After 30 days and two countries I decided to quit my life long “dream” of a trip around the world. Because I was alone.
All I’ve ever wanted in life was to travel. See the whole world. Experience different cultures and perspectives from places I’ve only seen in National Geographic. While some kids wanted to be ballerinas, astronauts, and doctors. I wanted to be a world traveler.
I worked really really hard, dedicated myself to saving up money to go backpack the entire world. When it was it was time to leave it’s no surprise that no one was able to join me. This was mostly due to my unique circumstances below…
A.I’m from a small town where nobody would dare do this sh*t. (for various reasons) Which meant none of my friends or family would be going with me.
B.My go- home- and- go- to- work -only lifestyle set me up for social failure (or in Damien’s words “social suicide”)
After waiting years for someone to go with me, I accepted the fact that it wasn’t going to happen and I went solo. I mean there’s a billion of sources such as you tube videos, and books boasting about how great solo travel is. Of course it would be still be amazing. right?
WRONG. So.very. wrong.
In fact when I came back home all I wanted to do was throat punch anyone who ever claimed it would be sooo awesome. Clearly it’s still fresh and I’m still bitter. But I’m going to tell you like it is.
10 reasons you shouldn’t travel solo
1.Attempting to make friends while traveling is like being the new kid in high school except you have to start over EVERY SINGLE DAY.Yes you will make friends along the way. A friend for dinner or if you’re really lucky a friend for an excursion but the next day they will be gone.It’s constant goodbyes. MOST people will already be there with another person.And you will always be the third, fourth, fifth wheel on any outings. Yes, you really are the only loser who showed up 100% alone.
2.You’re going to miss on out on a lot of epic events because you didn’t have anyone one go with you. Real life scenario as an example: While in Bangkok I wanted to go see a traditional Muy Thai fight. These fights are the real deal and depending where you sit it can get intense between the people gambling on fighters. The thought of little 5 ft 2 me in a rowdy men dominated arena at 9 pm sounded more of like a hassle than a good time. Sadly I opted out.
3.Nobody wants to take photos of you,sorry. How many times are you going to awkwardly interrupt strangers to take a photo of you on the beach. What makes you think that 50 year old dad knows how to work your iPhone like a boss? Even if he did, are you going to ask him to take 25 shots of you in various sexy positions while his wife and kids watch so that you can find the perfect one to post on Instagram? NO! That’s what best friends are for. And that ride or die B isn’t with you. In actuality you will end up with a mediocre pic at the wrong angle making your plump booty look like a big mashed potato.
4. Communal bathrooms and bunk beds are for kids in summer camp. Or freshman year in college. After that you’re too damn old. Okay. Hostel life is gross. Why would you want to share your sleeping,eating, and bathroom space with strangers? Why.
5.Funny situations aren’t that funny when you’re alone . Remember that time I got stuck in Bangkok rush hour traffic and jumped out of the taxi, ran across a 4 lane freeway and into a random bathroom on the side of the road just so I wouldn’t sh%t my pants?(I had a 24 hour stomach bug) No of course not. You weren’t there.Nobody was. Except the cab driver who was still parked on the freeway when I came back. Thank you sir.
6.Assuming you’re backpacking in a humid climate know that you will never be clean again. On top of broken nails, frizzy hair, and perpetual dehydration my entire body was covered in bruises, bug bites, and pimples. No amount of showers will save you.
7.Lack of routine sucks.Bumming around the world with no plan no time limit and no structure sounds glamorous right? Only if your Ivanka trump or Paris Hilton. The reality of traveling on a shoestring budget is it’s a constant unpacking and repacking of everything you own because you cant leave it anywhere. You can’t simply stroll into your shower with all your products in your bathroom, walk around in your robe and then make breakfast. Nope, that luxury no longer exists. You have no kitchen, no bathroom, no privacy, no gym and no washer/dryer.
8.Even though you’re a budget traveler it’s still stupidly expensive to travel alone. In fact if I hypothetically could split all expenses in half such as transportation, meals, tours, and accommodation it would have been the same price or LESS for a better version of all those categories. For example in Bali I met up with a friend for a girls weekend. We got this private villa with a pool for $30/ night because we split it 5 ways. Same price I payed for a mediocre bed in a Thai Hostel. The bedbugs were free.
9.You will get burnt out. Most tourist visa’s are good for 30 days. I figured I would stay in each country for 1 month and explore all of it. To make that happen you will be moving from place to place on a weekly basis. Constantly running after buses, flights, taxis and having a new accommodation left me exhausted, tired, and anxious.Not to mention I had ZERO time to build this blog like I intended to.
10. Being alone long term isn’t normal. Connecting with others is human nature. Even for an introverted homebody like me this was too much loneliness. There’s only so many activities you can do by yourself before it gets boring and depressing. Too much time inside your own head will make you start to question ALL your life decisions. “Why did I think this was a good idea? why isn’t there another person in this entire world who could come with me?Where do I go from here? This is bull sh*t. I’m talking to myself again. Am I going crazy?”