It is an undeniable fact that there are many people who do not travel for lack of company. They say that they do not like to travel alone, that they prefer to have someone to talk to, that the trip must be shared. Or that they are afraid alone. The curious thing is that most did not even give themselves the opportunity to try traveling alone.
On the other hand, if you ask someone who travels alone about these experiences, they are more likely to say that this is the best way to travel; who can not imagine doing it any other way; and that, in fact, during journeys You're alone if you really want to..
In my many travels around the world, I have tried to travel with friends or acquaintances and the result has almost always been disastrous. Already traveled as a family and many good things happened, although experience has provided far fewer contacts with other people. And I also travel with small groups while Nomad leader. But most of the time I travel alone. It's not better or worse, but it's certainly different.
I have already written a list of things I would say to anyone planning to make the first big trip, where I purposely did not address the issue of traveling alone, because I think it deserved to be better developed in an autonomous text. I sporadically receive messages from undecided travelers about the decision to leave on a solitary adventure; and to all I answer the same: "Vá!”.
Do not be afraid to travel alone
It's easier than it looks
There are thousands of other travelers doing the same, so you are not doing anything unique or extraordinary. Of course, it's your trip and will probably change your life, but is not "discovering the wheel". Traveling was probably a great odyssey for many decades; it is now too easy to justify most fears. The difficulties you feel (of any kind) have been experienced by many others before you, so if you need to go more rested, you can easily read about these experiences and better prepare to overcome them.
All the doubts that assail him today as he dreams of the journey-and seem to him enormous obstacles-on the ground will reveal small and simple things to overcome. Yes, it is easy to obtain a visa; Washing; find where to sleep; cash withdrawals at ATMs; keep in touch with friends; find company; not expose yourself to unnecessary risks. I'm sure you know most of the answers to your questions - just need to give the click that turns off the "complicator" that we all have within us.
You'll never really be alone (unless you want to)
Many years ago, I read a phrase that stuck in my soul. I do not know its author, but I said more or less the following: "if you travel alone you will know many people; if you travel with someone else you will meet some people; if you travel with three or more you will get to know each other well. " I fully subscribe.
When you travel alone, you are much more predisposed to meet people. Interacting and socializing are basic needs of the human being. You will find travelers with whom you can share a meal, a sunset, a hotel room, a day, a week or more of travel depending on the empathy created and the will of both.
In fact, you're only unaccompanied if you really want to. And I I do not know anyone who has regretted making a trip alone.
Do not wait for a friend or girlfriend
It happens often. A person very much wants to make a great trip, challenges one or two friends to embark on the adventure and ends up giving up his dream because a friend or boyfriend ended up not being able, not wanting, not deciding in a timely manner. Do not make that mistake. If you wait for someone to either or want or gain courage, your trip will never happen. And most certainly you will regret not having gone.
When I gave my first round the world was already married and my wife chose not to abandon her career as a journalist in her election newspaper. He legitimately chose work instead of travel - it was my dream, not hers. And you know what you told me when you realized that I wanted to. same travel for more than a year? "I do not want to be responsible for not fulfilling your dream; you have my support. " And I went alone. (yes, 10 years later we continue together).
Of course, if you prefer same traveling together, if that is more in line with your personality, look for someone who is compatible with your way of being, in terms of tastes, flexibility, travel pace. Someone who is willing to make concessions, because the trip becomes the yours trip, not yours or yours. Choose someone with whom you imagine sharing the 24 hours of a day, every day, for a long time.
But, If that person does not appear, do not give up. US trip. Go! Do not stop being happy for lack of company. And because it is very likely that your experience will be even richer and more interesting because you are alone. You will gain a self-knowledge with which you never dreamed; will mature and will make many more friends than if accompanied.
Your best friend is not necessarily a good traveling companion.
I have several friends that I like very much, that I admire and respect, and with whom I like to be at a coffee table or restaurant, to fraternize in a night of glasses or to have fun in a concert of the Andanças festival. But some of them have features, interests and tastes so different from mine that, on the road, I am sure we would be incompatible.
It's the truth: I would never invite some of my best friends to travel with me.. I like them, but I would not see myself sharing the 24 hours of the day for months on end.
And the same applies to a couple of boyfriends. Travel to two it can be a fantastic experience, but it is not for everyone. Yes, your best friend or girlfriend is not necessarily the best traveling companion. Take this into consideration when deciding whether to travel alone or with a partner (unless you want to "test" the relationship for the simple reason that one of the best ways to meet a person is to travel with her).
Whatever the option, do not let the fears keep you from going after the dream. Because the world is really waiting for you, even if you decide to travel alone. Or rather, especially if traveling alone. You will see that you do not regret it.
Note to readers of this blog
Maybe you're thinking: "You say this because you're not a woman.". It is a common attitude, to attribute to womanhood a handicap not to travel alone. I'm not a woman, it's a fact, but I know dozens of women accustomed to travel alone. Young and not so young.
I sincerely believe that the world is as safe for a man as for a woman, but instead of trusting what I say - being a man I can not speak properly on this subject - read Blogs of women-travelers and form their own opinion. The Blogs Adventurous Kate of Kate McCulley, The Everywhereist of Geraldine De Ruiter, Legal Nomads by Jodi Ettenber, Little Adrift by Shannon O'Donnell and Bacon is Magic of Ayngelina Brogan (all in English) are good starting points, but there are dozens of other Blogs travel written on the female that can inspire and help overcome all fears.
If you prefer to contact someone in Portuguese, talk to Ana Isabel Mineiro do blog Landscape Eaters. She is one of the great Portuguese travelers and for decades she has traveled all over the world.
One last note: Whichever way you choose to travel, keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, take out travel insurance (I use the World Nomads) and leave rested.
A World Nomads offers one of the best and most complete travel insurance recommended by National Geographic and Lonely Planet. Other excellent and cheaper option is IATI Seguros, which has no age limit and allows multivariate insurance (including long-term travel) to any destination in the world. It's the insurance I use in my travels.