While backpacking, I met all kind of travelers. People who are traveling with friends, in couples, with parents, with kids and also the ones traveling by themselves. I also did travel with other people and it was great! You get to share the experiences and stand by someone’s side and have someone standing by you, even if it’s for a limited amount of time. But, I believe that you really get to immerse deep within the culture of the country and, more importantly, within yourself when solo traveling.

Ah, the solo travelers! For me, solo traveling is one of the best things I’ve done. It may sound quite selfish and egocentric. And, to a certain point, it is. But, as I said (or wrote), traveling by myself was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever done and I want to encourage more people to do the same! I believe that many, if not every, person who had traveled alone felt insecure and scared at first. But, I also believe that most of them do not regret going on a solitary journey and, in this post, I’ll try to highlight the main thoughts of why I don’t regret it, but on the contrary, loved it!

Freedom

I believe that solo traveling is the purest form of freedom. You are free to do whatever you want, wherever you want and whenever you want! Before my first backpacking (and solo) experience, I had a very specific plan, but, as I kept traveling, I changed all the itinerary. And I know that this was possible only because I’ve had the chance to take every opportunity that was given to me and not worry about anything else. Not having to worry about others people opinion, wills or budget (because, like it or not, budget conflict is a very important aspect to consider when having a travel companion). I don’t think it would be very easy to convince someone to take a motorbike trip in Laos with me having literally zero experience on riding bikes. I was my decisions, here and now. I’m pretty sure that, if I had traveled with another person, I wouldn’t have done half of the things I did!

everest base camp trek, nepal 14

Freedom

the loop, thakhek, laos 8

 

“I don’t think it would be very easy to convince someone to take a motorbike trip in Laos with me having literally zero experience on riding bikes.”

Personal Growth

Well, I believe that this is one of the aspects that hit me the most during the trips. At first, I don’t have anyone to help me make my trip amazing. I’m the only one who has the responsibility to enjoy each moment at it’s fullest! I’ve grown a lot as a person, besides having learned many small things, which are always present in our daily life, from budgeting to relating with people! All this because if I hadn’t been able to keep control or, more importantly, to adapt myself to a situation, it simply wouldn’t be possible to keep living the dream. Once you are all by yourself, there is no one that for sure will help you if anything goes wrong; there is no security net. And these are things that you maybe will not see very clearly traveling with other people, but I believe that it is one of the most valuable things that you can get as a traveler!

 You become a more open person

I wrote that being alone can be a very good moment to know yourself. But, I believe that no one is happy alone. And, even though you meet many people on the road, it’s unavoidable that sometimes you’ll feel solitary while traveling by yourself. During my trips, there were times in which I stayed days without meeting other people. In these moments, I would write on my travel journal or skype with people back at home. And, this solitariness made me a more open person, because it gets to a point in which all you want is to interact with someone! These moments have really taught me to break prejudices and to give it a chance to talk to anyone, no matter age, origin, religion, which ended up being a very fulfilling experience, because I learned a lot of things that I would never know. And it made me realize I can learn always, from everyone, in any place and time. From elders who had a small souvenirs store in Istanbul to children in glaciers in Peru, I’ve met many people!

glacier, huaraz, peru, south america

Peruvian kids know more about Peru than you

DSC03177

There is no right place or time to meet people!

The Privilege of Solitude

Truth be said: traveling alone is never as solitary as people may think. Who already traveled know how easy it is to meet other travelers. Whether in the hostel, bar or bus terminal, backpackers are always ready to talk to one another. But, for me, more important than knowing people, is to know yourself. I believe that I’ll hardly know myself fully, but I think that spending some time alone is a great step towards the full state of self-knowledge. Sure, I don’t wanna say that I’m a happy person alone, but, I believe that having the option to be with yourself is a great opportunity to reflect and organize some ideas/thoughts. Besides that, we can’t deny that many times we feel solitary even with the best companies. And, thinking straight, if I’ll live with my own person the rest of my life, it’s better that I have a good relation with it!

sahara desert, egypt, middle east

The privilege of solitude

 So, yea! These are just few of the thoughts I had about solo traveling. Maybe this post is not enough to make you go traveling alone, but, at least, I hope it is enough for you to take a step towards considering it! Safe travels!

9 Responses

  1. Christina

    I am just thinking about 3-weeks journey around UK. And, of course, no one wants to go with me so today I was considering going alone. And in a right time your post was published on facebook! Thank you so much! I feel better about it now 🙂

    • Victor Kim
      Victor Kim

      It’s very nice to read that, Christina!! Yea, if you feel this is the time for you to go, don’t let the absence of company to hold you back 🙂

  2. Wayne

    Great post. I’m currently 3 months in on a year long travel venture and can relate to much of what you write. Despite my bouts of loneliness, the counterpart of freedom and personal growth is worth it. I have no idea what the balance of my year holds, but that’s the beauty of solo travel isn’t it? Thanks for the post. Cheers!

    • Victor Kim
      Victor Kim

      Hello, Wayne!

      Yea, it’s all about finding the balance, but we can’t deny that the journey to find it is beautiful! 🙂

      Have safe travels, my friend and enjoy the the beauties of the world!

  3. Matheus Ruiz

    Man this post is just incredible!! I had the opportunity to travel to argentina with some friends, but sometimes I just was alone in the hostel to travel with another travellers and the experience they taught me was amazing.
    And I learned that you’re never alone in the world. I wanna be a Worldpacker next year and every time I read about I feel more confident that will be a great experience, that I have just good things to learn even in the bad experiences.

    Congratulations for your job you’re doing a great act for the world

    • Victor Kim
      Victor Kim

      Hey, Matheus! I think we know each other already, no? 😉

      But, yea I’m happy to know that you are looking forward for your journey! If you are where you want to be, you will never be alone!

      Keep learning and traveling!

  4. Klara

    Amazing post!
    I’m a senior in highschool and all I wanted was to see the world but also to be a veterinarian. With finals just around the corner I’m pretty aware that it’s not likely I’ll get into college this year. I would love to take a year off and try again next year. Trouble is, nobody thinks my take-a-gap-year-go-travel idea is a good one. In fact, everyone’s mad at me for not trying hard enough to get into uni. Is taking a year off really that bad? What’s wrong with seeing the world and why on earth is it always ‘not the right time’ for that? Also, I’d love to travel solo! I think finding myself could be very well connected to it;maybe then I’ll know what else I should do in life.

    • Victor Kim
      Victor Kim

      Hello, Klara!

      Taking the gap year was the best thing that happened in my life. It changed completely the way I think and act! Truth is that you’ll always find reasons not to travel, so, if you wait until you have everything right to go, you will never go! But, yea I also think it’s good to consider what people tell you!

      And, yes! For sure solo traveling will help you to find yourself and have an idea of your path here 🙂

      Think well and, if it’s possible, go travel!

  5. daniel

    I can only say as much:
    I agree.
    traveling since 4 years in a row, the best and most authentic experices where while.. traveling solo.

Leave a Reply