Many people have asked me how I could just leave my job and seemingly travel perpetually. How can I afford it? How do you find places to stay for free all the time? How do you find places to volunteer? All questions I’ve received by email, and now I’m sharing the secrets in a series of posts about how The Happy Nomad Tour Rolls and what things are like behind the scenes.
As I mentioned in my post about loneliness, I often forget I am traveling alone. I never feel alone.
Nevertheless, yes, there are advantages and disadvantages to traveling alone.
Being alone, I am in fully control of my destiny and where this trip takes me. I don’t have to consider the desires, tastes, or fears of another person. I think my sense of adventure is stronger than many others, so maybe a second person would, at times, feel like they are holding me back. Or maybe I’d be holding them back.
But that said, a second person could add a ton of vibrancy, other opinions, and safety to the trip.
Walking alone is far less safe than walking in a pair. Even simple things like needing to go to the bathroom at a restaurant… I need to take everything with me to ensure nothing gets stolen. A second person would make such things much easier and more comfortable.
However, I have seen a lot of traveling couples and they seem far less likely to engage other people. It always depends, but often times they are happy and content with each other and that reduces the desire to get to know other people.
In my case, I used to be shy and I’m definitely introverted. But traveling has allowed me to overcome these two obstacles. I’m far more outgoing than I used to be and feel completely comfortable striking up conversations with strangers. I guess that’s a function of increased confidence and self-awareness, but it’s been a long journey to get to this point.
I think traveling alone as a girl is a different story. I think that’s a far greater challenge as there are many more things to worry about. It’s not impossible and I’ve met many adventurous, awesome women blazing their own path. But it’s tough.
I’m sure someone at some point will visit me on The Happy Nomad Tour and I am sure it’ll be a wonderful experience. It’ll be a bit of a vacation from the norm, which is always welcome, but also a lot of preparation to make sure everything is comfortable for them.
Until then, traveling solo is fine by me! It serves as a form of meditation.
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About Adam Pervez
In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.