Sunday, September 14, 2008

Five reasons to travel solo: #1 Freedom & flexibility

Most people are surprised - some even shocked - when they find out I travel alone. Reactions to my revelation vary from long, sympathetic stares to appalled cries of: "Don't you get lonely?"

Sure it's great to share your travelling experiences with others: Having my friend Dan join me on my recent research trip through Tanzania for the first four weeks was fantastic, but I equally enjoyed the journey when I was on my own (with the exception of winding up in hospital of course!). The fact is travelling solo is one of the most self-satisfying experiences you're ever likely to have. So for anyone who's never contemplated taking-off alone, I thought I'd share five fabulous reasons why you should consider flying solo.

The biggest attraction of travelling solo is the sense of freedom and independence you'll feel. It's one of the few times in life when you get to call all the shots. You decide when to go where and you don't have to consult anyone. When travelling, you're often presented with opportunities to experience new places or sights that weren't in your original plan. If your travel companion doesn't want to go, you'll either end up comprising or, worse still, miss out altogether and then bemoan the decision for the rest of the trip. But if you don't have anyone to consider, you can spend all your time lazing on a beach if you want, or suddenly decide to explore that little-known temple which piqued your interest. What's more, if you don't like a place, you can simply move on. No debates; no arguments; no compromises. Bliss!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,

What a wonderful blog! I too travel solo - because of the flexibility, but also because I meet more people (I'm forced to if I have no travel partner); it boosts my self-confidence; it improves my language skills (by forcing me to talk)... and so many more reasons.

I too have been a travel journalist (though mostly a news reporter) and even though I get corporate once in a while, I am often drawn back to the road.

My longest solo trip was three years, up the spine of Africa and across to Asia. It prompted me to develop, a site for solo women travelers (originally I wanted to write a book but life took over and I let it slide by...)

I've now subscribed to your blog and it will be regular reading for me. Terrific!

Kim Wildman said...

Hi Scribetrotter. Thank you so much for subscribing. You're so right about the other benefits of travelling solo – in fact you've given away a few of my remaining reasons!

I've been on the look-out for inspiring websites that encourage women to travel solo and actually stumbled across your website about a month or so back. I really enjoyed reading it. I think it is so important that we share our experiences, so I'll definitely be spreading the word on Women-on-the-Road.

I hope you get to write that book one day!