I know it’s a strong statement, but before you make that face, know that this is a companion piece to my other post: Why I Love To Travel Alone. A lot of travelers will tell you need to travel alone at least once in your life. I’m no different. It builds character, it’s easier logistically, and you’ll meet some amazing people out there. But for every good reason to travel solo, there are times when it just sucks. Here’s the other side of that picture before you take that leap.
Wow! Did You See That?
I’ve seen the sun rise and set on 6 of the 7 continents and I can could only begin to describe how beautiful some of have been. I hiked through the night and waited on the top of Mount Sinai for the light to arrive and sweep over the valley below. I’ve chanced riding through the jungle on a motorbike in the dark to watch a gorgeous sunset off an island in Indonesia. As amazing as they were, it was a little bittersweet when I realized I was alone at the time and didn’t have anyone to share and remember that moment with. I couldn’t turn to my right and let out a Wow! Did you see you that? If and when my memory of that moment fades, there will be no one I know that can remind me of it.
It Costs How Much For That Taxi???
The same cab ride will cost a quarter as much if you are sharing it with 3 other people. The math is simple enough. Single rooms cost more than doubles. Hiring a private guide will probably cost just as much if he’s leading 2 people versus just you alone. While you don’t have to worry about anyone else when it comes to logistics, it means you have to be all the costs by yourself.
Table For 1 At A Tapas Bar
I feel like there should be a law against eating tapas alone in Spain. These small dishes are meant to be shared. I don’t mind eating on my own, but it just didn’t feel right in a lively restaurant with a beer and plate full of fried anchovies by myself. With friends, you can try a bit of many dishes. This goes beyond just tapas. Call me a bore, but sometimes I just don’t feel like heading to a club by myself.
Safety In Numbers
If you walk around at night in a dodgy area acting like a drunk tourist, you’ll probably be robbed whether you are with friends or alone, but there is definitely safety in numbers. Personally, I don’t like doing any kind of trek or backcountry camping alone. If something happened to me, it would be pretty hard to get help. It’s just nice to have another person watch your back.
I Get Lonely Too
I’ve sat on a 12 hour bus next to a guy that might have pissed himself and slept through it and on another overnight bus from Amsterdam to London that was stopped 5 times for random drug search. They weren’t fun and I found myself wishing I had a friend by my side. I’ve strolled down some romantic alleys in Rome, Paris and Prague and being a bit jealous at the couples laughing and enjoying each other’s company. These moments are rare, but they do happen.
I’m even feeling down writing this. This is by no means meant to discourage you from traveling alone. It’s just to let you know that it’s not all parties and serendipitous moments when you’re on the road traveling alone. Sometimes, it sucks. But not often.