Tuesday, 4 December 2012

5 Myths About Traveling Solo

Traveling alone can be really exciting as long as you have that spirit to ‘really explore a place’. Mostly, we feel comfortable with familiar people around. Nobody likes to mingle too much with strangers. However, when it comes to travel – mingling with strangers comes naturally. You don’t have to try too hard. It’s part of the idea of a holiday. Mingling doesn’t necessarily mean to get really close to somebody, but it could be just being friendly on the surface.

To some people, idea of traveling alone sounds boring and unwelcome. A typical tourist thinks that it’s more fun to travel with friends or family. Traveling alone, especially for a woman is considered absolutely undesirable. People have different notions – it’s not safe for a woman to travel on her own and other stuff. It’s obviously lots of fun to travel with friends and family. Who wouldn’t like to share hearty laughter, good food and great pictures with dear ones?

Nevertheless, a solo trip opens new doors to the idea of traveling, which you can’t discover unless you have experienced it on your own. 

Whether you travel alone or with someone close, each holiday has a few flip sides to deal with. It’s up to you how you want to take it. Every individual has different set of priorities, tastes, likes and dislikes. Two different individuals could be equally fond of traveling, but with different ideas and attitudes towards it.

There are quite a few myths about the idea of ‘solo travel’, which I would like to share with you today.

1. It’s lonely to travel alone –

Alone and lonely are two different terms with two different meanings. You are lonely even if you are traveling with a bunch of friends who like adventures such as water sports or rock climbing, while you like to just laze around and gaze at the scenic views. On the contrary, if you are alone and doing your own thing without any reservation – taking a ferry ride, hiking or playing with children on the street, you are certainly not lonely.

2. It’s not safe to travel alone –

This particular myth is not really applicable to men, but it’s attached to women. I would say nothing is safe or unsafe. It’s always wise or unwise. If you are doing something foolish, you should be ready to face the consequences as well. If you have like-minded travelers around – people like you (men or women) who really are keen to enjoy life, go around, have coffee, take pictures and make some nice memories – you are at the right place. On the contrary, if you see people who are unlike you – people who look suspicious or insane, it’s wise to get away from such a place.

3. It’s useless to travel alone –

Most of the tourists think that it’s a waste of time to travel alone. You can’t even have fun with your people. At the end of the day, you don’t have anybody to share your experiences with. People who think like that don’t understand travel in its true sense. Of course, there’s nothing better than traveling with your dear ones. However, traveling alone is altogether a different and unique concept. It introduces you to various ‘useful’ things – you learn to be more economic, independent and confident. It teaches you to value life and people. You get a lot of time to think and take better decisions, which eventually helps your overall life.

4. It’s not fun to travel alone –

What do you really imagine when you think of a person traveling alone? Do you imagine somebody sitting quietly by a riverside and sulking? Do you imagine somebody in an amusement park looking around and wondering what to do? Nope! That’s not the way it is when a person decides to go on a holiday completely on his own. 

When you are alone on a trip, you end up doing a lot of things, which you would not do otherwise. For instance, if you are with someone elderly, you wouldn’t want to wander much, you would rather sit and relax more often. It's when you are solo, you end up wandering and discovering a lot of interesting things by chance. You may do so if you are with someone who’s as enthusiastic as you, but 'discovering a place' happens when you are on your own. 

Thus, traveling alone definitely gives you more freedom to do 'your kind of thing' and that’s certainly more fun.

5. It’s selfish to travel alone –

I am not saying that people say that very often, but it could be a concern for some. I mean, some people might just suppress their desire to travel alone in the fear of possibly hurting their people at home. Two are definitely better than one. A married couple wouldn’t like to travel without the other. That’s perfectly alright. However, it’s not selfish to take a holiday alone – it could be for several reasons. If a woman wants to take a holiday on her own, it doesn’t mean she wants to be alone. Likewise, if a man wants to go on a trip alone, it doesn’t mean he wants to be left alone. The idea is to explore something on your own – to see something from your own perspective!

