I am scared. The thought of being alone in an unfamiliar place scares me. No one close by to save me when I’m in a pickle. But the thought of being in an unfamiliar place excites me too. Even if I know no one’s around to save me, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction that I can handle things on my own.
I am paranoid. There’s hardly a time when I don’t think about death when I’m inside a moving vehicle. I think about boats capsizing, trains derailing and planes crashing, usually when I’m inside them. I’m paranoid that someone would take off with my bags as soon as I let my eyes off them. I can think of a hundred reasons not to get out of the house, but I can think of a thousand more reason why I should go out and explore the world.
I am a worrywart. I worry about getting sick, I worry about running out of money and I worry about getting lost. I’ve gotten sick while traveling (at the height of the A(H1N1) scare too!), and I’m still alive. I know that if I run out of money, I can think of ways to get some (credit card cash advance and Western Union are my savior). I also know that the best discoveries are made when you get lost.
I am not rich. I get a lot of questions about what I do for a living to be traveling so much. I actually do have a regular job. I work nights, that’s why I’m able to travel during the weekends. I am lucky to have a boss that lets me take an extended leave to travel (no pay, of course). And I do have this blog to help subsidize my travels. As they say, if there’s a will, there’s a way. If you really want to travel, find every means to help you get started.
I am not physically fit. Understatement of the year. I’m not saying that you should stop trying to live a healthier lifestyle, but don’t use your unfit state as an excuse not to travel. Hey, if I can climb a mountain, so can you.
I am introverted. I’m shy. No really, I am. I don’t go out of my way to make new friends. Most of the time, I keep to myself, only opening up when I’m with people I know. I’m not the type you’d see in the hostel common room chatting up everybody. It’s just not me. I don’t travel to meet new people. I travel to see new places and discover new culture.
I am not adventurous. No really, I’m not. Does that make me less of a traveler? It doesn’t. Every traveler have their own traveling style, the same way we have our own unique personalities. What is exciting for one traveler may not be your cup of tea, so why force yourself to like it?
That’s why I like to travel alone. I get to travel the way I like. I follow my own (very flexible) itinerary, and if I wasn’t able do everything, it’s okay because I’ve nobody to blame but myself. I like going around and exploring a new place in my own pace. I don’t have a list of must-see’s and must-do’s. I do what I can and see what I can. I am happy enough just being there.
I wrote this post because I’ve met a number of people who said they’ve always wanted to try traveling alone, but haven’t had the chance or the guts to go. As you have already read, I’m not the most confident nor am I the bravest of all travelers. I’m not even in the best physical condition. But I still do it.
I travel alone sometimes because of circumstances (travel buddy flaking out at the last minute), oftentimes because I enjoy it. Admittedly, it didn’t feel that way in the beginning. After a couple of trips, I started appreciating my alone time. It does get lonely, but it’s up to you if you want it to bog you down or find ways to ease the loneliness.
If you’ve been wanting to try traveling solo, I encourage you to try it at least once. Start with a weekend trip to see how you’d fare on your own, then move on to longer trips later on. Remember, if this is something that you set your mind to achieve, you will find plenty of opportunities to help you achieve your goal.