#TravelWith Series: The Dangers of being a Solo Introverted Traveler
Most of the time, introverts (like me and probably you) prefer spending hours alone or with a small group of people rather than a crowd full of strangers. With loud music or packed areas, we tend to feel a little overwhelmed. But with more people welcoming traveling as one of the best ways to relax and unwind, we are not being left behind. Although packing bags and deciding to see more of the world all alone will not surprise the people surrounding us, it is still a risk that worries our friends and family regardless of our characters.
Isn’t it better if you have at least one friend with you? Aren’t you going to be lonely? Are you sure you can do all things by yourself? What if something happens? Who is going to help you out?
People will throw us so many questions, and all we can say is: I will be fine.
But really, what are the dangers of being a Solo Introverted Traveler?
I listed down a few things that I realized when I traveled solo, and I am sharing it with you. So, when you decide to do something crazy like this, I can say that you have been warned.
1. You will be alone.
Surprise, Surprise! You will be all by yourself. You did not bring anyone to chat and do things with. The whole journey is going to be your major ME time. You have all the days to reflect, clear your head, and come up with new ideas. You can do anything under the sun, actually. You are taking a break so you can drop all the things that have been bothering you at home and spend your days feeling light and carefree. And when your adventure in a foreign place officially starts, you will discover more things about yourself even if this is not the first time you are doing some stuff alone.
2. You will have no one to take your awesome pictures.
Unless you are satisfied with selfies or committed enough to take tripods with you on your trip, chances are- you will not have decent photos of yourself. Sure, some kind strangers will offer to take a picture of you especially when they see you struggling or have asked you a favor to take theirs first. But it is not going to be as easy as when you are with somebody to take your more creative or dramatic shots. So instead, you will admire the view and experience so much that you will not really care about not having proof that you have been there. When traveling solo, you tend to focus on the details. You can take a deep breath and appreciate what is right in front of you. You get to take it all in. All of it.
3. You will have to put yourself out there.
No one will do things for you. Not until you speak to the hotel staff, you cannot enter your room. If you do not brave your fear of calling the maintenance guy- a stranger- you cannot have the leaking faucet in your bathroom fixed. As your journey continues, you will find yourself less tensed (if you usually are) when it comes to approaching others. You can be selectively social, but you will meet new people and observe them in a closer view. You will gain more confidence in interacting with new acquaintances. After all, being an introvert does not mean you do not like people. It does not even mean you are necessarily shy. You are just so pleased in being alone that it does not bother you. But given a chance, people will enjoy your warm company and before you know it, you are already friends with them.
4. You will take either too little or too much time.
You have the liberty to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning for a run or 12 noon because you slept in. Nobody will tell you that you are taking too much time because you get to decide on everything. No one will boss you around or hate you for being bossy. You will not have to depend on anyone, so there will be no drama or conflicts. You can be critical and impulsive all at once. It is okay. You can take 1 hour or 10 minutes in the shower, and nobody will mind. You can call off your whole day itinerary to stay in bed or squeeze in a two- day city tour into one. You can eat everything, try any experience waiting for you to be enjoyed without being judged. You can be flexible and spontaneous. More often than not, you will even find yourself captivated by random but interesting places, especially the peaceful and beautiful ones. And it is totally fine.
5. You will get into trouble.
No vacation is perfect. You can lose your luggage, your hotel keys or wallet. But you will love these things, even if they are annoying. When traveling, even the bad days are good. You will learn how you handle unexpected stresses, hassles, and disappointments well so that they do not ruin your entire trip. You will be surprised with the kindness of people who will go out of their ways just to help you out. Instead of panicking, you will enjoy getting lost. You will find yourself exploring the place you end up in instead of anxiously trying to get out of it. You will realize that even though you are the captain of the ship, some things just cannot be controlled.
6. You will spend more money.
On some things, yes. Like when you opt for a solo tour in places you are not confident in visiting alone. Some activities leave serious marks on your finances. But most of the time, you can save money. You will not have to go to places that you do not think are worth of your cash. You will not be forced to spend on overrated restaurants or bargain at tourist trap markets. You can stay at amazing hostels instead of hotels or travel by bus instead of bullet trains. Doing your homework can always get you covered. Even though going by pair has always been known to save more money, doing it alone can also do some wonders when the budget is pretty tight.
7. You will get addicted.
This is the greatest danger. Traveling, whether solo or with a companion, is a bank account hazard as it is. You will definitely fall in love with it. But traveling all by yourself? It is a whole new level of therapy for introverts. After finishing your first solo trip, you will spend more time thinking about it- how much you had fun and learned. You will become so frustrated that you will vow to yourself that you will do it again sooner rather than later. And no one will be able to stop you from packing your bags for yet another great adventure.