couple to explode .

Hence the need to carefully consider the choice of travel partner or start taking into consideration the possibility of going away alone.
But are there any real benefits to doing so? In reality, whether you do it in company or alone there are risks, I discuss the cons in the post Traveling alone pros and cons , in this post I instead want to list the reasons why you decide to go away alone.

woman on hammock facing waterfalls

Why travel alone? Good reasons to travel alone

I thought about it and thought about it, jotted down a series of ideas, read various blogs that talk about the topic and drew my own conclusions or plausible reasons.

I would like to summarize the main reasons for traveling alone, beyond the reason why you can’t find company, in the following points but your comments and suggestions are welcome!

  • I’m tired of everything and everyone, I want to take a break.
    This was the second reason that pushed me to go away for a few months and do it alone. I needed to break away from the past and everything that could remind me of it. I was looking for some sort of new beginning and a travel companion would have been like an umbilical cord I wouldn’t have cut while what I wanted was simply to make a clean sweep and think about a new beginning. A different start.
  • If I don’t do it now I’ll never do it again.
    By dint of waiting for other people’s moods, we end up never doing what we would like to do either. So I took my first trip alone in 2004 (to Morocco), I simply realized that if I waited for someone to join me on a trip to Morocco I would never go. Now or never… why find yourself in 20 years saying “if only I had done what I wanted maybe now I wouldn’t be here regretting the things not done rather than the things done”? Not worth it!
  • I want to meet new people.
    Alone, perhaps everything is more difficult at the beginning but the sense of survival pushes us to open up to others much more than we could if we travel with a friend who becomes our microcosm. Are we alone? Like it or not we have to make friends with someone.
  • I want to experience freedom.
    There are those who have always done things on their own, like me, and those who find it difficult to make decisions without letting someone interfere (family, boyfriends, friends, relatives and so on…). Traveling alone means physically distancing yourself from these voices that intermittently disturb our positions and do not let us do, even if on a subliminal level, what we really want. Out of sight, out of mind and you can finally carve out some time to make your own decisions in complete autonomy and take responsibility for your victory or failures
  • It has always scared me and I want to test myself.
    Sometimes the only way to overcome our fears is to face them …or go into analysis! Everyone’s reactions are different but the greatest test is admitting that you are afraid of something and facing it. If you are afraid of loneliness it is worth giving ourselves a chance and going away for a while to then dismantle this monster that we wanted to create and realize that often our fears are beliefs that we wanted to create or the result of of a culture that has been instilled in us and which is without foundation.
  • For the first time in my life I want to decide everything.
    This motivation generally derives from a break with the daily routine of our lives. Maybe we feel forced into a cage, every day we are told what to do and how. We just want to take back the reins of our lives and the only way to do that is to unplug and walk away
  • I don’t like making compromises.
    I want to travel and I have time but I hate having to make compromises even when there is no need for it like when travelling. Call them selfish but not everyone likes having to argue for every little movement. There is nothing wrong if the trip is an event that you want to experience selfishly, we are not stealing anything from anyone, we simply want to make decisions without having to argue with someone who is too fussy or too arrogant, instead following what that our instinct tells us to do every day.
  • It scares me more to travel with someone than to travel alone.
    I thought this very often, especially when I met friends who constantly argued or were in constant discussions. Happy to be alone I was thinking of the old saying: better alone than badly accompanied. Not because the partner is bad company but because the journey is sometimes so intense that if there isn’t the perfect feeling, the friendship as well as the traveling company risks ending in nothing. You can continue to travel alone… but you have lost a friend.
  • I want to stop for a long period in a different country
    I intend to stop for a long time in some country, I don’t want to do a tour de force but I want to feel free to stop when I want and where I want without having a pre-established itinerary as a couple and for which I feel a strong commitment such as not to respect my wishes but to have to respect a promise made
  • I want to give a new direction to my life
    This was not the cardinal motivation for my solo trip but it turned out to be the one that actually had the most weight in my choice. By traveling alone I revolutionized my life, it was not only a beautiful trip but who I was two years ago is a person that I recognize today but with some changes. I discovered myself even more essential than I already was, stronger than I thought, more courageous than I could admit. I have seen and reviewed my past and present life thousands of times and I have swerved on several occasions following what instinct told me, I don’t actually know what will happen 4 months from now but I feel I have undertaken a profoundly different path from the one which I thought was the right one just 2 years ago.
Woman Leaning Beside Vehicle

Have I ever been afraid of traveling alone?

In truth, no, except for the very first 2 days of travel in which I realized how this choice could change the direction of my life and was turning it upside down. I only wanted the company because I needed someone to talk to and confide in about a discomfort that I was creating in my head but which, in hindsight, wasn’t real.
So my fear wasn’t because I was alone but because I was questioning my life on a personal level. I was epically scared.

I thought it was time to show I had balls . In 24 hours that fear had disappeared, I had called fear of being alone something that I instead had to call abandonment of my certainties and therefore a personal crisis.

In fact, traveling alone is a test that you face more or less voluntarily, which forces you to review your behavior and attitudes, abandon old habits to acquire new and different ones.

We give ourselves new rules by understanding that yes we have complete freedom of our choices but that freedom also means giving ourselves limits and when we are the ones who have to give them to ourselves things get even more complicated. It’s easy to do what others tell us, we have no responsibility for it.

Traveling alone has fundamentally taught me one thing: freedom is not doing what I want indiscriminately , it is instead doing what I want without lacking a sense of responsibility which when you are far from home and your daily certainties becomes an even greater need. . Greater than acting and behaving freely.

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