The Other Side Of Traveling Alone: My Honest Confessions

Travelling alone has become a cool status than the actual travel. In this digital age, the millennials have jumped into the bandwagon to entitle it. The glorification of these two terms “SOLO TRAVELER” have reached a stage where it has become an obsession. It is like a new wave in the travel industry. Everyone is trying to embrace it without knowing whether solo travel is for them or not. Especially, the self proclaimed Instagram celebrities, upcoming travel bloggers and the younger generation are aping the concept of solo travel. Not for the sake of travel, but to build their online image on the rising social media.

The excessive hype created by the media about Solo Travel has made a few travelers an exotic breed in the crowd. The niche marketing of solo travel on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook have created a parallel world of travel.

The Other Side Of Traveling Alone: My Honest Confessions

On a road trip

I am not against the idea of SOLO TRAVEL

In spite of my above statements about Solo Travel, I have never intended to discard the idea of travelling solo. I do appreciate the fact that there are many who love to travel alone. They are doing it successfully without getting hassled. Travelling alone has its pros and cons. Nobody can deny both the sides.

I also admire, especially women who prefer to see the world without any companion. This is absolutely fine. Every traveler has his/her own travelling style. We should respect that irrespective of our own likings or dislikings. Stepping out of your comfort zone to explore the world at your own risks and terms should be encouraged. It is a matter of choice than force. I am not against the idea of Travelling Solo rather I AM AGAINST OVER GLAMORIZATION OF THE CONCEPT OF SOLO TRAVEL.

The Other Side Of Traveling Alone: My Honest Confessions

At Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh


Practical Perks of Travelling alone

  • Travelling alone is a liberating experience.
  • You don’t need to depend on anyone for your travel schedule. You become more responsible. You own everything.
  • You follow your own itinerary and follow your personal schedule.
  • It makes you independent and efficient. You become expert on solving your own problem.
  • It makes you a self-aware person. You become conscious about your surroundings. It enhances your judgement power.
  • You meet new people and make friends easily while on the travel.
  • It boosts your confidence.
  • It gives you enough time for self reflection. You get “Me Time” to indulge.
  • You don’t just conquer fear, anxiety and uneasiness, but you also discover a lot about yourself.
  • You do get introduced to your real self.
The Other Side Of Traveling Alone: My Honest Confession

On my way back from Likir Monastery

But the fact remains the same. Solo travel is not for everyone. It is imperative to find out your travel style. Jumping on something which makes you uncomfortable can ruin your travel experience. It is absolutely OK not to travel alone. You are not going to miss a thing if you choose to travel with your partner, travel companion or with your family. The idea of travelling is not to prove a point to anyone, but to travel and explore it the way you want to.

Travelling to places is equally liberating, enriching and fun with your companion as it is without anyone. It is not about the confidence to go on a solo expedition, but about the choices you make. No one should be ridiculed for not choosing to travel solo. There should not be any added pressure to prove anything to anyone. Travelling is a personal affair and it is your own. One should not push yourself to do something if you are uneasy, only to prove a point to the world of social media. This is absolutely unnecessary.

The Other Side Of Traveling Alone: My Honest Confessions

At Nubra Valley, Ladakh

What will you miss if you don’t travel solo?

Why is it so important to travel solo, at least once?

Will it change your life forever if you travel alone?

Confession

I had traveled to a few places solo in my earlier days of travels. I enjoyed the initial phase of travelling alone, spending time with myself, and sitting alone and admiring the stunning landscapes. But it was momentary. My honest confession is that I absolutely hated it. I felt lonely. Homesickness was hovering over my mind. I was constantly yearning to be with a companion. I missed being with someone with whom I could share my emotions. Eating alone, exploring the most beautiful places without your travel partner, and even sharing your luxury room alone were not fun. Doing everything alone freaks me out. There are numerous reasons why I hate solo travel.

