HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I know you're probably trying to tell me if I have misspelled "Travelling" as it is supposed to be "Traveling" with a single L. You're welcome to have your own entitlement of that but really that's not what I am trying to discuss about here. Bye, Felicia.
After juggling between what should I write as the first official post of 2018, I came up with this. I recently put up an Instagram-story polling (oh please, it's 2018 and if you still have no idea what it is, I'll be more than happy to give you a lecture, just email me). On my polling, I asked if the majority of my followers would travel with a partner rather than travel solo.. And the result keeps coming in, and I have more people voting for 'travel with a partner' rather than going on their own.
Why did I end up choosing this topic?
Well, as a youngster who has traveled solo during 2017 even though I am not a pro, I feel like sharing this experience might help those who ever thought of starting to travel on their own or to encourage my fellow youngsters to book that ticket and pick up their bag and leave to their dream destinations.
The truth is it doesn't sound that easy. Not everyone has the gut to just pick up the bag and go travel. I understand the insecurities and fear and all the second guessing in making such decision because let me tell you, it ain't easy. I travelled solo by accident, my boyfriend had to cancel his trip and I can't just let the part I paid burnt off just like that. So I picked up my bag and just go. Guess what? It was the best thing that's ever happened to me and changed my perspective completely in seeing places.
Let me get to the point why it's bitter sweet, the break down is here.
THE BITTER TRUTH.
- Everything about traveling solo is you are going to be in the journey alone, all by yourself.
- You'll be sitting alone in the airport waiting room and on the plane with only your latest gadget(s).
- You will have to trust your instinct discovering certain places and your ability to read city maps is really needed here, if you're just like me who got lost easily, you'll have to ask local about where you're going. That means, when visiting a non-english speaking country, you should really try your ultimate best.
- The hardest part is to have the hotel room all for yourself. I know it sounds exaggerating and some people probably wouldn't mind that at all and as much as you're telling yourself it is okay to be alone at the hotel room because you're a grown up, it still is empty. When I say empty, I mean it. You are longing for a company and you might say 'oh call your significant other, friends or parents'... that works, only during the call period and not after they hang up. Your heart is missing a partner or a person to talk to right at that moment. When it comes to me, no matter how strong or brave I think I am, I cry at my hotel room sometimes.
- You have no one to talk to on the street/getting from one point to the other. Unless you're on a day tour or group tour which probably can get you one or two friends if you decided to be friendly or make some friends that day.
- Expenses are all at your own costs. Say you book a hotel, you can't split the payment because obviously you are on your own. You also unable to split any food bill, or even share a meal. You have to pay everything on your own, even though splitting it in half would make all cost a lot cheaper.
- Securities. This is the important issue. When you are by yourself in a big or small city, you're in charged of your own safety. It can be a lot scarier to walk to your accomodation at night at some cities. You have to pretend you look scary too (not trying to look like a ghost) and you ended up having to at least have pepper spray or in my case I carry nail chipper just in case of protection. I might make this sounds funny (or not) to you because you might think it's like one of those movie scenes, but it is all for your safety. It's better to have an umbrella before it rains, isn't it?
- No one is going to take photos for you, unless you asked a stranger/offered a help by a stranger or you carry a tripod, like me.
THE SWEET TRUTH
- An instant confirmation. When you find a cheap ticket to your dream destination or just a cheap ticket in general and you have a leave you can take or a matching time but not your friends, you can just book that ticket and go.
- A personalised itinerary. You're free to do whatever you want, go wherever you want. Sometimes when you travel with someone else, it can be hard to arrange itinerary based on the likes of each individual and in this case, instead of being an asshole for not going to where they wanted, you can be a complete selfish person and just head to the places you wanted to.
- Eat whatever you want or feel like at that moment. Love a burger? Go ahead. Feels like chicken nuggets? Yes, Maccas is right at the corner. Eat whatever you please.
- You actually train yourself to know people and make friends with strangers. Out of all the day tour you went on, it is impossible if you don't gain at least one friend. There will be people who are also traveling on their own and just go and say hi. You never know who you're gonna meet. Be friendly.
- I mean just like the bitter truth, the sweet truth of solo traveling has its own importance in the matter of self-growth. Again, it may sound dramatic. During my solo traveling, I find a part of myself that I never knew existed. I personally felt an internal growth and appreciation towards myself that I forever thank my solo travel for.
To end this very personal article, I would sum up that solo traveling is a life changing experience that we should all experience at some point of our lives to help us discover ourselves in a whole another level. It may come with risks and bitter sides, but we won't grow without challenges and adventures.
With all love and supports,