Travelling alone vs travelling with friends

Are you planning a trip? Wherever you are going and whatever you plan to do and however adlib and unplanned you want your trip to be, there is always the question of who to travel with. Should you go it alone? Should you share it with some mates? Who to travel with is a personal choice that requires some careful consideration.

If you go it alone you will be free to be entirely selfish about where you go and when you go. If you rock up somewhere new and like it you can stay longer than your mate may have wanted to. Your schedule is yours entirely. Fantastic! You are also more likely to meet more people and make more friends on your trip. Unless you have hermit tendencies, being alone on the road forces you to socialise with strangers. This is no bad thing. The people you will meet whilst travelling might also be travelling alone, but more significantly, they will most likely have similar interests to you, they are there too afterall. As long as you keep a sensible eye out for your safety, get out there and meet people. Unless you have very questionable personal hygiene standards it is unlikely you will ever be lonely while travelling alone. The best way to meet new people travelling, is to join activities. Whatever is going on (as long as it is legal) get in on the action. Remember, the people you share travel experiences with may just be people you encounter on the road, but you may also discover some true friends. Don’t worry if you are apprehensive though, leaving everything and everyone you know behind and going travelling alone is a big brave thing to do. Be assured though, you are bound to return a stronger and more confident individual.

Travelling with friends can be fantastic fun. You already have a group of friends you know and (hopefully) trust and can encourage each other to try things you might not have done otherwise. Whether or not you see this as a positive, does of course depend on what sort of friends you have! Moving on though, who knows what your friend will notice and point out to you that you might otherwise have missed? Travelling with friends is like having a safety net in new unknown territory, safety in numbers and all that. However, choose your friends wisely. If you are an adventurous type planning a camping safari in some remote wilderness, think carefully before agreeing to go with your friend who thinks shopping is life. Equally you’re probably not going to have a wonderful time dragging action man along on a culture-vulture break. I stereotype, but hopefully you grasp what I’m saying. Feeling obliged to stay together in a far-flung spot once you’ve fallen out (as friends of mine once did) would be a miserable situation. You want to get home telling stories about the amazing places you’ve been and the fantastic things you’ve seen don’t you, not about the argument? The easiest way to avoid this is to honestly discuss what you each want from the trip ahead of going. Travelling with friends or as a group, you must be prepared to compromise too. People are different so don’t expect your friends to want to do everything that you want to do. But at the same time be open-minded to other people’s interests.

Whatever you decide, remember to enjoy your travels, but stay safe at the same time. Whether with friends or alone, new environments can be confusing. Be street-savvy and if you are travelling alone, let the folks at home know you’re alive once in a while. They’ll appreciate it.

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