Why I travel?
To experience things I can not experience at home and see new places. They are everyone’s main reasons, right? While being the most obvious reasons, they do not always make the most special memories. Making the most of memories just might be by traveling solo.
Traveling usually is a wonderful experience, yet it can be exhausting, consuming, expensive and sometimes a complete nightmare, so why would anyone choose to take the solo plunge? Sometimes you need to embrace challenges to make the best of them even if plans do get changed. Change makes for memories, especially if you face those challenges only by yourself. It is exhilarating to conquer the fear of being in a foreign place, depending on local people for directions and ultimately finding your way around.
There were a few travelers traveling alone on our recent trip and the curious person I am, I asked what is the allure to solo travel? One lady told me, “It is only my needs that matter, where I can plan something to maximize my desires. I can get lost and enjoy it.” She explained how she was a bit apprehensive to take the plunge and travel solo, but found taking a cruise meant all she had to do was show up at the airport with her suitcase. It was that simple. The rest was arranged by the cruise company.
Traveling alone gave her the chance to indulge the place fully, enjoy the cities at her leisure, explore the arts, museums, music, architecture, parks, and even the gardens – on her own schedule. And all with the knowledge that the cruise company was there for her safety and comfort.
Don’t you like the flowers above in mid-November? Pretty impressive, huh?
Solo travelers are usually faced with the single supplement, a “little” fee cruise lines and hotels tack onto the bill to compensate them for not making money off the second traveler. The supplement means that you could end up paying twice as much as someone traveling with a partner. Not all supplements are twice the price, our trip singles did pay less, but some paid nothing more. How?
To avoid the single supplement, some elected for roommate matching. We had a few taking this option where being bunked with someone you don’t know worked out great – or did not work out at all. One lady threatened to sleep in the hotel’s lobby to avoid her annoying roommate.
One thing about solo travel
While I was not traveling alone, I found myself often exploring the cities without my friend. We did not always choose to see the same things, or even the same cities. Being on my own…in Wertheim which is on the Main and Tauber Rivers, Barbara went onto Rothenburg, Germany. Wertheim was a lovely town with a very large accessible castle.
Another woman from our trip accompanied me up the tall, imposing tower. It was quite a hike as you can see from my images overlooking the town. How many miles out do you think you can see in my photos? Click to make them bigger. It is like looking into another country and it just may be France or Belgium we are seeing in the distance. No doubt why castles were placed so high on a hill. Castles could view each other too. In the first image, a white castle can be seen off in the distance.
I found my mind wandering with heavy thoughts while on this trip. Issues affecting me became clearer, more meaningful. I became a better observer of the places and the people around me, which in turn changed the way to interact with people, often becoming more interested in, if not kinder to those I met. Travel increases curiosity about the new surroundings, you find yourself more willing to explore, more willing to engage the locals. I learned a lot about others simply by paying more attention than if deep in conversation with a travel companion. Being alone (if only alone some days), gave me a chance to get to know more people and see the sights of my choosing. Would you travel alone?