The Joys of Traveling Alone
By: Jennifer Milano, May 2015
I loved my months traveling alone. When you travel alone, you are assured of meeting lots of people, versus when you already have a traveling partner or group, you are less likely to venture out and make connections with other travelers and local people. Meeting fellow travelers is a great way to learn about sites, restaurants, and new travel destinations. This is easier when you are staying in lower-end accommodations with lots of backpackers around who are open to meeting new people (versus hotels with families or couples on a week's vacation). Once you've made new friends on the road, traveling around with them is fun for companionship, but it's also easy to go your separate ways if your interests differ or you tire of each other. And, if you feel like being alone, you can be alone. I always have a book with me when I travel alone, especially if I'm planning on eating at a restaurant by myself.
I do take safety precautions when traveling alone. I avoid walking around at night by myself, especially in unfamiliar or unsafe areas. I use the "gut-check" test - if I'm receiving attention from someone and it doesn't feel right, I high tail it out of there. I never tell people where I'm staying. I've invented boyfriends when I traveled as a single person, so that newly met traveling companions wouldn't get the wrong idea. I used a door alarm in guesthouses or less-than-secure hotels. Basically, I use common sense and err on the side of caution.
If you are thinking of traveling the world alone, remember that alone rarely means lonely!