Well, a holiday is a holiday. Everybody has different viewpoints. The idea is not to go rash and do things without thinking. Traveling alone doesn’t mean one shouldn’t care for his or her family. Go out in the world, breathe, spread your wings, but at the same time be careful, be smart and be wise.

What apprehensions do you have about traveling solo? Please share with me in the comments!

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29 comments:

  1. good piece of advice..traveling alone sounds interesting..

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    1. Thanks Jyotsna :) Traveling solo is great fun! You have to experience it to know it.

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  2. Great piece! It will help many others to clear their concept about "travelling alone" which can be a lot of fun. I appreciate the way you have expressed the simple things with perfect examples.. :)good one

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    1. Thanks Anjum :) I really hope people come out of their misconceptions about traveling solo.

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  3. Nice write up.i completely agree with you that traveling alone is a absolutely new chapter.lessons and learnings are different and so are fun lies in it.have happy and safe travel.

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    1. Thanks Padmini, hope you enjoy a great solo trip soon!

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  4. Very nice ....n sounds interesting :)

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  5. My, thank you for clarifying those myths. Now, travellers would realise that seeing the world alone is a wonderful experience too . Kudos!

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    1. Thanks so much! I wish more and more people become aware of traveling in its real sense!

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  6. Two thumbs up for breaking the myths about travelling alone. What's important is that one should be cautious when going out for the holidays. It would also help a lone traveller decide to go to the vacation destination of his or her choice.

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    1. Thanks a lot! Yes, it's more important to be cautious, and take right decisions while traveling.

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  7. Nice one..this write up is really a thought-provoking one!!.. nobody has thought in this direction and the idea is presented in such a well-arranged manner.. this one is amazing..

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    1. Thanks Rochit :) The idea is to travel - solo or with people...but one should not shy away from traveling solo.

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  8. nice one! you are right - traveling solo can be fun and relaxing, providing of course, that you stay safe and not take stupid risks.

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    1. Thanks so much!Yes, it's important to be safe.

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  9. "Whenever I don't have a travel companion, i finds the best companion. Myself" Isn't it?

    Nice post!

    ~stranger :)

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  10. I also love travelling alone and have done so extensively. Your points are obviously arrived at through experience, Renuka. I think it's always a great decision to travel alone and so much better than staying at home because you have nobody to go with. It's the best way to meet new people and make new friends.
    I have found that travelling alone has strengthened my independence and ingenuity. Have you found that too?
    Jane

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    1. I completely agree with you! Glad that you liked the post. Yes, it's from my own experience. Please feel free to follow my posts :)

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  11. I travel alone (mostly) and I like it. It gives me the freedom to do what I want and decide on how much time to spend, what to do and where I want to go. One can learn the most, traveling solo :)

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  12. I think it would be based on where you travel, but traveling alone opens up socializing opportunities like nothing. also you have complete free will to alter your plans. Lazyness gets the best of solo travelers at times :P

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    1. Agree. Solo travel opens up new socializing opportunities and of course, you are free to do whatever you want. :)

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  13. Solo Traveling... hmmm well I know some people love Solo Traveling like you Renuka! Well about me, I alsO love solo Traveling. Solo traveling tells & teach us many new things about life, Which we don't. I wish to make a Solo trip of Vaishno Devi, Making a Solo traveling of Vaishno Devi is my & I wish it will come true very soon in my life :)

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    1. All the best for your solo trip, Vivek :) I'm sure it's going to be a great learning experience.

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  14. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.
    Florence hotel

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  15. i travel solo too (i am indian and male)... and face irritating illogical advices (similar to the myths you've pointed out). but i guess an indian woman would face many times more opposition. you would inspire just by traveling solo.. but you are also writing great blogs.. hope more Indian women... actually not just women, but people from all over the world get inspired to travel... which is the best teacher ever.. keep it up!

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes, I guess solo travel should be part of everyone's life in some way. It certainly teaches you a lot!

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