More often than not, people like to relate solo travelers as being an introvert, a person with no friends, or just outright crazy. It's like when we judge a person because he/she went to a cinema alone. I know this because I was one of them, until I saw my dream of traveling around the world shattered in front of me and because of that, began the life of a solo traveler.
After a year of traveling alone, what I discovered were the opposite of what I thought a solo traveler's life would be like. Traveling alone is lonely? Far from it.
We have Passionate Friends
As I traverse alone around the world, I met more people than I could ever have living at home. Passionate people from all walks of life with great stories, who strike deep conversations with me about culture, life and everything in between. Conversations that captivate me from start to end. A feeling I haven't felt in ages when I was living a day-to-day life.
We Trust Each Other
I started to learn that general kindness of humanity still exist today despite whatever the media has painted about each country. People are generally good, once you get to know them.
We are in this Together
Solo travelers have a connection with each other. When we are all alone in a strange place and we saw someone that shares that same feeling, a chemical reaction takes place that pull travelers together like magnets.
We Are Open to Others
People approach me more when I'm alone. You may think that approaching a stranger is awkward. It's true, in the environment you are in but not in the environment I was in. When you are traveling alone, nothing matters. Your ideology, your dignity, your pride are nothing to anyone. So what if that stranger didn't talk back to you. No one cares. Move on.
We maintain friendships
Even though, our friendships may seem short, I'm willing to bet that I'll keep contact with many of the people I met on the road for many years to come. We all shared part of our lives after all. The likeliness of this happening is almost zero and yet our lives miraculously intersect.
It might be hard before but now, technology has enable us to follow people we find interesting, stay in touch, and maybe travel together again someday.
We are Everything, but lonely.
It's not that we travel alone to be alone in the world and not care about anyone. We travel alone because we realize how small the bubble we lived in and all our problems were. Oh how uninteresting we have become.
Is it so wrong for us to seek out new friendships?
Traveling alone meeting new people has opened us to the world we thought was lost in this modern age. The world of passion, excitement and danger. The world that brought the best and worst out of us all. The world as authentic as it suppose to be.
Traveling alone is lonely? It will depend on your preferences in the end, but I'm sure as hell it feels much better than going to a restaurant with your friends staring at their phones all night.
The life lesson I wish you take from this post is that, life is what it is. It's risky, it's dynamic, it's out of your control, but we society insisted on building this wall that surround ourselves so we can feel safe and secure. Don't let that wall prevents you from doing what feels right. Before you judge and ruled out the possibilities because that's not what "normal" people do, try it for yourself and then be the judge.
Looking for more inspirational articles? Check out The Solo Traveler’s Inspiration section where we will discuss topics related to the nomadic and traveling lifestyle and shower-thoughts that will invoke wanderlust in all of us.
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