Personal / April 27, 2011

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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