They say that experiences are better when shared, and that sharing moments with someone else makes it so much better.
I don’t know exactly who “they” are but they’re full of shit.
We’re told that being able to reminisce with someone and have a memory that binds you, like that the sunrise over Ankor Wat or that hellish overnight bus ride in the Andes, makes it more special. Well sometimes it’s true. It is nice to share moments with people, particularly if you’re in mad fucking love with them or inseparable BFFs. But what is severely underrated is the magic of travelling solo. Going alone opens up a whole new world which was always there in front of you, you just couldn’t see it through that veil of familiarity a travel buddy brings.
Sometimes you just need to ditch the extra baggage and go it alone, and here’s why. Its the absolute most liberating feeling in the world, when you’re somewhere, anywhere, and you realise that no one else in the world has any idea where the fuck you are. Absolutely nada. You’re off the map, uncontactable, unfindable, and unburdened. That realisation is something to treasure, because very rarely do you get to be that free where not a single person you know is there, and all is foreign.
Travelling with others obviously has its ups, but then it has its downs. And the biggest down is compromise. You’re away on your trip of a lifetime, which you’ve saved for and planned for and gotten excited for, only to have some wet blanket who doesn’t want to go to that museum, or that town, or that restaurant, or doesn’t want to go out tonight or eat that weird shit or talk to those girls/guys. On your own, you can do whatever you want. Literally whatever you want. No one to worry about, no one to else to consider, nothing but fulfilling your dream.
You may be the two most sociable legends around, but guaranteed when you’re with someone else, you miss out on things. You aren’t forced to make friends, talk to strangers, have a laugh with people on the street. Because you’ve already got someone to talk to and eat with. But when it’s just you and the world, the world becomes a different thing, full of potential friends, potential lovers, potential experiences.
While you’re out there meeting all these people, travelling alone means you can be whoever you want to be, and no one is going to go home and dish the dirt on you. Want to slut it up one night? Go for it. Want to let out your philosophical hippie side for a few days? Why not! Want to splash out and live large like a snob? Right this way sir.
And finally, the question to ask yourself in the end is are you really travelling, when you’re bringing a piece of home around with you? If it’s the true essence of travel you’re after, isn’t that diluted by any remnant of familiarity, of your life back home? Can you really experience a new place if you’re still talking about the footy, gossiping about friends, and talking the same shit as you always do?
Be comfortable with your own company, ditch the entourage, and head out alone. It’s a whole new world with a ticket for one.