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Lonely backpacking

How does it feel to travel alone?
14 years ago, May 19th 2006 No: 1 Msg: #5766  
N Posts: 17
I´m backpacking next summer, alone......... I´ve done quite some travelling alone, but this is the first time I will have a full vacation on my own. I wonder how it feels? too lonely?

Kind regards

Ignacio Reply to this

14 years ago, May 21st 2006 No: 2 Msg: #5791  
B Posts: 71
Well it's a hard one to judge.
The good thing about travelling alone is you can do exactly what you want, when you want. You don't have to organise anything with anyone else like what they want to see or do, plus there's no making meeting up plans. So I've found during the day when there is things to see and do, I don't miss travelling with anyone at all.

The bad part is, for me at least, of a night when you feel like socialising at the local pub or whatever with your friends, there is no one there to do that with. So eating alone, drinking alone etc.. can be a bit lonely. At the same time it is a good opportunity to meet new people. Another bad point is that there is no one to share your experiences with. Just imagine doing something absolutely amazing but have no one there to do it with you. When you get home and tell everyone what you did, you most likely will get a "hmm sounds interesting" look but unless they were there, they won't understand what it is like.

All in all I would have to say I generally prefer travelling with someone, but travelling partners, if on a long trip, can be annoying sometimes.

Either way if you want to travell, DO IT!! You'll love it all the same Reply to this

14 years ago, May 22nd 2006 No: 3 Msg: #5818  
The freedom is the key, do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be. Priceless!

You would want to be an outgoing person, travelling by one's lonesome is a time you should never forget. If you are staying in hostels, you will find a host of oppurtunities to see the sights, party, or whatever you want through fellow travellers who are basically in the same boat as you.

Reply to this

14 years ago, May 23rd 2006 No: 4 Msg: #5829  
N Posts: 4
It will be a great experience if especially if you have never travelled alone. As mentioned by others, the freedom to do whatever you want at anytime and anywhere (within budget 😊 ) is the best part. However, do take proper precautions especially when you travel to 1st time territory. Do the research abt the destination and your accomodation places from destination guides/ travel alerts etc... and get contact numbers of help centres/support groups/embassy in respective countries you travel to. Reply to this

14 years ago, May 23rd 2006 No: 5 Msg: #5833  
B Posts: 5
I don't know what it would be like for a very extended time, but I drove around the U.S., Canada, and Mexico for around 8 weeks one summer by my lonesome -- it was a blast. Along the way I met some cool people at random hostels and bars. Some of these were people I hung out with just in that one place I met them. A few of them were people I travelled with for a couple of days if we were headed the same direction. If you're open to talking with people you meet on the road you'll find there is a brotherhood of travellers of which you are a member! You can dip into this fraternity at any time for drink or a chat so you're never really alone. 😊 Reply to this

14 years ago, May 29th 2006 No: 6 Msg: #5945  
B Posts: 3
Absolutely brilliant, did it for 7 months, wouldn't do it any other way now Reply to this

14 years ago, June 22nd 2006 No: 7 Msg: #6287  
B Posts: 6
I seriously think that once you travel alone, you'll never want to go any other way. I started this trip 5 months ago adn the 1st 2months I was with a friend who then left to go back home to Canada. I've been on my own since then, and all I can say is that it's a totally different experience. Don't get me wrong, I had fun with my friend, but it's much more rewarding when you do it alone. I was so apprehensive about travelling India alone, and once i got through that, it was nothing! When we were 2, I noticed that you meet less people than when you are alone. Everything, to me anyway, was much easier for some reason. Don't hesitate, just go for it, you'll love it! I was supposed to go home this month, and now i'm off to another country on a working visa because I can't get enough of it. Chances are I'll be back home in a year from now... who knows, maybe more. Reply to this

14 years ago, June 27th 2006 No: 8 Msg: #6383  
There is decidedly no better way to travel, if you ask me. However i consider myself something of an outgoing person, basically if you want to make friends...you make friends, if you want to hang out on your own...you do that too. Travelling with someone can be very stressful on the relationship, so that's another added bonus. If you're shy, or not as extraverted as you'd like to be it can definately bring you out of your shell. Sure there's downsides, no one to watch your bag if you use the washroom, no default friend, no one to carry you home drunk... but i think the pro's heavily outweigh the cons. Reply to this

