I’ve got my big two months trip coming up and I’ll be travelling alone for large parts of it. Several people who I’ve told about it were curious/horrified/worried about the idea that I would be going alone. I’ve travelled by myself before in Europe, the USA and Japan and I have to say, I really like travelling alone.
Now, this is nothing against my friends and family and I do like going away together with others but travelling alone is a completely different experience for me.
When I travel alone I can decide exactly what I want to do. If I want to spend hours in one temple and take photos and change my film five times, then I can do it. Or if I decide that the temple is really boring, I can just go. Without waiting for anyone. Off to the next adventure.
I can get up early and be the first tourist on the Empire State Building and don’t need to agree this with anyone else. I can eat bowls of soba three nights in a row and no one cares. I enjoy my independence.
I also think, if I’m with others, I can’t really take in the details of my surroundings as well as I would when I’m alone. Usually I’d be chatting away about something and miss the old lady watering her plants.
I like taking a lot of photos, so I might run of mid-conversation and take a shot – or miss that shot altogether if I don’t want to be rude.
Maybe photography is one of the main reasons why I like travelling alone. I can walk around the same place for ages, take photos of details or random things. I can take time to change my film and find the camera at the bottom of my bag that I want to use for this specific shot.
And photography might also be the reason why I don’t feel lonely when I travel alone. Because I know that I can share my experiences with others later.
I also don’t mind eating alone. In fact, I can sit in a restaurant for a long time, just observing people. I don’t bring a book or an iPad, I just sit and stare. It’s brilliant.
Safety could be a concern, depending on where I travel to. But seeing that I’m planning to mainly go to Japan, South Korea and a couple of other South East Asian countries, I’m really not that worried. I don’t feel that these are dangerous places.
The only thing that I don’t really do when I’m alone, is going out to bars or clubs in the evening. I don’t like coming home late alone in a place that I don’t know very well. I usually go back to the place I’m staying at after dinner at about 9pm or so and spend the evening catching up with the internet or reading.
But overall, I’m really looking forward to spending all this time alone.