For me, travelling on your own is the best way to go, but itís not for everybody. To help you make the decision whether itís right for you
or not, Iíve summarised some of the advantages and disadvantages of
Single travel offers the most freedom and flexibility on your trip. You are the boss, and you get to choose where you want to go and what
you want to do. For me, ultimate freedom when travelling is the most exhilarating feeling, and for that reason I choose to travel alone.
But will I be lonely
, you may ask yourself? It depends on what kind of person you are. You will potentially be spending a fair bit of time
on your own. Are you the kind of person that likes your own space and time to yourself? If so, youíre a good candidate for single travel.
If youíre the kind of person who feels more comfortable with other people being around you at all times, then it might
not be for you.
However, travelling solo is perhaps the easiest way to meet other travellers Ė particularly other solo travellers. You will appear far more
approachable than, say, a couple; people donít tend to want to interrupt a couple, but a single traveller that doesn't look particularly occupied
with anything is easier to strike up a conversation with. Generally, on
the road you will only be lonely when travelling by yourself if you make yourself unapproachable and do not make any effort to approach
If you travel solo, you need to accept that most encounters with other travellers will be fleeting or short-term. You might find a single
traveller, or even a group, to hook up with for a few days, or even a few weeks, but generally like you, they have their own travel plans
that are unlikely to match with yours long-term. But stay in touch, as you might find your paths cross somewhere down the line. I managed
to hook up with a number of travellers I met again another two or three times down the line Ė itís always good to see a familiar face.
Any other disadvantages? There's no denying it's good to have someone around who you can talk to in a bit more depth about things rather than
the typical traveller questions of "where have you been?", and "where are you going next?" If you travel with a friend or partner, you always
have them around as a sympathetic ear if you're feeling, say, homesick, or physically under the weather, which is never nice but
even worse away from home. In such situations during single travel, the key is to use your support network at home
. Phone home and/or
email people you know well to sound off about how you feel - it'll make you feel better.
Single travellers can also miss out on the "shared moment". On my Round the World Trip I recall taking the tram on my own up Victoria Peak
in Hong Kong at dusk and gazing out at the breathtaking cityscape of skyscrapers and lights. It was an incredible sight - but I felt I
really craved someone with me to share such a special moment with.
Despite the inevitable downsides, if you feel single travelís for you, I would strongly recommend stumping up the courage to take off
on your own, as I believe the advantages it offers far outweigh the drawbacks. You'll meet a huge number of interesting people - perhaps even that
special someone...? I left on my own... and I had the time of my life.