14 years ago, June 28th 2006 No: 9 Msg: #6395  
I am not sure what it would be like travelling alone - but I hope it is good - I am moving from England to Australia on my own and am terrified - but hopefully it will be the best thing I have ever done!! Reply to this

14 years ago, June 28th 2006 No: 10 Msg: #6399  
I've just come back from backpacking 7 months on my own. Was the BEST thing I have done and the freedom is perfect. I know if you travel with someone you have to take that other persons requests into account. On your own you can travel at your own pace and make your own decisions on the spot and planned... fantastic feeling. I travelled a bit with a friend as well and after two weeks we decided to go our separate ways, was just too hard. My best advice, just take the plunge, I would say 80% of those travelling are on their own, so by the end you will have filled an address book, just like me!! Dont think about it too much...
Good Luck!! Reply to this

14 years ago, June 28th 2006 No: 11 Msg: #6419  
I found the whole idea of travelling on your own to be fantastic. I'm a bit of a loner to begin with and travelling alone pushed me to meet new people, other travellers, and local people. I think the idea of having someone to share things with counts for a lot but being completely flexible and able to change your plans on a moments notice is important too. Reply to this

14 years ago, June 30th 2006 No: 12 Msg: #6453  
Hi Ignacio,
I wish I was as positive as everyone else on this page about travelling alone! But unfortunately I found that when I travelled alone I was not as happy as if I was travelling with other people. When travelling alone I found it hard to meet lots of new people (I think I am quite shy though) and often would find myself quite lonely. However, this was a few years ago and maybe with more wexperience and more confidence I would now find it easier?
I think the point is that you have to have some confidence, go out there and see what happens. It might take some effort but I'm sure it is worth it in the end.
Good luck! Reply to this

14 years ago, July 5th 2006 No: 13 Msg: #6534  
Well i'm travelling for the first time in late July on my own. I'm 23 and all my best friends have full time careers so cant leave them. This is a big step for me, as I like having my friends round me. But I thought, you only live once, and if I hate it i'll just come home! I believe you have to grab these chances, and just do it! When you are in a situation like this, you make friends. go for it, I am!!!
Reply to this

14 years ago, July 7th 2006 No: 14 Msg: #6563  
B Posts: 138
I've had mixed experiences travelling alone. It can be absolutely fantastic and it can be the pits. I decided to do Chichen Itza by myself taking a local bus from Cancun to the site (ok, so I was a package tourist otherwise for the week so its not really travelling alone) but I had a blast. I got lost, asked this man from INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History), who worked at the site, for directions and ended up getting a personal tour of the site despite my bad spanish. There's also a cool little town in between Chichen Itza and Cancun called Valladolid that has cool little cenotes that you can swim in. I've also wandered around parts of Europe by myself and it was cool wandering around the streets by myself, getting lost and discovering things I never would have.

I went to India by myself in Jan 2005 and did it completely solo. No tours, no hired guides, etc. I did the reverse route that most backpackers do. I started in Mumbai/Bombay, went to Goa, inland to Hampi, Mysore, Ooty and then up to Delhi and did the golden triangle. I emerged completely unscathed from that trip and didn't go through the trauma of getting mugged, attacked, etc. I found myself going for days without talking to another traveller and it does get lonely after awhile. It also sucked getting really sick and not having anybody there to help you out. I unfortunately, started to close myself off to people after getting bombarded nonstop by men who wanted to touch me, vendors who wanted to show me their wares, rickshaw drivers, etc. This trip definitely made me a stronger individual and I have confidence that I can travel alone without any problems... but I'm also not afraid to go with a guy to countries where women arn't treated the greatest. Reply to this

14 years ago, July 15th 2006 No: 15 Msg: #6699  
I just came back from my first trip travelling on my own... Fun, you go where, when, who you want to walk with or even sleep later. Carefree and spent within your budget. I am 37 and I loved to see the world and enjoy and nature that God made. From Singapore all the way to China...I met many people and taste many good & funny food myself but when come to the best place or something that you would loved to share with someone...that the MISS and you kind of felt lonely and you really hope to share this place or things to someone immeditely as a solo packers.

But overall you could said that you are responsible to yourself and not anyone beside you. Carefree and enjoy yourself!

