There are many reasons to travel with a group of people. Camaraderie, socializing, safety. However, traveling alone is the most liberating experience for someone like me.
YOU ARE NOT BEHOLDEN TO SOMEONE ELSE’S ITINERARY
One of my biggest pet peeves when traveling with groups is being on someone else’s time when all I really want to do is explore on my own and drink wine. I admire friends who can put together a touring schedule and maximize time in a given place, but that’s not always ideal for me. There’s nothing better than waking up and not having anything on my agenda. It means I can leisurely enjoy breakfast, do some writing, lounge on the beach all day (if there is a beach), smoke cigars, or sit in a coffee shop people watching.
YOU HAVE TO THINK ON YOUR FEET
There’s a resourcefulness that one has to have when they travel alone that can’t be replicated when traveling with others. Not speaking the language means I have to figure out innovative ways to get information from locals. This isn’t always a comfortable experience, but it’s something one has to make peace with when alone.
PLENTY OF TIME FOR REFLECTION
There’s nothing better than getting lost in my thoughts when I’m abroad. While exploring the world and all of its splendor, thinking about how expansive it all is, and considering your place in it is inevitable. A great example of this was when I was recently in Guatemala City, I patronized Vinoteca two days in a row for lunch simply because it provided a peaceful place to eat, drink, and consider life and what my next steps might be.