Contributor: Jo Kiragu, Nairobi, Kenya
Time spent traveling is not time wasted. That is a fact. If you love traveling, you most probably have already gotten used to going with certain people, in a group, exploring the world together. It comes with security, and you do not feel lonely. However, sometimes when we undertake a trip, it is to get away, to relax and to reset. Some vacations are meant to clear our minds.
Imagine doing all that on your own. Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking that long overdue vacation alone. You may have to leave your friends, your significant other or even your child behind. But just for, a week or two, you will have the silence, the peace of mind, the 'me time' we all crave to think through, enjoy life and new experience and be responsible for only ourselves and no one else. Undertaking a solo trip is both scary and fun but at the end, the fun outweighs the fear and once you experience the freedom, the serenity, the flexibility that comes with it, you will want more.
Travelling alone is easy to plan, and you are much more flexible. You are at liberty to make calls and decisions that work for you and only you. You can change prior plans made and even make unplanned stops as you wish, without having to consult anyone. You can prolong your stay at a particular destination, or you can visit a place that was not on your initial itinerary.
If you are traveling alone, you are bound to make new friends and create bonds that would not have been formed in other circumstances. When visiting with your friends, you tend to be in comfort zone and will rarely make long-lasting friendships. You hang out with them most times, and you will not venture into adventures alone. But when you are alone, you have no option but to be more social, allowing you to bump into all kinds of people, start all forms of conversations and friendships. Don’t be surprised to make lifetime friends and travel buddies from across the globe!
On most occasions, we take vacations hoping to relax, reflex and reset. If you are alone, you get to do that. You can daydream, fantasize, enjoy swimming, or take random walks or just sitting by the pool, with your book and a glass of wine, reflect on the life back home while relaxing and enjoying the serenity of it and the peace of mind that comes with it. Sit on the balcony and watch the sunrise and sunsets. Go for an early morning or late night walks and swims. You get to enjoy some ‘me time’ where you will relax, reflect and reset.
When wandering about in away from home, you have absolute freedom to do as you please and you only have to worry about yourself. You can be as adventurous as you want, do things you would never have done if you were in the company of other people, be as random as you can be. Be spontaneous. Have what is being served by the roadside rather than going back to the hotel for lunch, take that bus ride until the end then back to your hotel.
Travelling alone will change you. It will build your confidence; it will be fun, it will be thrilling, you get to do so much and enjoy so much you will wonder why you always traveled in a group. You get to figure yourself out and learn so much about yourself. You create your own story.
So the next time you think of canceling your travel plans because your travel partner has bailed out, think twice and don’t do it. Be bold, be daring and take that trip alone!