Recently, I was discussing last year’s round-the-world trip when the person I was speaking to asked incredulously if I’d done the entire trip alone. “Why, of course,” was my response. “How else would I have done it?”
See, most people I know have some type of full-time job that only gives them a couple weeks of vacation (unless they’re teachers), and part of that is usually spent visiting family. Then, there’s the issue of financial priorities; most people find other things to do with their money than book plane tickets just for the intangible sense of enjoyment and personal development that comes with travel, not when there’s a plasma TV to buy. And also, some people just need to have companionship on the road. Nothing at all wrong with that; it’s actually wonderful to share a travel experience with people who have complimentary chemistry.
But the friends I do have who travel often are either working while I’m traveling (or vice versa), or they’re already traipsing off to the other side of the world from where I am. If there’s no barbecue involved, very rarely am I able to coordinate friends and family for an international trip. In fact, I can only count four independent trips that I’ve ever taken with people whose company I can stand for more than ten minutes. Romantic trips, even less (hook-ups don’t count).
The major flip side, however, is that when I’m traveling solo, I have those incredible interactions with people I’d never have if I were trying to keep up with my travelmate. I’d miss out on many a hottie while hugged up with the honey I brought from home. And I’d lose the freedom that comes with not being responsible for anyone but myself. For me, that’s motivation enough to fly solo.
That, and the fact that if I waited for other people to get it together and buy the damn plane ticket, I’d never be going anywhere.