Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Upside to Flying Solo

Boracay Hot Chick on White Beach
The spirit of adventure is within all of us. That said, it is certainly stronger in some than in others. The decision to pick a destination in an important part of any journey but selecting traveling companions is equally important.  In my experience, traveling with friends can quickly turn into added baggage.  

Finding the right balance with traveling companions can be very difficult. I’ve traveled with friends, some close, some not so close and I’ve traveled alone. There are pros and cons to each dynamic and it’s important to know what works for you so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest.  

Traveling solo means more control. You decide where and when you want to eat, sleep, play and wander. There is no time spent negotiating or deliberating and discovering the freedom that comes with roaming alone is a wonderful thing.  

When you’re on your own you can easily take last minute singles holidays and not need to worry about being totally alone. You’ll meet tons of new people and be forced to be more outgoing, to step a little bit out of your comfort zone and see what happens. More often than not this leads to incredible and memorable experiences.

Boracay Lone Girl by the Beach
I find when I’m on my own I am more inclined to meet local people. I believe this to be the single most appealing thing about traveling solo. I’ve met locals all over the world who have fed me and gone out of their way to show me their culture. These people have led me to stunning caves, secret beaches and ancient city streets tucked away in massive cities. There is no better way to know a place than to experience it with someone who lives there.

Don’t get me wrong, traveling in a group is great too for a certain type of holiday. Going away with people you already know can be fantastic. You create new memories in remarkable places and those adventures, for better or worse are experiences you will always share with those people. In many cases it has brought me closer to a number of my friends. 

In other cases, the group dynamic can be difficult. I’ve had holidays that have been spent tiptoeing around people who - at home - are my good friends. Being away with people, spending full days and nights in the company of others is a different dynamic entirely from the casual and controlled encounters of friendships at home.  

Traveling is about adventure and sometimes the journey is just as memorable as the destination. Whether I’ve done it alone or with others, I’ve loved every minute of it and have no regrets.

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