Aircraft Approach Sunset

My 2015 Travel Challenge To You

By Writpit (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Those of you who know me well know that I love to travel. In a matter of hours you can literally immerse yourself in to a whole different culture and/or geographical surrounding. It’s something I find totally fascinating and love to experience as a local as much as I can rather than as a tourist.

One of the questions I get asked so often is “who are you travelling with”. My response nine times out of 10 “I’m travelling alone”. A look of horror follows, with what is probably the most insincere “oh that sounds great”. The number of times I have had the same response is amazing, I can really recall very few instances where I haven’t had such a response.

So…I’m here to set the record straight. Some of my best and most notable memories have been things which I have done alone, and often actively sought to do on my own. Whether spending a day hiking in Zermatt, Switzerland (in hindsight probably not so wise alone) or walking around the ruins of Palenque in Mexico it’s something that I totally loved and enjoyed doing alone.

Travel Alone Zermatt Switzerland Selfie

A selfie overlooking Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland.

The good

One of the key advantages of travelling alone is that you can set your own agenda and do what you want, when you want. Some days you just want to sleep in and chill and others you want to get up as early as possible and take full advantage of your surroundings. Sometimes, when travelling with someone else there is always a bit of compromise as inevitably someone wants to do something and the other person isn’t so interested. Another advantage in my opinion is that traveling alone quite literally opens your eyes up to your surroundings and the people around you. I know if I am alone, I’m more in tune with my surroundings rather than engrossed in such a deep conversation with a friend that I miss the spectacular dome of the church in the distance or seldom veer of the standard tourist trail.

The bad

One of the biggest disadvantages of travelling alone is that you sometimes get lonely or wish you could share an experience with someone else. This is where staying in a hostel is great as you meet loads of people from different parts of the globe meaning you are bound to find someone with the same interests as you. You can’t also ask a friend to take a photo of you just as you want it. I think I have finally mastered the art of the travel selfie so I don’t have to ask anyone to take a photo of me which inevitably cuts out half of my body or misses the site I wanted in the background of my photo. Safety wise also, some may not be comfortable travelling alone. My philosophy, as long as you are wise about the way you travel, very rarely should you have a problem.

My challenge to you

With this in mind, my challenge to you is as follows. Step out of your comfort zone and take a holiday on your own. Chances are you will enjoy it a lot more than you think and maybe even meet some lifelong friends along the way. I’m interested to find out your experiences to please email me your thoughts, likes, dislikes and even photos to info@earthuncovered.com.

Happy travelling!

– Shay

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