My Experience as a Solo Travel Artist

My Experience as a Solo Travel Artist

It’s been over a year since I left home and started my journey to the other side of the world. I really didn’t know what to expect as I had never done anything like this before. I knew it would be eye-opening but I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy it, fall in love with it, or just plain despise it. All three have come into play at various times throughout my travels and I find myself contemplating whether or not I would have wanted a travel partner.

First and foremost, the thing I love about traveling on my own is that I can do whatever I want, when I want and I don’t have to answer to anybody. I’ve been running mostly on my own schedule since I began and I love that about this trip. I see other travelers having to make concessions to their travel buddies and, even though I wouldn’t necessarily have a problem with that, I love the fact that it’s just not an issue of mine. I mean, come on, it’s all about me anyway!

With no particular time schedule I can take as much or as little time as I want. My trip was supposed to last six months but, after only purchasing a one-way ticket to Australia, here I am, 13 months later and I’m in New Zealand. Never saw that one coming.

On the flip side, though, traveling with a partner means you’ve always got a friend by your side. Sure, I’ve met heaps of incredible people and have had some of the best times of my life with them.

But those moments pass, along with said people, and when I return home, I won’t have anyone to share the memories with. Yeah, it gets lonely on the road. I’ve had some days that have struck me as nothing less than surreal, but I’ve also had some pretty difficult ones when I just didn’t want to get out of bed (damn hostels and their 10am checkout time).

Everybody needs a bit of motivation once in a while and, without someone there for you, it’s easy to lose that. It’s been very emotionally trying for me at times and this trip has been a true test of my will-power.

It has also tested my bank account…to it’s very limits! I’ve never been very good at budgeting my funds so, when on my own with no income, it’s easy for me to get a bit reckless with my moolah. It always good to have someone there to say, “hey buddy, are you SURE you want to spend $150 at the bar tonite!?”

If you’re trying to get out there, meet people, go out and do things, it’s pretty hard not to spend a bit of dough. Having a buddy with you means not having to worry about getting out there as much, which can be a gift and a curse. If I weren’t on my own, I never would have met all you spectacular people.

Having a travel partner also means you get to split costs! Going halves on a camper van, eating for half as much, splitting that 2-4-1 beer…sounds pretty nice right about now. Covering costs in full gets a bit annoying at times.

Altogether, though, I can’t say that I would have wanted to do my trip one way or the other. I love the freedom and I wouldn’t have seen and done as much if I weren’t on my own. My trip has been nothing less than phenomenal, but at the same time, there’s something to be said for having a good wingman 😉

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  1. I know I wouldn’t enjoy long term solo travel. I really like sharing the experiences with my husband and I just don’t have as much fun when I do travel without him.

  2. I always find it so interesting to discuss (or read about) the reality of long term solo travel from an emotional perspective. I have travelled solo and loved it, though at this point in my life prefer to travel with my partner, friends and family. With that said, I do love the fact that solo travel forces you to reach and connect with those around you in ways that friend / group travel doesn’t – which is a beautiful thing. Anything that pushes you to challenge yourself and grow is fantastic and that is the beauty of solo travel, though I won’t argue that the loneliness can be very challenging at times.

  3. Being able to speak from experiences of traveling solo, with one friend and two friends all at different times on the same trip. I can say I enjoyed the solo part the best- it allowed the most time to get the full experience in another country it forced you to trust more strangers and get out of a comfort space. When I traveled with 2 of my friends from back home after being by myself for two months it was a large adjustment, I found it harder to make friends and you fell back into a place of comfort. However now being home its nice to talk to someone who was there and saw the same things- makes remembering the little things alot easier. and For the traveling with one or two friends were both succuessful- The three of us got along, and we never seemed to encounter the two against one problem so many people warned us about. I can also say the friends from home i went with werent my closest friends from home, but after traveling with them we became alot closer! and the moments of feeling lonely still can happen traveling with friends, just so you know. I highly recommend traveling solo, but have a friend join along the way for awhile! that way when you get home you have someone reminisce with. 🙂

    1. That’s interesting. I often wonder if my trip would have been
      better or worse (if there is such a thing) if I was traveling with a
      partner. I met up with my mother and sister who I am able to share the
      experience with, but they were only there for part of it. You’re right
      though–traveling solo forces you to step outside of your comfort zone,
      get out of that hostel and do things. Going home will be strange because, aside from my family, nobody will know anything about me

  4. Great point Jeremy. As a solo traveler myself, I had those moments. It’s free and all but sometimes it’s nice to have someone to laugh with, and remember this moment together and take a look back with. It’s true. The most wonderful gang we met on the road, it’s a great memory and we will be friend for a long time but the moment past and sometimes it hits us. The quietness is not so great sometimes.

    1. Ain’t that the truth! I’ve had some fantastic times and met some amazing people but there’s a good chance I’ll never see them again. But such is life, and we grow.

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