After writing about my how my love for travel started it got me thinking about what kind of travel I like most. Specifically, whether I prefer solo travel or travelling with a companion. In the last eight years I have mixed up travelling solo with going on holiday with Carl and occasionally with close friends. I actually wrote a post a couple of years ago about the benefits of travelling alone which I still completely stand by, but I also appreciate that travelling with company is fantastic too!
When I first started travelling all those years ago I did a lot of it on my own. I went to Australia by myself, although I never felt too alone as I stayed in hostels which were full of other solo travellers. Essentially though, I was on my own, I had to fend for myself and I loved it. I felt a sense of accomplishment at being able to negotiate living in a new country and figuring things out for myself – it did wonders for my confidence. In fact, those experiences in Australia gave me the confidence to go on holiday by myself to places like New York, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
Reasons to Love Solo Travel
Solo travel allows me to be selfish. I can pick the destination and decide exactly what I want to do without having to compromise with someone else. I realise how selfish that comes across, but I think we all need to make time to be a bit selfish every once in a while whether that be through travel or not. When I go traveling solo I love to wander around for hours at a time with no particular idea of where I will end up. Carl on the other hand, prefers a bit more structure so I can’t wander quite so freely when we travel together.
There is also the fact that as a photographer and blogger I like to take a lot of photos! I can take hundreds (if not thousands) of photos during my trips abroad and sometimes that doesn’t make much fun for the other person. Carl never really complains about me taking photos but I still feel a sense of guilt a lot of the time. Solo travel allows me to indulge in my love of photography without the guilt of worrying if whomever I am with is bored stiff!
Solo travel isn’t always fun and games though, when things go wrong such as luggage not turning up after a flight, or bank cards not working I can’t rely on someone else to sort these things out for me. While this is a good thing for building up life skills, it can make a trip very stressful.
Also, let’s not even get started on how much time you have to think! If you don’t like being left alone with your own thoughts for large amounts of time then solo travel probably isn’t for you! Thankfully being an only child I spent a large part of my childhood alone so I am used to this concept and actually quite enjoy my own company!
Travelling with someone is good too!
As much as I love solo travel, it isn’t something I want to do all of the time, and I have the best time travelling with Carl. In fact, Carl and I would never have met if it wasn’t for travel and it has played a strong part in our relationship since meeting in Australia over five years ago. Carl is my favourite travel buddy, we have similar travel styles and thankfully we get on really well when travelling (minus the odd argument here and there!). There is no denying that there is something special about being able to share my experiences with him. Not only do we have fun at the time, but we have lots of memories that we can reminisce about over a glass of wine for years to come. Carl and I still regularly talk about our time in Australia, not to mention all the other places we have been lucky enough to visit.
It isn’t just Carl I enjoy travelling with either, one of my favourite ever holidays was a trip to Thailand I took with my friend Leanne and I also had an amazing time in Bruges with Cecilia! I love travelling with people as much as I love solo travel – as long as my travel partner is on the same wavelength! I think we have all had bad experiences travelling with people who just take a completely different approach than you do!
My favourite thing about travelling with the people is sometimes I get to see things I wouldn’t normally see. Occasionally, I will end up going to a tourist attraction that perhaps if I was on my own I wouldn’t have bothered seeing. An example of this is when we went to Alcatraz on our holiday last month. I wasn’t really fussed about going but Carl wanted to and it ended up being one of my favourite things we did in San Francisco – imagine what I could have missed out on!
Do you love solo travel or do you prefer travelling with someone? Or like me, do you love both? Let me know in the comments below!