Let’s Break the Myths About Solo Travelling
“There are some places in life where you can only go alone.
Embrace the beauty of your solo journey” – Mandy Hale
Quite often than never many who are beaten by the travel bugs do want to explore the horizon at their own pace, with the comfort of their own self. But the biggest challenge comes to cross the hurdle of myths that people around us are so accustomed to. So, after years of travelling solo and almost making it a lifestyle, let me talk about the most common misconceptions people have about solo travelling. It’s time we face the truth, let’s break the myths about solo travelling!
1. it’s dangerous out there
This is probably the most common perception people have about their surroundings.This is also the fast and foremost expression that one needs to confront while justifying the family about a solo trip and I know it gets ugly at times owing to an overly sentimental nature we Indians possess!
Reality: Even I had my reservations when travelling to an unknown place all by myself. But then it is the solo trips that made me realise how safe the outside world is. It’s true that there are violence, insecurities or extremism, but then those are just fragmented exceptions. It definitely is not the whole picture. On the contrary, it is the people who make it a safe abode at every corner of the world. So go for it!
2. it’s a waste of time
Some people, with their own limited perception, thinks travelling solo is a waste against regular vacation with family and friends. It’s a strange misconception as it is something to do with the attitude and any reality in it.
Reality: Travelling is one of the best and most natural education one can get in life. Discovering the world all by yourself, getting to know people and their culture, different topography and cuisine – in a nutshell, every experience makes you way wiser than any education system could do!
3. you are lonely
“Are you travelling all by yourself? Ohho, you must be feeling terribly lonely!” Some over enthusiastic co-passenger or friend or family traveller will never fail to say this or meaning this by their body language. Surprisingly, I faced such judgements more from educated city dwellers than the remote places I have actually visited.
Reality: “Being alone is not being lonely”. Travelling solo is a choice. It is one of the best ways to unwind all by yourself, to try to connect with yourself. You will discover a lot of things about yourself only when you come out of that comfort zone of everyday routine life and give yourself a chance! It is way more self-assuring than anything else.
4. it’s boring to travel solo
“Don’t you get bored being alone all the while?” – This was asked to me plenty of times during my solo backpacking trips. By nature, I chose to answer and not avoid any such questions as those were the only ways I could break the myth – by talking!
Reality: It’s way rewarding than travelling in a group. Travelling solo gives you the ultimate freedom to be where you want, when you want and how you want. You always have the liberty to say ‘Yes’ to everything, which makes a very big difference. Solo trips are way more fulfilling than group travels, as it lets you truly get mingled with the people and culture where you are visiting. In a solo travel, anyone become more social and any introvert becomes connecting way more than he/she could do in a lifetime!
5. you must be reach
You must be rich to travel all by yourself! Have you ever come across this equally funny and narrow-minded question? Well, I have. And trust me, the concept of budget travel is so unknown to people that their ignorance is almost viral!
Reality: Having less money or more is not a deciding factor for travelling solo. Visiting certain destinations need one to hire dedicated vehicle and then it gets very expensive, true. But one can always choose places which are well connected by public transportation. And, personally speaking, it is the best way to explore a place when you eat, sleep and travel the local way!
6. Solo travellers are single
Be it a man or a woman, a solo traveller is almost always seen as a ‘single ready to mingle’ person. Try saying you are married or even engaged, I bet the next question is going to put you in a real awkward situation. 🙂
Reality: I must be honest here that before I explored different people with their different stories. I too thought that a person who travels solo does not have the ‘significant other’ in his/her life. But that is not true. Many solo travellers are young and students, so most of them are unlikely to have a partner in life yet. While there are others who travel solo in spite of having a partner. Sometimes, two persons have different interests, commitments and sometimes just a conscious decision of venturing out on a solo journey. Just because you are not single does not mean you will not enjoy a solo travel!
7. you must be very brave
A lot of friends told me that they think I am very courageous and super brave to go on a months-long solo backpacking trip across the Himalayas. That even the mere thought of taking such a decision makes them scared to the bone.
Reality: The truth is that even I got scared during my first solo trip. Our surroundings keep on reminding us that solo-travel is something beyond normalcy and this mere irregularity makes one feel all the more worried and tensed. In reality, it’s normal to go on your own and soak in life as it comes your way. It all gets settled down the moment you embark on the journey.
8. It’s odd to share rooms with strangers
“How can you stay in a shared accommodation? Are not the hostel dormitories are very dirty and unsafe?” If these are what bothering you a bit then I would just say worry not!
Reality: Have you ever been to a hostel in your school or college times? If yes, then you know how fun it can be. If no, then you better experience it at least once in your lifetime! While travellers from the different corner of the world gather under one roof, it is always an experience to cherish for a long time. From sharing travel stories to knowing beautiful secrets of a place. Or finding a like minded friend to knowing a great writer or musician is not mere myths but a reality in such a situation.
While all these myths are there and will be there for times to come, it is true that solo travelling has come a long way. It has become a worldwide culture now. The more people travel solo, the more this trending culture will be popular changing the myths eventually. Let’s break the myths about solo travelling. So Go. Dare to Go. Go on a journey with yourself. You will cherish it for ever.
Contributor: Debjani Paul