The Other Side Of Traveling Alone: My Honest Confessions

At Tingmosgaon Monastery, Ladakh

Though everyone is busy painting a rosy picture of travelling solo, no one tells you the downside. Let’s find out, The Other Side of Travelling Solo

It’s a lonely affair

Yes, travelling alone is a lonely affair. Whether flying, exploring places, eating a meal or sharing a room, you are ALONE. No matter how many random co-travelers you meet on your way, you have to pave your way alone. Imagine exploring a place, you discover something unique; you have nobody to share your joy with. Similarly, finding a great restaurant to have your comfort food in a strange country, you will have to sit alone at a table. In a strange situation like getting lost or facing any kind of danger, you just can’t rely on strangers. You have to manage everything alone.

Your each emotion like frustration, anger, joy, you have to deal with it alone, at any given point. After a successful expedition when you come back to your hostel or hotel, there is no one to listen to your story or give you a warm hug. Though you meet a lot of people during your travels, but there is hardly anyone you can rely on for anything. Finding like-minded people is easy when you travel alone, but keeping that friendship for life is not guaranteed. It is quite momentary.

I remember being invited by a luxury resort in Coorg, Karnataka for a four day experiential stay. It was one of the most gorgeous properties, located amidst a huge coffee plantation. The luxury cottage with separate living room, bedroom, two verandas and a swimming pool was given to me. It was jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It would have been ideal to share that experience of staying at the property with someone, but unfortunately I had to do it all alone. I ended up feeling lonely during that trip.

No One to Share Special Moments

Imagine being awestruck by a spectacular landscape or a breathtaking sunset. You want to jump in joy, shout and hug your partner. But you will not find anyone next to you, because you are travelling alone. How will you feel at that moment? It is hard to explain the feeling of missing that one special moment with your travel companion, partner or a friend.  Some moments can’t be captured in the lens, they are meant to be lived. It doesn’t matter how desperately you wish to share it, you have to live it alone. What’s the point of creating beautiful memories when you don’t have the luxury of sharing it with someone?

I still remember the moment I landed in Maldives. My jaw literally dropped seeing the endless turquoise ocean in front of me. It was dreamy. I was on a Press Trip along with one more journalist from a reputed newspaper. I was thrilled and wanted to jump in joy after reaching the super luxurious resort in Finolhu Island. During those 5 days in the Maldives, indulging in various activities like white beach parties to sunset cruise, I felt lonely. In spite of being in the company of another person, I couldn’t express my emotions the way I wanted. Because, she was not like-minded and had a rigid personality. I felt alone all the time. It’s an irony. Even though I saw the most gorgeous sunset, went on a glass bottom boat ride, saw sea turtles, jumping dolphins, I couldn’t share those real moments with anyone at that time.

Safety Issues

Well, when you are out of your home country or comfort zone, you are on your own. Safety is one top priority for each traveler and one shouldn’t compromise on it. When you are on a SOLO trip, you have to make a conscious efforts to keep yourself safe in any given situation. No one can predict an unannounced emergency situation. It is always advisable to have your travel insurance before you land in a new country. At least it eliminates a few unwanted situations like losing passport, medical emergency, loss of luggage, flight cancellation, etc. There are a few specially designed Online Travel Insurances for digital nomads as well.

Travel Insurance for digital nomads

It makes it hard sometimes to deal with safety issues all by yourself. Whether it is stalking, theft, misbehavior or any tough situation, being a solo woman traveler, it makes your life way tougher than a male counterpart. There are many cases of cheating, theft or people getting conned on their trips. A fellow travel companion can be of a great help in such cases. Whether you face any kind of harassment, danger or any uncomfortable situation in a new city, travelling with someone and a group is way safer than travelling alone.

It is Expensive

Whether you agree or not, solo trip can be expensive. Whether it is paying for a meal or a cab fare, or hotel room, you have to bear everything alone. There is no one with whom you can split the bill. At times, it can become really expensive for the solo travelers and it can make a big hole in your pocket. Especially in expensive European countries like Finland, Norway or Iceland, everything out there has a freaking high price tag. It becomes quite problematic if you are not well-prepared before the trip.

