Traveling the world is one of the most tremendous and rewarding experiences a person can have. The people you meet along the way, the stories you create, and the unbelievable sights you see are all a big part of what makes it great. But it isn’t always easy to find people to join you on the journey. In this scenario, you may have to take on the world on your own. To help you, here are 9 ways to know if you’re better suited to traveling alone or if you should wait and find those perfect close friends.
1. When you’re out with a group of friends, you still chat to others and develop new relationships
To travel alone, you must be able to develop new relationships and interact with people from different and unique cultures.
When you’re out with a group of close friends, perhaps at a bar or football game, do you tend to break away from the group and have long conversations with other people? If this is the case you are undeniably better suited to traveling alone. Being social is a must if you plan to travel alone. It will be a difficult trip if you are constantly twiddling your thumbs by yourself, and far less enjoyable without some companions.
2. When traveling with a close group of friends, you still want to stay at a hostel
Traveling alone requires you to stay in hostels, on account of the affordability and unique social environment. If you’re going to stay in hostels then you might as well enjoy it.
The benefit of traveling with your friends is the money saved on accommodation without sacrificing physical amenities, such as pools and gyms. In this case it makes sense to stay in a nice hotel rather than a hostel. But do you still prefer to stay in hostels? If you do then you are perfect for traveling alone. If you choose a hostel over a hotel, you must love the idea of meeting new people and making new friends. This will serve you well on a solo voyage and is a good indication you’re probably better suited to traveling alone.
3. You prefer a quick, cheap meal over going to a restaurant
If you plan to travel solo, then you must already understand that to most people finances can become an issue and you really don’t have much of an opportunity to dine at expensive restaurants.
A quick and cheap meal is essential to traveling alone if you want to get the most out of your finances. When traveling with friends you will always find yourself at a sit down restaurant which can hurt your wallet, so if you prefer quick and cheap meals traveling alone will suit you better. With the extra time you will be able to see more, keep moving and most importantly save yourself some money to extend the trip out a bit further.
4. You want to see all the sights rather than go out and sleep in
When traveling alone you will have plenty of opportunities to see all the sights. However if you are moving quickly from location to location you may need to get up early to see everything.
A large number of people who travel alone are interested in taking in the culture of a new city and seeing what it has to offer. If you are the type of person that would rather get up early to make sure you see the sights rather than sleeping in, then solo travel is more your style. When traveling with friends, you will find you spend more time in bars and out on the town and as a result you find yourself sleeping in later. Getting up in the afternoon will make it difficult to see sights such as museums or art galleries, and if these are important to you traveling alone will be a better option.
5. You’re comfortable being alone
It may sound obvious, but to travel the world on your lonesome you need to be comfortable being on your own. Flights take time and the time in between making friends can be lonely, so be prepared for this if you are considering traveling alone.
Travel between locations can take hours, and if you’re really poor, maybe even days. If you are not yet able to make friends on your journey, you may find that this is time spent with no one but your own thoughts. If you are the type of person that needs to be around people, then traveling alone should not be at the top of your list. It can however be a great way to jump away from your comfort zone and if you’re itching to make a change then give it a shot, but be prepared to spend some time alone.
6. You don’t need other people’s approval to do things
Independence and the ability to not seek the approval of others will go a long way in taking the first step in going overseas. In life you will find that at any opportunity there is someone ready to voice their opinions and if you decide to travel alone you are sure to hear plenty.
Quitting your job and putting your career on hold is unheard of to some people, especially some parents, so you must be independent and acknowledge that there are people that may not approve of your decision. Traveling the world and doing it on your own can be scary to those close to you and if you’re not an independent person and you find it hard disappointing people then traveling alone may be difficult. Traveling with friends during holidays and time off work will be a better option, rather than taking off on your lonesome.
7. You prefer going to bars over nightclubs
An indication that you are better suited to traveling alone, is if you prefer the bars over nightclubs.
Bars are known as a social gathering place, while nightclubs on the other hand are more known for dancing and having a few drinks. Bars are a place to socialize with the locals and enjoy the culture a little bit. People who are more interested in going to bars are generally more interested in conversing with others and this is certainly a positive for traveling alone.
8. You prefer your travel unscripted, rather than all planned out
Backpacking through Europe or road tripping across the States is often hard to script, you never know whats going to happen. If you’re the type of person that enjoys uncertainty and spontaneous adventures then traveling alone is definitely for you.
Although you may have a plan when you first set off, it is more than likely going to change after you make new friends and decide to tag along on their travels. If you are a spontaneous person that loves not knowing, then traveling alone is definitely better suited to you.
9. You have an ambition to see the world
Seeing the world is tough to do, especially if you’re trying to plan it around friends’ schedules and other people’s lives. If seeing the world is on your bucket list then clearly you are better suited to traveling solo.
You will never be able to fulfill your dream of seeing the world if you can’t find the courage to take off and travel alone. People have their own goals and their own dreams and their lives are working around those, so it will be virtually impossible to find a friend to do it all with you. The older you become the more difficult it gets. Friends have children and get full-time jobs and this makes it tough to get up and travel the world. In this case you are certainly better suited to traveling alone, because if you don’t then it may be a dream unrealized.
Traveling alone is more difficult for some than others. If you feel you are the type of person demonstrated in this article then traveling alone is something you should seriously consider.
Featured photo credit: Diana Nguyen via flickr.com