Hollywood’s take on traveling solo leads us to mixed feelings about the whole thing: The disturbing accounts found in the movie 'Hostel' has us thinking twice about thrifty traveling, while Julia Robert’s soul searching journeys in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ gives us this idyllic hope that we can find love (and ourselves), in Bali. While those two movies paint a rather outlandish picture of traveling, it sometimes sways our decision on whether or not traveling solo is a good thing.
Let’s get one thing straight: Traveling whether it’d be alone or with others, is ALWAYS a good thing.
But there is an existing conundrum that we sometimes run into when we’ve taken the plunge to travel. Traveling solo raises many questions about security, safety and overall social sanity. Much like in life, traveling alone is in fact a very healthy thing to do. It allows the flexibility to change travel itineraries without anyone else’s demise. It also challenges you to escape your comfort zone, and you learn a lot about what you’re capable of overcoming.
To an extent, Julia Roberts made a point.
Traveling alone doesn’t mean that you ought to be fearless however. Kudos for being brave enough to take on the world alone, but remember that you're not invincible! Traveling alone also means having a greater sense of your intuition and being mindful of your surroundings. After all, you won’t have another pair of eyes looking out for you.
Preparation and research are half the battle when it comes to traveling. It’s beneficial to familiarize yourself with your surroundings before venturing into it. Keep a close pulse on any newsworthy events occurring in that area so that you can avoid any turmoil, or partake in any of their celebrations!
Communication is also key to a successful solo mission. It entails letting those at home know the areas you’re traveling to and when they’d expect you to be back. It would also be good to have a ‘contact’ while you’re traveling, in case any emergencies come up.
The public will also be your best friend. Traveling and hanging out in public places, rather than seclusion is not only more interesting (with people-watching), but also the safest way to stay out of trouble.
While traveling sans-partner might be a bit lonely, coincidentally enough, it’s a very social experience. Sometimes the most intimate conversations happen with someone that you’ll never see again. Take the plunge and travel solo!