Today is the first day of 2014. It is the time of the year when people take new year resolutions. I am ready with mine – Travelling solo for the first time. It used to sound boring to me when I was younger. I used to think of such people as loners and believed that it’s their inability to find companions that make them travel alone. I recently met a few people who have travelled alone. It couldn’t be a mere coincidence that most of the people who travel solo turned out to be much more interesting than any typical person I meet. From my interactions with them, I have compiled a list of reasons why I should give solo-travelling a try.
1. Travelling solo makes a person a better decision maker
When I would be travelling alone, I will have to take all of my decisions. Be it the destination to go, the hotel to stay or the commute, the entire trip depends on me alone. Nobody would be telling me where to go or what to do. I will be the solely responsible for every decision I take. As a budding entrepreneur, this has been one of the biggest learnings in the last 6-7 months and this will only help me gain experience to make even more proficient decisions.
2. Solo travel makes you take initiatives
I believe travelling alone is not going to be that easy and it might turn out to be boring as I won’t have people to talk to. But this is exactly the challenge I want to face. In order to not get bored, I will have to talk to someone and for that, I will have to take initiatives. To talk to complete strangers, I will have to get rid of my inhibitions. It is a big deal for me and not just at an individual level. After all, it is my job requirement to work outside of my comfort zone. Entrepreneurship is all about taking initiatives. Initiating the company isn’t enough, further growth requires more interactions, not just with the team but with new people as well. True, my current position gives me this chance but learnings can come from various sources and travelling solo will definitely be one such resource.
3. Solo Travel keeps your itinerary flexible
Confession: I like sightseeing. Not the museum kinds, but the natural ones. I have heard people complaining that there is nothing but mountains at that hill station I visited. Well, isn’t that the point? Looking at the natural scenery, realizing how beautiful everything is, still untouched by man is the point of seeing new places. It helps rejuvenate and get away from the mundane man-made things. So, if I am travelling alone, I can see whatever I want to, do whatever I want to and my itinerary would not be a welfare scheme taking everyone’s interests into account. Also, if I find some new hidden gems at the last-hour, I can instantaneously change my plans. I won’t have to stick to any particular schedule because others expect me to.
4. Travelling alone helps you rediscover yourself
I come from a middle class family from a small town, but I chose to not join the family business as most of my peers did. I studied hard get into IIT, got a good job, cleared CAT to get into IIMs, but finally I didn’t join the IIMs as I wanted to know what I really wanted from life and my career. I want to discover what kind of person I am innately. I want to know what I would have been if I hadn’t known about these standard and secure paths; to rediscover my hobbies, passions and interests. Getting away from the daily societal routine while travelling alone might just help me be a little introspective and re-evaluate all my life decisions. Who knows, I might find a new hobby or interest. Worst case, I would realize that all my decisions till date had been absolutely correct. Win-Win
5. Travelling alone teaches you to manage your budget well
While travelling alone, I won’t have to pay heed to anyone else’s comfort. I would be spending only on what I require and for the things which are absolutely necessary. There won’t be any peer pressure to travel in AC coaches or stay at comfortable hotels or eat in fancy restaurants. I could find much cheaper options if I want to. Why is cost such a big concern? Because I am not doing a cushy, high-paying job like most my peer IIT graduates are. Saving is paramount as every single penny saved is a penny earned for me.
6. Travelling solo makes you feel alive
Having fun is something that a lot of people forget while leading their life. In fact, at times, they forget to live. And this is the biggest reason I want to travel alone. Away from people’s misery and complaints, away from pointless gossiping and random rants. I will be free to enjoy nature at its purest without any human adulteration. My happiness and sorrow will be my own. Given the exciting nature of travelling and exploring the unknown, I am sure going to have some fun. This might be the last, but also the most important, reason why I want to travel alone.
You can read this blog about a Solo Woman Traveller
If you have travelled solo, let us know what are the best places in India for solo travelling according to you. We will be soon doing a blog post on the same.
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