Is solo travel all it's cracked up to be?
UAE travel influencers share their thoughts
Whether it's solo travel, couple travel, family travel or group travel, there is a lot of debate on which type is the best. Considering that we are all different, there is no right or wrong answer as we all enjoy different aspects of travel. Some, for example, like to stick to the 'touristy' routes while others would rather go and explore the road less travelled.
Travelling alone is, undoubtedly, amazing. It teaches you responsibility, enhances your social skills and makes you think on your feet. Travelling with your loved one, though, is almost like travelling by yourself if your partner is like your second half! Your interests are likely to coincide with each other and create a whole new travel experience.
There are many advantages to travelling in a duo, the funniest being you always have someone to carry the bags for you! But really, it makes it easier when you have your loved one by your side as it never really gets lonely. Many of us decided to leave our family and friends to live abroad to facilitate travel plans; for Mitch and I, Australia and Canada are home (respectively), and being so far from home, having each other is so important especially when we are out of our comfort zone in a new country.
Another advantage of not travelling alone is safety. It is a great feeling to know you are not alone and someone is always there if anything were to happen. Not that you should rely on somebody else for your safety, but it's always a good feeling to have the reassurance. However, for us, the best reason to travel with someone is to have another person with you to experience the highs and elations of seeing something for the first time. Nothing beats looking back in 15 years' time and being able to tell someone, "Remember that time when we climbed a mountain?"
is of the co-founder of AdventureFaktory along with Mitch. You can follow them on Instagram @adventurefaktory or on Twitter @AFtravels
Would I consider myself a solo traveller? No. Well, not anymore. These days, almost all of my travel is done with my wife and we fit snugly into that 'travel couple' bracket - candlelit dinners instead of late nights, politely asking strangers to take our photo in front of The Bridge of Sighs and debates over whose suitcase the heavy family gifts are going in.
As we excitedly await the birth of our child, we will soon transit into the world of family travel - itineraries dictated by sleeping patterns, carry-on luggage full of nappies and bulkhead rows will be default.
But some of my fondest travel memories also come from the times I travelled solo. When I would book tickets impulsively, plan my itinerary around sporting events and accommodation was determined by the cheapest price! Solo travel shaped the way I experienced different cultures and countries. It challenges you to meet new people, solve your problems and make decisions. The one thing I will say about solo travelling is, you are never actually alone. Everywhere I travelled 'by myself', I found that I would make new friends, start conversations with strangers and discover that people in different countries are really not too different from myself. All this was before smart phones and social media! And it was incredible!
As we plan a trip back to South Africa for a family wedding, I sit making email enquiries about a 4-day photography safari. Just me, my camera and some of the most beautiful animals on the planet. It isn't an escape, it isn't any need for "me time", but it is something I really am looking forward to. For a short few days, I will make my own plans, I will seek out conversations with people I don't know and if things go wrong, I will sort it out myself.
Solo travel is all about life experiences. It doesn't mean you won't ever enjoy travelling with other people. It doesn't mean you won't make new friends. It doesn't mean you will be that lonely guy without a partner at the barn dance. You may define yourself as a 'solo traveller', but rarely will you find yourself truly alone.
is the co-founder of The Travel Hub. You can follow him on social media @the_travel_hub