Too scared to fly solo? Alisha Rajpal weighs out the pros and cons of the first item on the millennial bucket list, a.k.a ‘#SoloTravel’
I’ve never been able to go to the movies alone so the idea of taking a solo holiday is completely frightening to me. The more I think about it, I believe that it is more difficult to be alone at home than anywhere else.
Sure travelling alone takes immense courage and there are a lot of safety issues to think of, but the possibility of self-discovery also seems enticing. So are there more pros than cons to travelling solo? That is a difficult question to answer.
A definite pro:
Travelling alone means being able to create and follow your own schedule. How many times have you missed a movie you really wanted to see just because you couldn’t find someone that also wanted to watch it? Or maybe you just couldn’t find a time to watch the movie that was convenient for everyone? I can safely say I’ve been in that boat many times.
I’ve always been tempted to buy a ticket and a bucket of popcorn and take myself to a movie, but the idea of running into someone I know and letting them discover my lonesome ways is much too hard to handle. In comparison if I was in a new city by myself, the idea of going sightseeing or to a play by myself would be completely acceptable and natural- I can already think of the many wonderful Instagram captions- not to mention, it is totally normal to ask strangers to take multiple photos of me, something my friends might not do.
A bit of a con:
Safety is not something to take for granted, even in your hometown there are always certain neighborhoods that you must avoid at certain hours. Living in a big city I always have to be cognizant of my surrounding, so travelling alone can be risky keeping that in mind. No matter how extensive the research, one wrong turn could lead me somewhere I don’t want to be.
However, people that have advocated solo travelling to me in the past make it seem like an impossible and incredible adventure and who doesn’t want that? Personally, I have been thinking that it may be more difficult for me to even go to lunch alone at my favorite restaurant. How is it that the things that seem adventurous abroad can feel daunting at home? Eating alone at a café abroad can seem so romantic, but if I was caught eating by myself at a restaurant in Mumbai, there is a good chance I would be the subject of multiple Whatsapp group chats.
I imagine it is easier to find yourself elsewhere, but the hard truth is that life is at home, and travelling is temporary and we must find a way to be comfortable with both.
Travelling although temporary for most people, can be the remedy for routine life, and is perhaps also essential for happiness. With company it can definitely be great this I know, but maybe alone it can be just as fun too. Maybe travelling alone is like jumping out of a plane, it seems like a crazy thing to do, but one can see the allure.
Especially in the 2010’s, I think we are expected to chase excitement; our lives must always seem like sparkling, kira-kira fueled documentation on a daily basis.
Do it for you or do it for the gram:
Even though travelling solo can seem like an escape for the soul, the real thing to be able to escape from is social media. Anyone that doesn’t have an Instagram in 2018 is automatically mega cool in my book. When I think of all the ‘take me back’ and ‘ travel diaries’ posts that flood my Instagram, I think of cups of coffee and melty popsicles and reflective sunglasses, all the things that I can do at my local coffee shop, so I think to myself- do I really need to travel solo?
Truth is both sides of this debate can be argued for and against, and perhaps there is no right or wrong answer. Great things can happen anywhere, and not everyone has the luxury to travel alone or at all; if I can ever muster up the courage to holiday with myself I’ll be impressed. If not, I can always buy a ticket and take myself to the movies which will require just as much courage.