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Why I like solo travels: Find out who you really are

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SOLO TRAVELS. It has been debated for ages: Are you better off traveling alone, increasing your possibility to meet people, make new friends and decide regarding your schedule without the hassle of agreeing with others? Or, is half the fun to experience new destinations with others? Is the very point of a journey to share it with a friend or lover? Not to mention the aspect of safety – what if something happens? Who will make the emergency call if you lay passed out alone?

[pullquote]At 27, I took a road trip across the country by myself. It was foolish and lonely and the best thing I’ve ever done.[/pullquote]

I have made numerous trips by myself. I’ve navigated The Philippines, with its chaotic capital Manila. I’ve walked through the even more chaotic streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and been on river cruises on the Mekong, traveled through Mexico and walked through downtown Los Angeles as the night was falling over this notorious district of crime.

I’ve been robbed one – but not when I was by myself, but with my girlfriend in Rio de Janeiro. In fact, I would argue that I’m usually safer when alone compared with when with fellow travelers, as is’s easier to blend in as a local then.

So I wouldn’t give much for the safety aspect. Instead, there’s a much important point to be made on solo travels. A basic feature that makes traveling alone superior to going with a group.

Meeting local kids during a solo journey in Namibia. Photo: Erik Bergin/Traveling Reporter

 

For being alone in foreign land, among strangers, makes you realize who you really are and what you can manage by yourself. Need to catch an early bus? No one will wake you up in time. Stranded late at night in a town with no hotels available? Just fix it. Talk to people, make calls, knock on doors. It’s times as those that make you realize what kind of person you are and what you can expect of yourself.

[pullquote]These moments of past analyzation allow one to heal sore spots, to lick old wounds and overcome the pain still carrying into today, whether exhibited upon themselves or others.[/pullquote]

This means growing as a person. In solitude, you can ponder about life, find solutions, test your thoughts on reality and come out as a stronger human being. You are not responsible to anyone or anything but yourself, a realization which manifests itself as a great relief once you have had the experience.

The Matador Network travel blog has a post with a quote that is right on spot:

These moments of past analyzation allow one to heal sore spots, to lick old wounds and overcome the pain still carrying into today, whether exhibited upon themselves or others.

Or as Sara Hepola writes on Salon.com:

At 27, I took a road trip across the country by myself. It was foolish and lonely and the best thing I’ve ever done.

 

Against solo travels goes the current trend that who you are is decided by the opinions of others. As many young people nurture an increasing need for showing off in style and being accepted by their friends, going off alone might not be the most obvious choice as the summer vacation draws near.

That’s too bad. Parents should encourage solo travels, for the reasons mentioned above. The world would end up with a smarter, more individual and flexible population, ready to take on new tasks and manage problems. And all those travelers would become more happy persons.

More great stuff Blogs & sites about solo travels

Matadornetwork.com

Solotravelerblog.com

Salon.com

Askmen.com

Independenttraveler.com

Solotravel.org

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.