“Pete, have you booked the hotel?” I asked over the phone.
“No. I didn’t as I have changed my mind. Sorry, but I’m not going.”
“What? You aren’t going on the trip with me? But, we have been planning this trip for months!” I was startled!
“Yeah… But, now I don’t feel like going. I have got some other work which is keeping me occupied these days. So… we’ll plan some other time.”
I felt like being ditched! I tried to get some other friends of mine to replace him for the trip. But, to no avail. So, that was the moment when I finally realized that if I wanted to travel, I would have to do it on my own. I packed my backpack and left all by myself to the Austria tour. And this was the trip that inspired me to travel more.
Pete not going was the best thing ever that happened to me.
However, there is this constant pattern that has repeated consistently over the years. While there have been few friends who joined me on some of my trips, more often than not, plans for a trip with friends don’t really pan out. There is this ‘something’ that always pop out at the last moment and they suddenly change their mind, can’t afford the budget or get too busy.
It has given me the lesson that if I wait for others to join me, I’ll end up going nowhere!
There are so many places that I want to visit, food to try, and experiences to have – and so little time to accomplish it all. So, I refuse to forever wait for other people.
Yes, it can feel a little scary to travel alone, especially when you have never really done it before. However, you learn from your own experiences and grow with time.
If you are also someone who feel my story to be relatable and have been putting off trips because you are always waiting for someone to accompany you – Well, it’s now time to stop doing that. Just fly solo and don’t let other people hold you back. Moreover, you’ll make plenty of friends along the way, from other solo travelers to locals interested in befriending new people.
I have discovered from my experiences of traveling solo that you are never actually alone while traveling. Earlier, I used to get worried about traveling alone and thinking that I would never make any friends. However, it turns out you meet so many like-minded friends on the road and are constantly surrounded by new people.
Solo travel gives you absolute freedom. It is entirely about your own business – what you want, when you want, and where you want. And, in that freedom and space, you get the chance to meet your own self! You hit your very own limits and there is no one to either override your reasons or pull you in any one direction. Want to do that hike? Do it. Don’t want to leave as yet? Don’t leave. Want to try tacos? Well, go for it!
Solo traveling basically is like sink or swim. You have to learn how to survive, how to befriend new people, who to trust and how to find the right direction – all on your own. You are your own teacher and that’s the biggest reward of solo traveling – Personal Growth. Every time you travel somewhere alone, you become a bit more independent, in tune with your desires and emotions and most importantly a lot stronger and confident.
Solo travel is not everyone’s cup of tea though. Some people cry for months before embracing it while others return back soon after departing. Then, there are some who embrace the idea of traveling alone right away. But, everything is worth a try. Moreover, how will you ever learn if it’s your cup of tea or not if you do not even try it once?
Finally, never hold back from doing what you like. You could be waiting for someone to say yes for the trip and then later never get the chance to visit. Here, you have to take the chance and not wait for it forever. Because, if I had waited for Pete to go on that trip with me, I would still be in my shell wondering if I ever get to find the universe out there. I did find though, on my own!