Reply to this

14 years ago, August 3rd 2006 No: 16 Msg: #6859  
Hi! I'm a 42 year old backpacker/bikepacker. Travelling alone is the most wonderful way to see a place and to get in contact with the people. I did over 70 countries alone before I changed my mind in 2001 and decided that I wanted someone to share my travel experiences with in the future, it's a thing about getting older I reckon. I'd built up a huge collection of slides and journals previously to 2001 that I hardly ever referred back to cos each time that I did I ended up feeling melancholy, does anyone know what I mean here? So, I hooked up with some folks and did a huge 1 year overlander, which led ultimately to meeting my partner who I now live together and travel together with. I do still get the urges to be alone, though, which is natural. And I achieve this by going off for a week or so with my packed bike to camp wild without a proper itinerary. I bet many of you have bumped into travellers my age and older who have travelled alone all their life, and you've noticed something typical of these travellers inasmuch as they nearly always feel bitter and pessimistic about life and sometimes the country they're visiting. I didn't want to turn out like that. On the other hand, there are many delightful lone travellers over the ages of 40 or 50 who are great to be with. Have Fun... ANDY. Reply to this

14 years ago, August 15th 2006 No: 17 Msg: #7012  
Travelling on your own, like any travel, can be either strengthening or debilitating - and which experience you have will largely be determined by your attitude and approach to travelling with its triumphs and tribulations. Always stay positive and thankful for your travels - remember that you could be stuck in an office somewhere undertaking a load of mundane tasks.

For me, being solo is the ultimate travelling experience - mainly because there is no buffer between yourself and the surroundings - it will fully immerse you in the environment. On rare occasions during my journeys I have joined with other travellers - but without a doubt the solo traveller will be able to interact more with the local community. People are more wary of approaching two or more people together as they may be ‘interrupting’ them, whereas on your own, they are more likely to converse.

Of course, the downside is that you have nobody to assist in fending off the unwanted hawkers and touts - but your assertiveness will increase dramatically as a result - so call it a ‘learning experience’.

The inability to share the day’s experiences is generally not a problem, especially in different cultures where there is plenty to absorb, as I prefer to lock myself away at night and consider the day. However, this would not be the case on a wilderness trek - where it would probably be preferable to have company. The inclusion of others in my experiences is helped considerably by using this great site - where every word I write and every photo I upload is sharing my travels with those near and dear to me who are not by my side. Reply to this

14 years ago, August 17th 2006 No: 18 Msg: #7064  
Travelling alone is brilliant! Go where you want, when you want at your own pace. How could you ever feel lonely when you are always surrounded by people - in hostels, on trains, buses etc? Travelling alone forces you out of your comfort zone and opens you up to more interactions with lcoals who are more inclined to chat to someone on their own.

I've been travelling alone for the last 5 months and people always say to me 'I couldnt do it'. But have they tried? Only one person can ride on the back of a motorbike (unless perhaps youre in India or SE Asia!), only one little mattress can fit on the bedroom floor of a Bosnian uni student's bedroom...

In the entire 5 months I probably ate dinner alone less than 5 times because staying in hostels or budget accommodation there's always someone to chat to, share your experiences with and head to the pub for a beer with. Then you end up staying with these new friends when you get to their country. The hardest thing is saying goodbye far too often and knowing that even though you swapped email addresses doesn't guarantee you'll ever meet again.

Travelling alone is the best thing I've ever done in my life. Next time I'm definitely travelling on my own again - there's no other way!

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14 years ago, August 20th 2006 No: 19 Msg: #7104  
I'm travelling the world alone, I'd admit there are some moments you just want to be with an old friend from way back, or can't be bothered to meet
another new person, but on the whole you meet so many, and it's easy to find people to go to the bar with etc. I see others travelling in couples
or groups, and don't feel I'm missing out. After all the cornerstone of travel is meeting new people and places, so you don't need the comfort
blanket of your best mate from school.

Just get out there and enjoy! Reply to this

14 years ago, September 1st 2006 No: 20 Msg: #7314  
B Posts: 17
God, travelling alone is awesome. But, it gets so lonely sometimes. If only there was someone I was travelling with (a special girl, perhaps) then I think i'd enjoy myself alot more. Reply to this

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