Homesickness

After travelling solo for long, one feels homesick. It is quite obvious that you start missing your life back home. You yearn for being with friends and family. Sometimes, the best of the exotic locations and the best gourmet food also can’t uplift your mood. The long term travelling alone can make you crave everything you considered boring earlier. I know travelers who often suffer from homesickness so badly that they had shortened their trip and came back to their homeland. This is absolutely normal.

I remember going on a luxury cruise trip from Dubai to Kochi in India with the Princess Cruises. It was nothing less than a dream trip. Everything was going great. The life on the cruise was beyond luxurious. But one of the days was quite tough as we were sailing on rough sea for more than 12 hours and it made me nauseous. I felt sick and couldn’t sleep the entire night. I felt absolutely helpless as I was the middle of the ocean. As far as your eyes could see, there was only sea water beyond horizon. At that moment, I was suffering from homesickness. The luxuries of cruising felt nothing. All I wanted was to be back home as soon as possible. At one point, I became so restless that I was questioning my decision of coming on a cruise trip.

Apart from these major reasons, I like to confess the fact that I am a people’s person. I always like to be surrounded by like-minded people. I enjoy a place more with a travel companion than by myself. Dining alone is another problem which I hate to do whenever I am travelling. Being a travel blogger and having an active presence on social media, I like to be photographed in different locations to post them on my channels. Travelling alone also makes it really tough when it comes to clicking your own photos. You hardly get anyone to click that perfect shot with a great composition. To be honest, it does get boring to travel solo sometimes.

At Rayong beach, Thailand

Embrace your own traveling style. Enjoy it, celebrate it and own it.


Disclaimer : Reproduction of any of the contents, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.

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26 Comments

  1. Ayushi

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing information, please keep sharing…

    Reply
  2. Asif Qamar

    Nice post.
    Thank you for sharing a informative information with us.
    Visit my links to find best Industrial Training Institute in India.

    Reply
  3. Nilesh Sharma

    Loved your post on Solo Travel. Yes Solo travel is not for everybody, but then how would one know that if they never experienced it 🙂
    Travel is fun and I wish all had the liberty to do that as often as possible, Solo or with friends, with family, and just with a partner or may be all and even more …

    Reply
  4. apurvaverma

    I really like your way of writing how precisely you explained the term. It was very helpful. I worked for me. Thank You

    Reply
  5. Sandy N Vyjay

    Nice to note that you have presented both sides of the topic. Like everything else traveling solo too has its pros and cons. But as you rightly mention it is more of a personal choice and what your preferences are. And again you can be a solo traveler sometimes just to be with oneself while you normally prefer to travel in a group or with a partner.

    Reply
  6. Munish

    Nice contrarian perspective on Solo Travel! For me it’s a mix. Some times I yearn to do things in a Group. At other times, especially for doing things on the spur, Solo Travel is an easy and practical option.

    You may also share your posts on the FB group http://www.facebook.com/groups/TravelBuddyEurope/.

    Reply
  7. Madison Lane

    Sometimes I wish I had the guts to travel alone. I want to travel and experience new things and meet new people along the way. I admire you so much! You are an inspiration! I’ll definitely try this one day. Thanks for this!

    Reply
  8. Anil Sharma

    Nice Blog, Thanks for sharing with us !

    Reply
  9. Lisa N

    I really admire anyone who can travel solo. Travelling can be tough and to go through the hard times without a sidekick takes some guts. Good read, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  10. ann

    Thank you for sharing. I really enjoy traveling alone, I always tend to meet up with likeminded people when I’m abroad which is great. The major downside, at least for me, is that you dont have someone to split the fixed costs (hotel etc) with.

    Reply
  11. Martha

    This is a fabulous read! I actually started traveling solo simply because I was fed up waiting for people to be ready to accompany me. I think because of this, I don’t feel so alone while I’m traveling. I’m so excited to be traveling and scratching that neverending wanderlust itch! But, as you said, when I slow travel for long periods of time, that is when I am overcome with loneliness and sadness. You’re absolutely right in saying that there are moments that I wish I could share a travel moment with a loved one. One way to cope with this is that I make friends while on the road and join a few travel groups so I’m not always alone. Happy travels!

