When you travel, do you prefer to go with someone else?
If so, you’re missing out, my friend.
Accompanied travel is limited travel.
By traveling with someone you are limiting your experiences.
Yeah, traveling with a friend can be cool. But it’s not the real cookie; not the real adventure.
To experience that, you have to go alone.
Sure, it may be bit more risky. Heck, you may not even be cut out for it.
But only then will you know what it’s like to *really* travel.
You Can Only Truly Experience Another Culture by Going Alone
If you travel with someone else, you stay in your shared protective bubble.
And if you’re in that “bubble”, you’re not really in the country.
You and your travel partner(s) collectively filter your experiences. You even filter the culture of the country you’re visiting.
You explain it all away so it’s not as raw and authentic as it really is.
You and your travel partners tell yourself stories about the country you’re visiting… about the things that happen to you… and then you agree on those “truths”.
But it’s all just a way to escape reality.
And by doing that, you’re not really experiencing the culture.
In other words: you’re not really in the country even though you’re physically there.
If you travel alone, you will try to desperately do this in your own mind.
But there’s no one there to confirm your version of the “truth”; no one to help soften the experience for you.
Until you let go and become “one of them”, or pack up and go home.
Travel Makes You Grow as a Person
Traveling alone will wake you up from your zombie-like existence.
You’ll be forced to think not only about the culture you’re engaging with, but also about YOURSELF.
Think you know yourself? Try traveling alone to countries and cultures vastly different from your own.
Every experience hits you that much harder. Both the exhilarating and the painful ones. In short: you feel alive.
The first time I traveled alone, I went to a country called Surinam. I was just 19 years old. I stayed in the country for 4 months.
I didn’t know anyone or anything there.
It was tough in the beginning.
But in the end… it was the best thing I’d ever done.
There’s a “me” from before, and a “me” from after that trip.
It changed me in so many ways. It made me a man.
Not every trip will be that dramatic. But you will learn from every one of them.
BUT… you will merely learn cultural *facts* if you go with other people. Knowledge… Experience? Not so much.
Shared travel experiences don’t help you grow nearly as much as exploring the world on your own.
Lone travel tests you. It will keep you on your toes… and it will continue to amaze you.
It throws you right into experiences that have you shaking in your boots… and others that make you feel like a billion dollars.
These experiences have the power to make you think afterward: did that really happen?
Accompanied Travel Is like Bland Food
Traveling with someone every now and then can be worthwhile, but it’s a limited experience.
Like fast food:
Good to eat from time to time…
But none of it will make you feel like a Roman king enjoying the most delicious dishes, nor will it be so gross that you want to call your Mama.
It’s bland food.
And accompanied travel is bland travel.
Nothing to write home about, wherever that is for you.
Women and Lone Travel
Western women tend to have a rosy feel-good picture about non-western cultures.
That good ol’ grass still seems greener on the other side.
But non-western cultures are neither better nor worse than western culture.
That’s something you learn by living in another culture for years.
They ARE, though, different.
Some things are better; some things are worse. Some are great… and some are downright evil.
Lone travel can be dangerous for women.
Especially for those women who believe the every-culture-is-better-than-western-culture fairy tale.
The world isn’t as bad a place as some people make it out to be. But you better not be naive and expect to meet only friendly and helpful people.
When you spend some time in a poor country and nothing bad happens to you, you tend to let your guard down.
You start to believe that nothing terrible could ever happen to you there. But the problem is: you think you *know* a place you’re merely *visiting*.
As a woman, you are more vulnerable already. And—let’s not kid ourselves— bad men have more reasons to harm you… especially if you’re beautiful. Or more precise, beautiful to *them*.
You may not be considered a pretty girl in your home country, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t one in another country. An uncommon look can be seen as beautiful abroad, even if you don’t look anything special in your own country.
Lone travel is where it’s at, but women definitely need to be more careful.
Gather more info beforehand about the place(s) you’ll be visiting and, most importantly, don’t be naive.
Never judge a book by its cover. Even if a place looks totally safe, it doesn’t mean it is.
There’s Nothing like It
Lone travel is one of the few things that can really enrich your life.
You will never regret investing in experiences instead of more stuff you don’t need.
You don’t need a new smartphone… You certainly don’t need a PS4.
Those things just take away from your life.
Rich travel experiences enhance it.
Over and out,