Trip planning is easy. Finding people to go with you…not so much. After bugging and asking people, whom I wouldn’t mind spending several hours in a car with, I received a definite yes from my cousin Cherrie. Great! Unfortunately, her work gave her all her requested days off…except for one. Finding someone to work for her was proving to be difficult. SO…fuck it. I’m still going to go. Southern Utah was calling to me and I didn’t want to wait to enjoy the opportunity that was spread before me (That’s what he said.)
Anyways, it’s not like I haven’t traveled alone before…I’ve just never done it in my own country. After returning from my solo roadtrip to Southern Utah/ Northern Arizona, I’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of traveling alone:
PRO: Doing whatever you want, when you want. No comprising, just pure selfishness and indulgence. It sounds terrible, but don’t judge. It’s a freedom, unlike any other that you could only experience traveling solo. I’m sure, however, that there are plenty of people who are capable of being selfish and indulgent without having to travel alone.
CON: You’re by yourself. Loneliness is palpable and some days can be difficult. You could be looking at one of the most beautiful sights you’ve ever seen in your life, like the slot canyons of Zion National Park, or eating at a Las Vegas buffet and discovering that they have all-you-can-eat bone marrow and there is no one to share the experience with.
PRO: You’re by yourself. If you’re feeling lonely, make friends. (Do tour guides and casino employees count?!) If you’ve made friends and realize they’re assholes, you can just pack up and move to the next stop on your itinerary. And, if you aren’t feeling social that’s ok too. I’ve learned a lot traveling solo, like how the world works (not the whole world, but you know, some of it) and about myself. A lot of this, I learned from making mistakes and from asking a lot of questions. You will be out of your comfort zone, so it’s interesting to see what limits you’ve set for yourself and even more interesting seeing how you push yourself out of those boundaries. Self reliance and confirmation in what you value, become a major factor in your survival.
CON: Traveling alone is costly, especially on roadtrips. $130 in 5 days for gas?! More travel buddies means more people to split shit with.
CON: This is geared towards solo roadtripping and that is being the only driver. You can’t sit back, relax and soak in the sights, or take pictures (I did that anyway…dangerous and stupid, I know). No, you have to focus on driving and keeping your solo traveling ass alive.
PRO: This is also geared towards solo roadtripping and it’s a good one: complete control of the music that plays while you drive.
CON: Safety in numbers. Traveling alone, especially if you’re a woman, you have to have your wits about you. Use common sense and remain vigilant anywhere you travel.
CON: There is no one to take your picture.
PRO: Making use of the second bed in your room. Sometimes all that is available is a room with two beds. I’ve used the second bed as an eating bed and in another situation, my thinking bed.
PRO: Sleeping and walking around in your room naked…oh is that just me?!
Traveling alone is something I think everyone should do at least once in their life. Personal growth and sleeping naked…think about it.