Travel solo – because Yolo!
Travelling solo is a trend, a hype that a lot of travelers are following these days. Some will even say you have to travel solo at least once in a lifetime. What makes travelling all by yourself so special, so fascinating? Let me tell you what makes this type of trips so special for me.
Start of my solo trips
The first time I travelled solo, was, like for so many others, simply because I couldn’t find anyone to jump on an airplane with me. I knew I will have three weeks off and I knew that in no way I am going to spent three weeks sitting at home. All my friends had no money or no time or no motivation. So before I wouldn’t travel at all I decided I will try my first solo.
I decided to go to Thailand. As I haven’t really heard about anyone travelling alone before that and it was also in the beginning of my backpacker career I thought Thailand is an easy country to start with.
Tickets booked – excitement level high!
This trip was changing for my in so many ways. It changed my travel style completely and it was the start of a massive personal change.
It was my first time staying in hostel dorms and my first time exploring places all by myself. To be honest I haven’t done it all by myself because it didn’t take a long time until I made friends along the way.
What happens when you are alone?
There was one girl, I met her in the streets in Bangkok. I asked her for the way and in return she asked me if I know a hostel with available rooms. We ended up getting her a room, went out for dinner and some drinks together. The following days we spent some time together in Bangkok. As it was going to be Christmas 1 week later, she invited me to celebrate Christmas with her and her family on Koh Samui. What a great start into my solo traveler life.
Another time I found myself in Laos spending a night on a small desk with 9 people from 10 different countries laughing, drinking, making music and writing each other’s names in different language signs.
You travel alone and suddenly you find yourself in a group of other travelers: You like eachother so much that you all stay way longer in that place, so you don’t have to leave the group.
Happenings like them make me packing my backpack alone again and again.
People on this world
The people I meet along my way are the reason why travelling solo is special to me.
It is, how I call it, the “kindness of the stranger”. This kindness I meet again and again. All the life-stories, lifestyles and mindsets I meet, are making me curious for more. It shows me again and again that there is so much more to learn and see on this world.
I strongly believe that you can experience this in the best way when you are travelling alone, because there is no one holding you back from really being with others.
Deep talks with “strangers”
Sometimes you will meet someone and suddenly after a few hours you will have the most intense talks. I met people along the way and had the most soul-searching and soul-opening talks every. I shared my whole life and baggage with total strangers. They did the same. We weren’t strangers after a short time anymore. A lot of other travelers already told me about the same phenomenon. I haven’t really figured out why this happens when you are traveling solo, but it does and it is amazing and sometimes life-changing.
You will learn that there are people out there in the world with a similar mindset like yours, but from a different part of the world, different culture/religion. You will learn how similar people are, no matter where they come from.
The world is not a scary place
There is no sheet anchor that you can grab when you are alone. Sometimes you have to rely on strangers. Sometimes you have to ask strangers for help. You have to rely on pubich transportation and that it is getting you somehwere.
You will learn that the world with its people is good and not scary, not matter where you are.
Friends from all over the world
Sometimes you will meet people, have a good time with each other and then you split up again. Maybe some messages here and there, but soon the contact will be gone. This doesn’t make these meetings any less value. It is also possible to meet true friends on the road, who will stick with you for a long time.
After 5 years of travelling I have friends from India, Thailand, China, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, France, Canada, Israel and so on. Thanks to social medias to make sharing and staying in contact easy.
I met one of my now best friends while travelling. I was in Singapore and we used to live in the same flat. This flatmate was a Indian guy, who today is one of my closest friends. Since 5 years we manage to meet each other occasionally somewhere on this world. He came to visit Europa, we met by accident in Amsterdam (not kidding), we met in Bangkok, we travelled Laos and Cambodia together. In between he moved to Melbourne and I moved to France and back to Germany. Last year I visited him at his family’s place in a small village in east India.
You will figure yourself out
When travelling by yourself you will figure out who you truly are. You can be whoever you want and represent whatever you want. For some this means that they finally can be themselves.
You will experience how you react when confronted with certain situation and people. You will step out of your comfort zone and figure new things out.
This may change your believes and your motivations in life. This may change the way how you act and interact. All because you will figure out what really matters to you.
I turned vegetarian while travelling and started to really care for our environment. I also started to get interested in politics, because I want to understand why things are the way they are. I was career motivated person before I started travelling, I could care less about it nowadays.
You become independent and gain freedom
Travelling alone through India? No problem (read about it here)
Driving in any traffic by yourself? For sure
Sleeping on a roof top because there is no bed available? I love it
Jumping on a bus without knowing where it goes to? Awesome
You will learn to trust your gut and your instinct. You will stop needing someone who approves you and your decisions. You will learn just to go with the flow and to handle whatever it may bring
Solo travel let you grow and change. It let you be with yourself and teaches you everything you need.
Get lost, but don’t get hurt!