Most of you, if not all, have seen Facebook posts about the wonderful things related to solo travelling. How it opens up your eyes to the beautiful things on Earth. Add that to your Instagram feed with those captions… Everything seems positive.
Nope. Not exactly. First things first, I acknowledge that I am one of the few people out of my circle of friends who is:
- Able to spend on solo travelling even after having other obligations such as a motorbike, summer exchange, bills et cetera
That means I am financially well-off. Alhamdulillah for my position in this world as I do not experience a life that is financially tight. To that, I hope that I will consistently donate my wealth as well as my time for people who need it more than I do. And constantly remember Allah s.w.t for the life I live today and the comforts and challenges He has given me.
I do acknowledge that not many people have a chance to go abroad as frequent as I do, with my own hard-earned money. To that, I do not force (and try not to seem as pushy) my friends to solo travel. Why?
2. Able to travel alone
I am one of those who found liberation after solo-travelling to the States and Vietnam. It was a beautiful thing, but solo travelling is not for everyone. After travelling with another friend to one of the countries, I realised that I cannot travel with everyone and anyone I know. So far, I can only travel with my family and Yuhui very very comfortably. But if I were to choose, I would rather travel alone because my travelling style is very rugged and personal.
I’m not dissing those who choose to have company when travelling. But my personal choice? I emphasise yet again – alone.
3. Rather focused on the people I meet in my travels, views are, ironically secondary
Okay, perhaps that might be a little bit of a surprise. The reasons why I visit a country is largely because of the views — cities really bore me, because I am from Singapore. Unless the city has amazing architecture and culture, I’m never going to visit the place…
Erm, not really. I sometimes visit because of the people. For example, Seoul. It’s really concrete for a city. Foggy too. But I visit Seoul because of the people, especially in Hongdae, and the friends I met in Kyung Hee and in NTU. I’m always going to choose to visit Japan and South Korea because of this. The people matter.
It’s always a bonus point if the country has beautiful views… and it just so happened that Japan and South Korea have absolutely beautiful scenery, prompting me to visit them twice each in a year. (Yes, I am crazy in love with those two countries). I am blessed to have good experiences in those countries eventually (my first week in Korea was horrible).
Solo travelling, as advertised by those Facebook posts, might be true for a huge amount of solo travellers, but I have reached a point of maturity where solo travelling can get tiring. You make your own decisions. If you wake up late, nobody else is to blame except you.
That, in itself, is a huge statement that really impacted me over this year 2017. Now, I am more inclined to travel with family and friends, even though that meant my freedom is rather clipped. But that means those people I travel with have to make decisions or discuss. That is pretty much why I do not like to travel with people who do not have any idea where to go or keep saying “I don’t know”/”You choose”. At least, head to Google and see if you want to go to that place or provide alternatives if I’m being super indecisive. Travelling and making decisions on the go is stressful, nobody needs extra unresponsive people (baggage)!
*Alright I’m ranting hahahahaha*
Ultimately, solo travelling has made me see the intricacies of life even better. It has definitely made me more appreciative of where I was born, where I grew up, how I was brought up and the people around me. It’s very cliche, as you can see, but I will never stop recommending solo travel to anyone who has a choice. It is a privilege, I cannot deny. Nonetheless, make full use of that opportunity and say alhamdulillah that you have gotten another day to live. 🙂