Have you ever wondered what it’s like to travel alone? I did all the time, and it was an item on my bucket list. When given the opportunity to do so, I chose a country where I could get my feet wet. I needed to end up in the Asia region, so I stuck within that vicinity and these were my options:
- South Korea
I ended up choosing Singapore, because the extra flight between Singapore and Myanmar didn’t cost me anything, and with the time I had, I felt like I could fully explore this country in 3 days. Click here for the itinerary.
When I say solo trip, I mean no one was flying with me and no one was expecting me on the other end (for work or for personal). I was on my own to get to and from places, and it was up to me to figure out my schedule (or lack there of).
Is solo traveling all it’s cracked up to be?
Yes and then a bag of chips! I absolutely loved it. I went at my own pace. If I wanted to examine an art piece longer than average, I didn’t have to ask someone to wait for me. If I wanted to step into a coffee shop, because I wanted air conditioning, I didn’t feel guilty for taking time away from else’s trip. And if I wanted to sit around and people watch, I didn’t have to wonder if my group was bored.
You get to experience YOUR vacation. Let’s face it- Every one defines a vacation in his/her own terms. Some people like lounging by the pool side, being catered drinks every 15 minutes. Others want to bungee jump off of a bridge over a river full of crocodiles (not me). On the hand, you have people like myself, that just prefer to wander the streets and to surreptitiously stumble upon hidden gems.
Also, you get really comfortable with being alone, which isn’t difficult for me. I like my solitude. When I was in Singapore, I was more disconnected than usual. I don’t get a SIM card when I travel, so I was removed from social media and texting. I only texted when I had WiFi, which was at the Airbnb and the coffee shops. Other than that, I only had my mind to encapsulate the welcomed moments. I found those to be the most precious memories.
Lastly, you tap into your resourcefulness. I’d like to think that I’m naturally a resourceful person, but nothing tests it more when you zero local connections and few tools to assist you. I had times where I had to find outlets, ask people for help and find energy to walk. Luckily, when you’re on vacation, there’s no time pressure, so I could calmly solve those obstacles. But when you do things on your own- no matter how small- you gain a sense of pride and grow your confidence.
Of course, there are down sides as well to traveling alone. There were so many times where I would relay my trip to My. Lumberjack and my parents. As I would tell them and share my pictures, I wished they had the opportunity to experience those moments with me. I knew how much fun it was and I wanted them to have the same amount of fun. Also, it’s always nice to have another brain to help you when needed and another ear to listen to you when you get an idea.
Even with the negative, I would travel alone again due to the positive time I had. Granted, Singapore is a great country for first solo travelers: 1) English is a common language, 2) MRT (train line) is so easy to use and 3) almost every cafe had free WiFi. I’m not going to give myself a feverishly pat on the back, because I didn’t take any big risks. A big risk to me is going to a remote village in the Middle East and the jeep accidentally drove away without me.
Nonetheless, after knowing I can do this, I’ll probably travel alone again to either a less modern place, a non-English speaking country, a longer period or all three. Who knows? You’ll find out when and where, once I’m in the mood to book another one of these solo trips.
Would you dare travel on your own for leisure? If so, where would you go?