As I’m 2 years into being on the road, I’ve never found it difficult nor challenging to find travel partners. I’m lucky to have met the most incredible people from all across the globe. To share these experiences with me, share times with me what now is my day-to-day life. From all corners of the globe. Canadians, Americans, Germans, Irish, Australians, Brazilians, Spanish – you name it. I prefer to travel alone, so I can make my decisions on what I want to do, who I want to meet. I’m independent enough not to rely on another traveller if the situation arises, and to do my own thing.
It has been a refreshing experience in the last 5 weeks of my travels. Since leaving Brazil, I’ve been to Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and now I’m currently in Venezuela. These parts are not fulfilled with groups of backpackers, so it makes your experience very more fulfilling and more of a challenge. This however, is what travelling is about.
You can go to SE Asia and meet people in the known hostels, meet people on the islands or in the bars in cities. Across Europe you’ll always bump into a backpacker or a fellow traveller. South America, in these parts I mentioned, its not as easy.
I found myself a couple of times with people I knew I didn’t really want to travel with. As a backpacker in parts of the world where there are not many, your mind is telling you to buddy up with someone, despite maybe the differences. My conscious has always been saying, go it alone. And honestly, if this would have been in previous locations such as India or Myanmar, I may have felt a slight anxious feeling of the prospect of being alone. But that was 2 years ago. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot since then. I’ve been in Venezuela for just about 10 days. I know little Spanish and have done alot of things, some alone, some not. It’s been a fantastic learning curve and experience for me to go off on my own. I was with a couple of travellers originally, but their own rules, plans and preferences were not likened to what I prefer, or have been use to. As a traveller, I want no commitment to anyone in what I have to do, nor I want to plan every little detailed scenario possible. I see travelling as a getting on with it, planning some basics, but seeing everything as it comes. That for me is a sense of freedom, not an organised tour guide. I’m happy that I’ve stuck to my ways and not given in to temptations to travel with people for the sake of it. It’s really stamped my own independence and way of thinking. I see with people they travel or network with people, just for the sake of it, or for the comfort to have someone else there. But I ask, what freedom is that? Travelling is suppose to be grueliling and challenging. Indulging ourselves in with the locals is part of it. This leads on to another theory of mine, where there are different kinds of travellers. Not going into that too much, but the key three are the original-like backpackers, budget travellers and flashy-like backpackers. I mean, there is different circumstances to consider when travelling alone, in some cases nationality, sex and religion, so precautions are to be made.
I just find it incredible to be able to have my things that I need in a small 47 litre backpack and ready to take on the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to getting back into a dorm(it’s been 6 weeks) and meeting other backpackers along the way. Getting involved in the social aspect again. However, mixing it up is what its all about.
I encourage you soon-to-be travellers, current backpackers or people in limbo of what to do next whether alone or with someone, test yourself. If you have the idea of travelling implanted in your head anyway, then you must have some sort of degree of independence about you. This is your experience, your life, not someone elses. If you have to go it alone, then do it. Don’t stick with someone who just isn’t there to do what you want to do. If they want to stay comforted in one location for a bit, so be it, each to their own. The world is a beautiful but challenging place, do your own thing and you’ll be surprised how much that brings you on as a person.
For me, I’ve always been happy with my own company. My reasons for writing this article is that I’ve found something new about myself. Not that I can travel alone or rough it, I’ve already discovered that. It’s the ability to actually have a new, different and thoroughly enjoyable experience doing my own thing, alone. I don’t feel anxious as I may have when I first started travelling. It really does keep you on your toes.
What’s that line he uses in that movie, something to do with a ‘Beach’?….
And as for travelling alone, fuck it, if that’s the way it is, then that’s the way it has to be.