What is your opinion on traveling alone

Solo travel. How it really is!

When I went online with my blog a little over a year ago, I was the only one on the Internet with a solo travel specialization. The publication was preceded by two years of preparation, during which I had to struggle with various doubts. Going public with two taboo topics "being solo" and "traveling alone", which are also linked to a personal blog, required some time to think if you actually value your privacy ...

When I started there were only a few German articles about traveling alone by experienced bloggers. Over the course of that year, numerous blogs for solo travelers have been added or others have switched to the topic. This is a good thing in itself, because it was long time that the solo tour regained normality.

In the meantime, however, the whole thing has taken on a dimension that I personally find a little uncomfortable, because the contents of these now countless articles are not only repeated permanently, but traveling alone is suddenly idealized in a form that, in my opinion, largely ignores reality in many points !

"I never want it any other way!"

There may be convinced singles in Germany, but these are more likely to belong to the minority. Traveling alone has advantages and is undoubtedly a valuable experience in life, but sie is and remains a Compromise! Because it also has disadvantages that are almost never mentioned and that are often swept under the table. It's kind of like the euphemism that being single is so incredibly sensational.

My opinion: It does not make sense to suggest to others that traveling alone is the ultimate form of travel and that it is better to travel alone than with a boyfriend, girlfriend or other accompanying person available. We tend to isolate ourselves and “do our thing” more and more, but that's actually a pretty sad and unfortunate development in my opinion. Going out with a travel partner is not always easy, but if you clarify a few principles beforehand, this form of travel has many advantages.

"You are actually never alone!"

A saying that I admittedly used for a long time. But I'm also in the ‘happy’ situation that I never feel alone - which is not true for very few. Anyone who stays away from the usual tourist paths and backpacker hostels à la Lonely Planet will quickly find that it is difficult to get to know other fellow travelers.

As soon as you leave the deeply trodden footsteps of the tourist routes and start traveling more individually, you will come across fewer fellow travelers and like-minded people. For example, in countries like South Korea, Japan, Russia, the Caribbean and a few other countries, I haven't met a single like-minded person for a long time and that can be quite frustrating for someone who is not good at it.

My opinion: For me, traveling alone has always been a combination of escape from the stress at home, relaxation and experiencing new adventures far away. I've always looked for peace and quiet and being alone - no matter where you are - is a good solution. But if you primarily want to get to know new people (and that is also one of the things that make traveling alone!), You should preferably stay in countries, cities and areas that are known as classic backpacker destinations.

"Everyone can travel alone!"

Sure - you can do anything if you just want to. Anyone can jump from a 10-meter tower, but the focus should be more on the question of whether this really makes sense and is the right thing for you. In our emancipated world it is really no longer that brave to book a plane ticket and accommodation, to get on a plane and to stay in a place - albeit a strange one.

As a single you drive at home without a passenger, sit unaccompanied on the train, watch TV at home alone or sit with a newspaper or laptop in the café while the chair opposite remains empty. After all, you don't fly to a crisis area where you piss your pants in fear, but in the best case to a relaxed place where you meet new people and, at best, have a good time.

My opinion: Anyone can travel alone, but it is not the right choice for everyone! You should be aware that it is not necessarily - and I can say with certainty based on my many years of experience - that it will not necessarily be the ultimate journey for everyone. Traveling with a suitable travel partner (m / f / d) also offers a lot of aspects that you will not experience on your own, and sometimes also achieves a dynamic and comedy that is highly memorable. Even the constant planning, decision-making and booking on your own can sometimes have a tiring effect in the long run; apart from the fact that you can rarely really let yourself go and, in the worst case, you are on your own.

»You always meet great people in hostels!«

While you can usually share a small private room for two, you often choose a hostel with shared rooms (so-called dorms) depending on the travel destination. It's actually an interesting experience and makes you much more modest in your expectations, but it's not always just great people and nice nights that you spend in these rooms.

You can't fully spread yourself, you have to do with snoring, sneezing, coughing people, others come in late at night and giggle all the time (even ear plugs won't help) and still others have to get out early or go to the toilet 100 times a night.

My opinion: Yes, over time you get to know a lot of super nice people in hostels. Even if you are over 30, 40 or 50, you can easily exchange ideas with 20-year-olds, go on tours together and have a lot of fun. But even that can be exhausting in the long run. I often chose a nice person (f / m) on the way, with whom I then shared a private room. For the shy, it can initially take some effort to establish contact with others. Patrick from 101places has a few good tips in store for this.