    Reply
  12. Catherine Salvador Mendoza

    Travelling alone is a liberating experience- absolutely true. Anyone who travels alone or solo can feel liberated in many good or bad ways. Indeed, as you’ve written down all the perks and downsides of traveling, one should find his/ her style of traveling. And yes, after so long traveling, one cannot say that they don’t miss their home. The home cook foods, their lovely family, the ambiance, and so many factors that add to missing back home. Solo traveling is actually really nice, we just have to be honest with ourselves if we really like it or not, or sometimes, prefer to travel with a partner. All to someones’ preference. Happy travels! 🙂

    Reply
  13. amar singh

    I must admit I do agree with you with this whole new fashion statement Solo travel and self promotion. I would love to share these special moments with someone and not be alone. There are times where you can run into trouble and the comfort with someone with you is always a positive for me. Plus I have always travelled with my family and love it this way. There are pluses of solo travel but a well planned group travel can be as fun .

    Reply
  14. Clarice

    This is definitely true. I personally did some solo traveling it was really life-changing. Despite the experience, I still prefer to travel with my family and friends. I find it way more fun and memorable.

    Reply
  15. Cat Lin

    I agree with you on this. Although, traveling with a companion or traveling solo is a matter of preference, the hype on solo traveling sometimes misleads. For me though, it is indeed better to travel with a companion. The experience becomes more memorable and more special when it is shared.

    Reply
  16. Curls en Route

    As much as solo traveling has its downsides, it has its perks. However, I’m a solo traveler myself and unlike you, I enjoy every bit and second of it, that’s why I’d have to agree with you that it’s surely not for everyone. It’s very important for each and everyone of us, travelers, to embrace his/her own style and simply have fun!

    Reply
  17. Bim

    I felt a similar was after traveling by myself for almost eight weeks. Being an introvert also meant making new friends was quite trying after a while.

    Reply
  18. ZanetaBaran.Com

    That’s great article! I can honestly say it is more expensive than travelling with group of friends. My trips with my Filipino friends are usually the cheapest one. Btw, amazing outfit on main picture, love it!

    Reply
  19. Leah

    I really enjoyed this post- thank you for being so honest. I have never traveled solo, and I would hesitate because of all the reasons you shared. But I think it is amazing that so many people go out and see the world, and don’t allow the lack of travel mates to stop them! Keep enjoying the world and enjoy the special moments! 🙂
    Leah recently posted…Our Family Photoshoot in Edinburgh with FlytographerMy Profile

    Reply
  20. shashi

    This is truly a travel inspiration to go solo. One of the most inspiring and motivational post to go solo. I never travel alone but after read this blog I am planning to go solo. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

    Reply
  21. Shreya Saha

    Parnashree, I so much agree with you here. Over-glamorization of solo travel is evident over social media, and it does not impress me much. I have traveled solo across countries and I understand its perks, but after I have met my travel partner, I really don’t enjoy solo traveling much. It’s not for everyone – I guess I am one of them now.

    Reply
  22. Niranjan R

    Lovely introspective article on Solo travelling. I feel it’s an individual’s choice and comfort when it comes to solo travel. I would any day prefer solo travel over any other form of travel. It gives me the comfort and the freedom that I cherish.
    Also, as you mentioned, the concept of solo travel has gone beyond the roof with the glamour quotient encapsulating it with the modern day wannabes trying to portray it as the coolest thing around. As much as I love solo travels, I also do not like this new concept that’s floating around.

    Reply
  23. Luke Dawn

    Really a best post I have read on alone travelling. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  24. jyoti atoliya

    hii paranashree,
    travelling alone boost our confidence and we learn how to manage things self.
    thanks for sharing these post.

    Reply
  25. Pranab Pal ( @paltravelogue )

    Really nice and honest confessions ……
    Read your blog …..liked it very much.

    Cheers !!!
    Pranab

    Reply

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