I have experienced both traveling with a partner and traveling on my own. My very first travel experience was as a solo female backpacker. I thought I would just jump in at the deep end! I had only just arrived at the Airport departure lounge and I was already calling home, that is Mum and Dad! I was so nervous.
However, the moment I stepped out of the Airport into the beautiful city of Adelaide, Australia, my feelings of nervousness were replaced by feelings of pure excitement and exhilaration. I will never forget that wonderful feeling.
This first solo travel experience continued to be a very positive experience as I met a lot of other backpackers almost immediately; so I was never completely alone. If I liked a place, I would stay longer, or if I didn’t I would move on without having to consult with anyone else.
I always felt safe and never once did I feel that I was in danger. Okay, maybe when staring into the face of a Crocodile in Kakadu, Australia my heart did beat a little faster! My first trip as a solo traveler was a wonderful experience.
A year later a friend joined me on a trip to Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. I was lucky as this was also a positive experience. We made good travel partners; she was happy for me to do the planning (which I love) and was happy to follow. We knew each other well and shared the same crazy sense of humour – a necessity!
However, I did experience the negatives of traveling with a partner. I felt that I didn’t meet as many people as I would have if I had traveled solo. This is because other travelers were less likely to approach couples. I felt that I could not be as spontaneous in my decisions as I also had to consider my travel buddy.
I will end this section on traveling with a partner on a positive note. When you travel with someone else you create a deep bond. You share a lot together such as: challenges and the excitement of new experiences. That bond is difficult to break. However, after experiencing traveling with a partner and solo travel, I can honestly say that I prefer traveling alone.
For the last twenty years I have been a Solo Female Traveler.
To assist you in your decision on whether to travel solo, i have compiled a list of positives and negatives:
Negatives of Solo Travel
- No one to share your experiences with.
- If you get ill on the road, you have to look after yourself.
- More expensive. You cannot split the cost of a private room or food.
- Safety issues. No one to look after your backpack and other belongings.
Positives of Solo Travel
- Spontaneity. You can make travel decisions on a moments notice without having objections from anyone else.
- The freedom to go where and when you want.
- You are more likely to meet other travellers and locals, as you are more approachable .
- As a Solo Female Traveler people want to protect you and look out for you more.
- As a Solo Traveler you are more absorbant of your surroundings – you take in so much more!
- Being alone. You can indulge in the solitude and have time to reflect on your life and the future.
- Experiencing the feeling of freedom and knowing that you, and you alone, are responsible for the wonderful travel experience.
Solo Travel is the only way for me.
“Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of food, your closet full of clothes – with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That’s not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.” -Michael Crichton