Javier sends us an email asking a question that surely more than one has crossed his mind so it seemed convenient to answer it as a post.
Our reader tells us:
My name is Javi, I'm 22 years old and I've been thinking about taking a long trip (possibly Southeast Asia). Today I do not have a partner to do it. I have seen that you have made trips of this type but I do not know if you did it alone, with friends or with your partner.
It would be the first time I travel alone and it is what scares me most about this trip. At the same time a part of me tells me that it can be a totally extraordinary experience, but I don't know if it is too crazy to leave several months alone, if it is easy to make friends in places to share the trip, etc.
I would like you to give me some advice or any kind of useful information.
If you want to travel independently in Asia or elsewhere on the planet and those around you look at you like a weirdo, don't give up. Traveling alone has its drawbacks but, without a doubt, it will provide you with an incredible sense of freedom that you would never get in company.
A trip as a couple or with friends generally centers the mission of the trip on an adventure journey where the protagonist is not the place and its people in itself but rather the evolution of that relationship during the period traveled and the shared experiences. Of course, in a way it all depends on the open and curious character of the person but a 24-hour relationship in company contingent travel selfishness to the needs of your partner. That may work like a charm and sometimes not.
On the other hand, when you go alone you are with the senses on alert, you try to find information under the stones and you manage to establish many more friendships than traveling in company.
I have made a few trips alone with my backpack in tow and generally you get better memories of the place than other places where I traveled in company. You delve deeper into the place and known people, remember almost all the towns and places where you lived, create bonds of friendship with other travelers much stronger than traveling accompanied. Between friends or as a couple you tend to draw up a certain plan and it is more difficult to let improvisation take over your guide route. Traveling alone you will see how the days follow each other and the road map you forget in a hostel and you dedicate yourself to change the course as you want and time permits.
If you travel through Southeast Asia you have it even easier. Tourism is strongly based in the region and it is extremely easy to inform and travel through their countries. You will find a lot of young people in your same situation and it will cost you nothing to make new friends with whom to share experiences without ties and learn English.
Being yourself who carries the guide, the map, the desire and the tempo is a precious gift that brings a security and fullness out of the ordinary. I recommend such an experience to anyone who has doubts about embarking on a solo trip and ends up not doing so because of the familiar fears that Javi says.
If you still have doubts, I recommend that you leave stories; Fill your backpack, pin your arm with the relevant vaccinations and get a ticket. You will see how the weight you carry on right now disappears once you have stepped on your new destiny. The weight of uncertainty will become the desire to meet people and the world and very possibly you will also change the perspective of life, who knows ...5.001