Con #1: Not having a friend to take a picture of you with that gorgeous background/monument/building in the back.
Solution: Invest in a very handy selfie stick or ask a stranger to snap a photo of you. I promise, they probably won’t steal your camera and you may just make a new friend.
Pro #1: You get to choose when, how, and what you get to see.
No more arguing about whether to see the Trevi Fountain first or go to the Spanish steps. Whether to walk or take the metro. It’s all in your hands now!
Con #2: Cost. Whether it’s actually more expensive to travel with friends or less, no one can deny the feeling of your wallet being squeezed to death when you see that bill.
Solution: Plan ahead and budget, budget, budget. It’s absolutely possible to do tons of crazy, amazing things. You just have to be smart about it. Take that 34 hour bus ride rather than the expensive flight. Save on food, spend on experience.
Pro #2 The personal growth
I remember the first time I traveled by myself. I had chosen to stay in Ireland, just under two weeks. I was forced to navigate a city by myself, seek out people when I wanted company, and walk into a pub and enjoy being alone. Nothing was there to stop me except myself. I emerged from the experience, not only refreshed from an amazing holiday, but more confident, daring, and happy with enjoying the prospect of me, myself, and I.
Con #3: Vulnerability
This is both physical and emotional. I can’t deny the little feel of nervousness when walking alone in a new city, laden with bags. You’re definitely more of a target than when you’re traveling in a group. But also, it can get frustrating having to repeatedly explain to people why I’m traveling solo. “No, I’m not with a boyfriend” “Yeah, my friends are back in such-and-such city” “Naw, there’s too much adventure for me to get lonely!”
Solution: Try to arrive in a new city in daylight. You’re less likely to get robbed that way. And practice makes perfect. The more you travel alone, the more comfortable you become with yourself and not having buddies around you to experience something new.
Pro #3: Way easier to meet new friends
Your friends from home turned travel-buddies have become your security blanket. You won’t spend half the effort to meet people when you have someone right there beside you. But the whole point of traveling is to get out of your comfort zone! And being alone forces you to be more sociable if you want to have some human interaction.
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