One morning in January 2006, I woke up thinking that I want to stop talking about travel and start traveling. I asked myself who should I go with, and decided I’ll go on my own. Going solo was a hard decision to make, but I had to do it, else I wouldn’t be able to travel.
I went online to research about the places I’m visiting, and in the process, I discovered travel blogs about women traveling alone around the world, on trips that spans one month to over a year. I had a deep admiration for these women’s courage to go off alone, and wished I had the guts to do it myself.
As the months pass, the date of my departure started to loom. I grew more frantic as the days pass, until I no longer have the time to fret — I am already boarding the plane to a place I haven’t been to before and I’ll be alone.
I have been a loner by nature and as much as I love the company of my friends, I equally enjoy spending time on my own. I guess that helped me to be comfortable traveling solo. The great thing about solo travel is that I don’t have to worry about doing activities or visiting places that others might not want to do. I can go on my own pace and no one would complain. Of course, the downside of going off alone is that I’d have to shoulder the costs on my own.
Though interestingly, a number of people who went off to travel alone would comment that they were hardly alone. While traveling, they get to connect with other solo travelers. Staying in hostels, since most backpackers stay there, lets you meet other travelers, be it in your dorm room or in the hotel’s common rooms. Then there are the locals that you meet. I remember this two Thai ladies who were manning the travel agency office in Maenam beach in Ko Samui. Upon learning that I was traveling alone, they took me under their wing. I had hours to kill before the boat ride to Ko Pha Ngan, and they let me stay in their office. One of them even took me to the place where they usually eat their lunch.
So why should you travel solo? Because it’s a fulfilling experience. Everytime I get home from a solo trip, I feel so accomplished. I am proud that I was able to stand on my own, to take care of myself even for just three days (but of course, there are all these paranoid thoughts running in my head the whole time I’m traveling). These trips made me feel good about myself, it made me feel confident. Each trip is an affirmation that I can do whatever I put my mind into.
Youth Trip is holding another Backpacking seminar this Thursday at ROX. Since March is women’s month, this round’s topic is the Pinay Traveller. If you want to know wheres, whats and whys of traveling solo, join the forum on March 19, 7pm at the Core Room, on the 3rd floor of the ROX store in Bonifacio High Street.
In celebration of Women’s month, I’m changing JustWandering.org’s blog theme to white and blue. Dove has brought together your favorite female bloggers in one site. Read the real thoughts of real women over at dove.ph.