Once piece of advice that resonated with me before I left for my study abroad program was to not let a lack of a travel buddy keep you from exploring. Over the last eight months (can you believe it?), I’ve taken several solo trips, with the longest and most recent of them being my ten-day trip through Italy. With that, I’ve reflected a lot on the positives and negatives of taking such trips alone.
The biggest upside about traveling alone is that I can do what I want, when I want without consulting anyone else. It’s not every day you get to travel to another country and traveling with someone else usually means compromise. From daily activities to where you want to eat, asserting yourself can be awkward and difficult at times of indecision.When you travel alone, you’re also more open to meeting people who are (more often than not) also traveling alone, as well. I’ve met a lot of great people from all around the world as I tend to reach out more to people in my hostel or on tours when I’m traveling alone.
The biggest bummer about traveling alone is that you have nobody to share your thoughts with. When I travel with someone, we can talk about how we felt about a certain piece we saw in a museum, compare experiences abroad to personal experiences and more. Traveling with someone else really helps me better process what’s going on and take in the whole experience. Being with someone else can also help in sticky situations, after all, two heads are better than one. Not to mention, simply the companionship of another person never hurts.
I don’t mind traveling alone and I would never let it stop me from taking a trip, but more often than not, having the company of another person makes the experience better.