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Myths I had about traveling alone

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Some people enjoy traveling alone and some people prefer traveling with someone else. I’ve experienced both, and have had good and bad experiences. When asked what some of the myths of traveling alone are, it took me a little while to come up with a list. But these seven myths I find relevant. Keep in mind the points listed are a mélange of pros and cons.

Gozkybrain Izuka

#1 “I have time to reflect.”
An argument for traveling alone is having plenty of time to reflect on your life. I should say, up to a point, this rings true. There is no denying you end up reflecting on how lonely you are. Don’t get me wrong: being alone and being lonely are two different things. When you’re on the road, the two tend to converge.
I felt particularly lonely every time something funny happened. There’s just something sad about laughing alone, when you can have a chuckle with someone else.

#2 “I’ll easily meet new people.”
When you travel solo, you’re more open to conversing with locals and other travelers, but it is a myth that it is easy. Whether it’s getting directions to the next village, or requesting recommendations on the best happy hour bar in town, speaking to strangers can be daunting.
The fear is amplified when you don’t speak the local language. Often, it’s difficult meeting new people.
You may think that just because you booked yourself a hostel, you’ll easily meet like-minded travelers. Although this may be true most of the time, there will be times when you end up staying with uptight people who have no interest in meeting anyone new.
Not only that, travelers are transient. The new best friend you met tonight may be leaving for Azerbaijan tomorrow morning, and you’ll have to make new friends all over again. To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with crawling out of your shell and meeting new people, but sometimes there’s comfort in the familiar.

#3 “It is more expensive with others.”
Another myth people have about solo traveling is how it is much cheaper than traveling with others. Sure, there may be some truth to it. I find that traveling with at least one other person makes it not only simpler, but a little cheaper. Everything, from jumping into a keke in Owerri, to buying a bottle of wine at Ore costs less when you split the cost with someone else.
Of course, there are ways to keep costs low while traveling solo. Such as buying a single bus or ferry ticket instead of jumping into a taxi, ordering a beer instead of buying a bottle of wine, and so on. Even so, I find it generally cheaper to travel with a buddy.

#4 “It’s not safe to travel solo as a woman.”
Admittedly, there’s some truth to this statement. Culture and gender play important roles in it. It probably isn’t a great idea for a woman to travel alone in Iran, but totally fine for a man to do so. On the other hand, it is totally fine for both men and women to backpack across Western Europe.
At the end of the day, regardless of your gender and the country’s cultural expectations, it is very important to exercise caution no matter where in the world you are.

#5 “There’s safety in numbers.”
Another myth people tend to associate with traveling solo is how it is way more dangerous. Not necessarily. Swindlers love big groups, as the chaos and excitement makes it easier for them to get what they’re after. Pickpockets love crowds and large groups, as their targets are easily distracted and tend to have their guards down.
When traveling solo, you tend to be more aware of your surroundings and your belongings, for the sole reason that there’s no one else to look out for you.
As important as it is to have an open mind and to rely on the kindness of strangers while on the road, be sure to practice caution. The last thing you want is for your organs to be harvested and sold on the black market.

#6 “No one’s going to take my picture.”
One downside to traveling alone is you don’t have a buddy to get shutter-happy with you. Stop whining about it and get a selfie stick, if taking shots of yourself for Instagram is that important.
You can also rely on strangers to take pictures of you. Choose your photographers wisely. You don’t want them running off into the bowels of a Moroccan bazaar with your $1000 DSLR.

#7 “I’ll feel too homesick to really enjoy myself.”
This is perhaps one of the biggest travel myths that I’ve ever been asked about. People who don’t indulge in travel because they’re worried about missing home just make excuses to avoid leaving their comfort zone.
I’m not going to deny that my first time traveling alone was a daunting experience. By the second day, I was all about making the most of my time. In my experience, wanderlust breeds more wanderlust. Before you know it, home isn’t where you grew up, but where you’re heading to next.

After years of bouncing around the my country, I have concluded nothing is better than traveling with someone. As fun as it is taking some time out and experiencing new things alone, I’ll always be a fan of traveling with another person.
From your best friend, to lover, to a total stranger you met on the bus, there’s just something about being on the same wavelength and indulging in conversation with another human being while on the road.
Traveling solo does have its place, however; as the myths above can attest, most people avoid doing so out of fear. Take courage, choose your destination wisely, and explore the great unknown—with only yourself to rely on.




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10 comments:

  1. That number 5 has meaning, there is safety in number. I will be able to even sleep in the bus and know that my peers have my back

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  2. i'm an introvert so traveling alone is my game

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  3. If you travel alone from Lagos to east, you can die ooo

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  4. I have always dreamt of travelling alone, i hate the family travel thing

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  5. Travelling with bae is lit, we get to talk, sleep, eat and sing together. Romantic

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  6. Travelling alone is not close to fun, no ginger for bus na. E go just quiet

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  7. I will be thinking i will sit near a fine girl when i go alone so i can toast her, only to sit in between a grandma and a macho man who is just pressing fone. Na cry get am o

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  8. Travelling alone is fun, i only get to think about my self

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  9. Nice blog bro, and hey travelling in group is just the game

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  10. lol travelin alone, i can sleep from lagos to east eh.
    only to end up in hold up where i cant sleep and i get bored, oh oh

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