* * *

1. One is often pitied by others

In many countries around the world it is impossible to imagine the reason why one is actually considering traveling alone. Most of the time, these are countries where family life is the top priority. So you will always have to answer questions: Why you travel alone. Why not married. Why you don't have children yet. Why you came to this country. Whether one is looking for a man here. After a while, you will have your standard answers to these questions. The person asking the question does not mean it badly, but it can make you feel uneasy if these questions worry, frustrate or even make you sad. However, this affects less the 20-year-olds than the 30-year-olds and up.

For this reason, people are often gawked at and observed what cannot be prevented. Do I want to be pityed? Actually, I'm not that unhappy in my situation right now. But wouldn't I also have sympathy for someone who is sitting all alone in the morning / noon / evening in the restaurant and staring at their cell phone or their travel guide? There will be weak moments when you will say to yourself, “Yes, that's right, it's kind of a sad situation. I don't know myself why good Cupid ran out of arrows on me. But it's really stupid. "

2. One is often an opportunity for men

You are only in one place for a short time, in a good mood and stress-free on vacation and thus a more than good opportunity for locals, guides, hotel employees or traveling men to want to connect with you for this moment, and that also physically. In addition, one is not infrequently assessed as looking for men, which gives the whole thing even more conviction that one is the perfect choice for a more or less short time together.

One-night stands are nothing special for many today and are lived out accordingly. But this is usually not clarified during the initial getting to know each other, which is why two people may approach this matter with different expectations. So it can happen that after a passionate night in bed the next morning you play with thoughts about whether you might fall in love with him, how things will go on, etc. - and a short time later he leaves the room with a short kiss goodbye and never was seen again. These and similar experiences can be frustrating, disappointing, hurting, depressing and can put you in a really bad mood for a while. It can also create an extreme feeling of loneliness.

You can only look in front of your head. Anyone who gets involved in the exchange of body fluids should therefore be prepared from the outset that it could only be about that. If you are too emotional for that, you should keep your hands off it. Classic introductory questions can be, for example:

  • Would you like to come to me tonight (instead of going out together)
  • Shall we go / drive to the beach? (after sunset)
  • Should I give you a massage? (possibly with a shoulder sample)

In some countries, even when accepting drinks (invitations) on evenings together, it is assumed that you can expect something in return afterwards.

The good: You are free to choose and you can always decide how far you want to go and whether you are in the mood for it or not. Some women claim that when traveling alone, the man poses the greatest risk of traveling alone. I think that's a bit exaggerated, because if you are not too naive and carelessly slip into unsightly situations or allow yourself to be persuaded to do something unwanted, you will make many nice acquaintances and maybe even long-term friendships. Nevertheless - there is little that can be done about looks, suggestive remarks and annoying digging and that has to be endured.

3. What am I actually doing here?

As soon as you move away from packed backpacker hostels or make a somewhat less fortunate choice of a destination that is not bursting with like-minded travelers, unpleasant questions can arise in you. You are in a Robinson Club, where unexpectedly only families with children sit, you are standing somewhere in a lonely landscape in the middle of nowhere or you have decided on a hotel where only happy couples lie on the beach with their backs on each other apply lotion ...

It's not necessarily a feeling of self-pity, but rather the question of why I'm here in this place. Does the whole thing make sense? Do I really have to do this to myself? Probably the most obvious answer, that I may not be completely normal - which wouldn't be a bad thing either - does not really satisfy you in the end.

When traveling alone you get to know each other better and to trust yourself. In my opinion, however, the biggest development is that traveling alone makes you incredibly strong. I now know that I can cope with (almost) every situation on my own and cope with unpleasant, difficult situations with patience and assertiveness. But that also has its disadvantages: strong and self-confident women are not exactly high on the popularity scale with men - they tend to scare many men. Some men also turn off when they have seen a lot more of the world than they do themselves. And it becomes more difficult for you to find a suitable man who is mentally just as strong and stable (if you are looking for that).

Conclusion on traveling alone

Traveling alone is a great experience and can change a lot in life. However, it should not be presented as the ideal type of travel, because being together with partner, friends or acquaintances in a foreign country has many invaluable advantages such as better going out and evening planning, cheaper travel and sharing the day and route planning, navigation and of course also offers better security. You shouldn't rely on the fact that you will always have other good people around you or that you will be in permanent contact with people who have stayed at home via the Internet or WiFi.

Going solo is not for everyone - you will find out on the first three trips. First and foremost, one should ask oneself what would make one happy and whether being alone in the distance would be more of a fulfillment or rather an unhappy compromise. For me, traveling alone is as normal today as going shopping in the supermarket and this way of traveling has changed my life - as most of you may have already noticed - lastingly. But it is and remains just a compromise for me.