Travelling alone – a trip of a lifetime, or a nightmare?

The internet was lead into a philosophical discussion on travelling alone when newly-wed Huma Mobin went on her honeymoon alone after her new husband was denied a visa. Huma went on the planned trip to Greece with her new in-laws while her husband stayed at home, watching his wife send him photos of her posing as if he was with her.

There are an abundance of reasons why experienced travellers believe going alone is better, Fodor’s travel Editor Michael Alan Connelly, explains that travelling alone allows you to plan your own itinerary, stay within your budget, have a more meaningful travel experience and boosting your confidence (see full list here).

Deciding to travel alone is without a doubt much less stressful than trying to coordinate a group trip, and it allows you to live your own dream, if you want to go and drink tequila laced with scorpions accompanied with a burrito then get on that plane to Mexico. Travelling alone doesn’t allow room for compromising where you visit, stay and what you do once you’re there – resulting in, what should be, a trip of a lifetime.

As a student travelling alone is also the better option, if you don’t have lectures on a Friday, but your friends do, then jetting off alone for a long weekend to somewhere new is much easier done alone, without trying to coordinate flights which fit everyone’s timetable.

This question as to whether I would travel alone or not made me wonder, and then I laughed, why was I even questioning this?

Surely, we shouldn’t give way to what life has to offer just because there isn’t someone to be by our side, if we spent our precious young, healthy years afraid to do something that would make us happy simply because it meant doing it alone, then what sort of life is that?

I decided to test my self-belief, and went on a day trip to Oxford, alone. I was rather excited for my day out, visiting the colleges and museums and felt truly comfortable on my one hour train journey out of London. I have always been confident to try something new, so exploring a new town did not scare me and I wasn’t anxious about being alone as I have spent almost the entire summer living in London without my boyfriend or friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my day, with google maps as my companion, I roamed filming sights of Harry Potter and walked in the footsteps of some of our greatest historic figures in English history.

However, having recently visited my best friend’s home town of Cambridge and saw the sights, I couldn’t help but compare the two visits. She was able to explain the history of the town to me, and took me punting, an activity I wouldn’t have been confident to do alone. With plenty of ‘me’ time, it occurred to me that when you are travelling with a companion you share your amusement and emphasis the beauty of where you are visiting, this is difficult to do when alone as the thoughts come, but you don’t express them how you would in the company of a companion. When with someone else you talk about what you can see and point out things the other may not have noticed

Being able to travel alone is extremely brave and is entirely down to each individual and their mind set. To travel alone I can imagine that one would have to be extremely comfortable with their own company, and courageous enough to take part in the activities you would normally do with someone else. Before travelling alone, I think you really need to consider whether you are confident enough to do this, to spend each day on your own, to meet new people, to dine alone and explore alone, as if you aren’t you could find yourself have a nightmare of a trip.  

Have you travelled on your own? Share your story and tweet us @KettleMag