Believe me; I can not count how many times people ask me that “wait, you are traveling by yourself? Do you have fun? Isn’t it a little bit weird?”. And my answer is always the same, “why not?”.
Recently, Vietnamese ask me that question a lot. When I was in San Francisco, people are surprised that I travel by myself as well. I need to say that I do feel a little bit lonely and bored when I travel by myself, like few hours/week or so haha. Sometimes, I hope that I have a mate to share some tours (some tours can only run if there are at least two people). Other than that, I have a lot of fun.
By traveling by myself, I can do whatever I want. I have a lot of time for myself, so I can do the things I like, the things that need a lot of quiet and isolated time such as meditation, reading, writing, and coding. I can relax, and I can travel and live at my own pace. I learn more about myself.
When I travel by myself, I travel slowly. Sometimes, I sit on a corner of a restaurant just to watch people, to see what they eat, how they eat and who go to that restaurant. Sometimes, I sit at a street coffee shop to listen to the sound of the city and to watch people(again?). I want to see what kind of phone they use, what newspaper they are reading (even though I don’t understand the newspapers). I want to have a sense who live in the city.
By traveling by myself, I have more opportunities to wander and get lost. Whenever I get lost, there would be great stories. Those stories have made my trips, my days and my life.
When I travel by myself, I get a lot of help from great people. They help me with my backpack because it looks bigger than me ( I am a tiny person by the way). They host me on Couch surfing. They invite me on road trips with their friends and families just because I travel by myself. They look after me.
By traveling by myself, I become more open to the world. I try to push myself out of my comfort zone to connect with the local and the travelers. I try to talk with other without worrying about the language barrier. I teach my hosts and my new friends my broken English. I am an ESL leaner, so they love to hear my tips. I have rewired my brain and put more lens on my eyes. I see things through my own lens.
Traveling by myself has taught me a lot. It has taught me that this world is good. People are good. The media tries to form the world with ugly aspects and bad people. But believe me, people are good out there, the world is good out there, please go out there and see it yourself. Traveling by myself has taught me that no matter what happens, just put that positive smile on and things will be fine. People will help you as long as you ask with an honest smile. Traveling by myself has taught me that how grateful I am to live in San Francisco. Traveling by myself has motivated me that I want to use my education to make this world a better place, to use my education for transformations. I have learned that I do not just live for myself, but I live for other as well.
So if you always cancel your travel plans because your friends can’t make it. If you have doubts, why don’t you just go by yourself and see? I won’t sweet it. The first few times suck. I spent stupid money on my first solo trip. I got trapped by tourist traps. I got scared by other people. I got so sick, and I thought I could not make it home. I was almost dead. But like anything in life, it gets better, and we all learn along the way.
For a thousand time over, I have a lot of fun and tears for traveling by myself.