Travelling alone or with people ?

Some of you don’t even need to ask this question because it’s obvious for them. It is also true that according to your personality, you will be more or less likely to ask it.

Maybe you’re thinking it would be great to go on a trip with your bestie, or you girlfriend/boyfriend, or with more people.

Just keep in mind that the human relationship science is among the most hardest sciences to understand and explain, and the more people are involved, the more exponentially complicated it gets. Not to mention that you have to consider gender, age, or whatever in the analysis.

Anyway, you got my point. Going somewhere with many people is in my sense not an advantage. Of course, you would feel safer, and you have always somebody to lean on to and it is reassuring if you ever get in trouble. But, what kind of person are you ? Do you just want to see some landscapes with good company, or do you want to actually travel, explore, push your own boundaries, going to people without anyone to rely on other than you ?

A few advantages of travelling alone

  • You are going as you wish, without “reporting” to anyone
  • You don’t have to argue to agree on what to do or not do
  • You are following your own dynamics and act according to it without having to adapt to someone else
  • You are naturally going to other people, espacially when you are in trouble
  • You meet people more easily on your way, and you NEVER are actually alone
  • Simply, you feel free

Being on his own is also some kind of personal challenge if you’ve never done it before, and it gets interesting to see what we can do. But don’t ask yourself too many questions though, because this is far from being insuperable. Especially in southeast Asia where everything is super easy. If you ever seem lost, people will naturally come to you and help you. In the guesthouses, you will meet dozens of people who are doing the same thing than you and who will be as glad as you to share experiences, activities, or even a room to cut down the prices. And if you get along pretty well with these people, you can even travel together for a couple of days.

When you are travelling alone, you never actually are alone. Tested and approved. Let me show you what happened during my three and a half months backpack journey :

People I traveled with during my journey when I was “moving around”

  • Thailand
    • Day 01 : My CouchSurfing host from England, along with three more people he was hosting as well.
      length : 2 days
    • Day 07 : A group of people doing the « one and a half day tour » with me at the national park of Khao Yai.
      length : 2 days
    • Day 09 : Dozens of monkeys around the Phra Prang Sam Yod in Lopburi
      length : 1 hour
    • Day 10 : A Swiss girl that came to talk to me as I was going out of the train Station in Phitsanulok.
      length : 2 days
    • Day 15 : An American guy that I met in the bus on the way to Pai.
      length : 4 days
    • Day 24 : A German guy met in a local bus on my back to Chiang Rai. It happened that we were following the same route, we crossed the Lao border together and were dividing the accommodation costs.
      length : 13 days
  • Laos
    • Day 30 : A group of 4 or 5 people that I met  as I was buying a sandwich and we spent new year’s eve together in Luang Prabang.
      length : 1 day
    • Day 38 : A swiss girl and English guy when I arrived in Pakse
      length : 1 day
    • Day 38 : One more German guy and a guy from Netherlands (spent 4 days with him) that I met the same day and with who I traveled several days in Laos, we did motorbike rides as well and a part of Cambodia.
      length : 12 days
  • Cambodia
    • Day 50 : A group of several people on Ko Rong island, we did various activities together.
      length : 4 days
    • Day 55 : A french guy that I ran into on the pavement in Kampot and with who I did share a dormitory the first night in Ko Rong! We did a 2 days motorbike ride together, it was awesome. We spent a whole day with a young local 16 years old guy who made us visit all around with our motorbikes for one entire day.
      length : 2 days
    • Day 60 : A Swiss guy from the group of people met in Ko Rong. I ran into him in the street in Phnom Penh!
      length : one afternoon
  • Thailand again
    • Day 64 : A Belgium guy(4 days) and a couple of french with who I took scuba diving lessons. By extension, I met more people with them
      length : 7 days
    • Day 82 : A Netherlands expat guy living in Khao Lak for 16 years. We did motorbike ride together
      length : 1 day

These encounters were the one actually significant, in a way where I shared things with those people. And I’m not mentioning the countless other “small” encounters that I did on my way

In total, I spent 48 days out of 74 with other people, which is 65% of the time when I was moving around. This does not include when I “settled” for over a month in a specific place because I spent 107 days in total on my journey. And when I’m saying 65%, it doesn’t have to mean that we were stuck together all the time. Sometimes each of us would spend the day separately, and meet at night for example. We could also do activities together, there is no rule as long as everyone keeps his freedom.

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