Would you travel alone?
For most people the experience of travelling is one they must share with others, and sharing such an experience can strengthen your relationship. Be it a family member, partner or friend when you travel together and share such an experience it will change your relationship all together, mostly for the good but sometimes for the bad.
On the other hand travelling on your own can have the same effect on your relationship with yourself, spending any amount of time, alone in a unfamiliar surroundings will lead you to discover more about yourself than you thought possible.
My first experience of travelling alone came about by accident on my one of my first trips abroad. Myself and a my best friend, had decided one summer to head off to the Greek islands and work our way around them. We were only 18 at the time and neither of us had ever been away without parents before. Filled with excitement and enthusiasm we heading off to Crete, were we worked outside a bar, trying to get passers by to pop in for a drink. The money wasn’t great, the hours long and the constant rejection from potential customers took it’s toll on your confidence. But we didn’t care we met tons of new people, felt like explores and it was much better than stacking shelves in our local supermarket back home.
Whilst there we got loads of tips about which islands to visit the best and cheapest ways to get between them and filled up with loads of ideas for the rest of our summer travelling. We spent around a month on Crete, before we decided to head off to other islands and we ended up settling on an Island we had never heard of before Naxos, were we worked for a camp site called Plaka camping. Our job was to board a ferry with a return ticket to another island, then on the return trip go up to groups of young travellers and get them to book into our camp-site. This may not sound like a great job, but it was awesome, we basically spent months in the sun, chatting up groups of young European girls. What a dream for any 18 year old boy.
After spending a few months doing this, my friend had to return to the UK for family reasons, this left me a choice do I go home with him or stay? If this had happened at the beginning of our journey the choice would have been easy, I would have been on the plane with him. But I had grown a lot this summer and now had the confidence to continue on my own. So I decided to stay.
Being alone in unfamiliar surroundings, will make even the most shy of people become extrovert. And I quickly made new friends and acquaintances wherever I went.
Now I have no hesitation in travelling alone, in fact I think I prefer it. Not being tied to anyone else, not having to compromise on things and doing basically what I choose is the best way for me to travel. This may sound selfish to some of you, but travelling is so important to me, I am just not prepared to compromise.
Over the years I have travelled loads on my own, during such time I have met some truly amazing people, had some unbelievable experiences and I have truly grown as a person.
So I challenge you to do the same, pack your bags, book a flight and head off with out friends or family, or even a plan. You will undoubtedly find it strange at first, even a little scary. But stick it out and you will have an amazing time, one you can treasure for ever. Some of you will even become as addicted as I am to travelling alone.