If you’ve ever been backcountry backpacking, one of many topics of discussion are “have you done a solo trip?” Sort of seems a rite of passage I’ve considered, calling myself a backpacker. There will always be varying levels of isolation with the length of time being out. Whatever…. it’s a daunting thought!
So here I am! Extended solo traveling for XX days/months/year. I do not consider “backpacker” traveling through cities and sites quite the same as the backcountry, nevertheless, I was still a bit nervous about it. I consider myself a people person and was always more comfortable in the company of others.
I am now in my 4th month of travel and much more comfortable being solo than was at the beginning. Frankly I’m not sure I could change at this point. Looking back at the connections I’ve made with amazing people or places, I don’t feel some of it would’ve been possible if I wasn’t on my own. Solo travelers have to reach out if you want to meet others. Most common start to every conversation…
– Where are you from?
– Where have you been?
– Where are you going?
– How long have you been traveling?
– What’s your favorite place/activity?
– Oh btw… what is your name?
By now, you will figure out if you will be having multiple beverages of choice with this person or end up signing up for an activity together. Or even crazier, by coincidence, run in to them again in another city or another island and hanging out. Most solo travelers that I’ve run in to are just pretty damn cool! Then you end up Facebook friends and continue to see and inspired by the other epic and cool adventures they’re going on. Thinking solo yet?
Other kinds of non-solo travelers:
- Pairs which consists of couples or just 2/3 friends. I have found pairs to be just as friendly as solo travelers. I wonder if you simply start getting sick of each other and just need someone else to talk to other than each other.
- Groups of anything 4 or more. The groups are a bit tough to break into. They certainly are inclusive and don’t seem to mix as well with anyone outside of the group. The larger the group the worse.
- Busloads of groups with a tour guide holding a flag up high for you to follow. I beg you now… PLEASE, PLEASE do not do this. Part of travel is to get lost but then are you really? Think independently! Explore! Boys, hand the map over… she can probably navigate better than you if she’s a solo traveler!
- Disclaimer. There are solo/groups travelers that simply party all night and sleep for most of the day. I’m not sure any of my logic applies to these folks. I guess it just all depends on the amount of alcohol consumed.
I can definitely say traveling solo, you will begin to figure out your tendencies. Notice patterns. I do admire the couples traveling… to be able to share that “compatible” sense of adventure or that it appears. Otherwise, I assume, you will certainly figure out how “incompatible” you really are.
Either way, JUST GO! Solo…?
“go find yourself first so you can also find me” – rumi
“there are some places in life where you can only go alone. embrace the beauty of your solo travel” – mandy hale
“one travels more usefully when being alone, because he reflects more” – thomas jefferson