What’s better: solo traveling or companion traveling? The answer is really a combination of both.
Start off on the right foot: completely and unabashedly solo
If you plan to travel over a long period of time, you’ll be risking a lot by departing with a close friend. Not only do you lose some freedom in the planning and preparation of your trip (since you must make compromises), but you are also bringing a connection to your past life who may stymie your personal growth while traveling. What’s more, you’ve essentially locked yourself in with that person for the duration of the trip, and this situation can sometimes cause tension or rifts to grow in your relationship. Anyway, who wants to be with the same person for the whole duration of travel? Boring!
Shift between solo traveling and companion traveling on a whim
Once you’ve departed on your journey completely solo, you’ve got the total freedom to shift between solo traveling and companion traveling on-the-go. Sure, you may be fully content to travel alone most of the time and enjoy all of the advantages of being solo. However, when you meet some other awesome travelers that you really vibe with, you have the option to link up with them and enjoy traveling with a friend for awhile. The call is all yours.
Learn to meet people strategically
You will learn to anticipate some situations when it’s certainly worth your while to be with companions. For example, if you’re arriving in a new city that your guide book says is dangerous, then you should become sociable and strike up conversations with any other travelers you find. Chances are, you’ll meet someone who you get along with, and this person can be your friend and source of security. If you anticipate needing to take a long taxi ride, befriend new travelers on-the-spot and you’ll all benefit from the cost reduction of sharing transportation. If you’re going to do a massive trek in the mountains, chances are that other travelers are going as well. Learn to meet people strategically by hanging out in hostel lounges, traveler cafes, or bars, and you’ll find it very easy to link up with people who have the same travel plans as you.
If you anticipate needing to take a long taxi ride, befriend new travelers on-the-spot and you’ll all benefit from the cost reduction of sharing transportation. If you’re going to do a massive trek in the mountains, chances are that other travelers are going as well. Learn to meet people strategically by hanging out in hostel lounges, traveler cafes, or bars, and you’ll find it very easy to link up with people who have the same travel plans as you.
Leave your travel companions when the time is right
At some point in your travels, you will almost certainly link up with other travelers, whether for practical reasons or because your personalities really mesh with each other. However, there is something stifling about being with the same people for too long while traveling. You may start to feel that your travel time has become less efficient and that your freedom is diminished, and you will know in your heart when the moment is right to part. Parting is very easily done in these circumstances because there is no unspoken contract between you. You both started your travel episodes separately, so you will end them separately too. If you feel that the time is right, part with your newfound friends by visiting a new city or altering your itinerary to be different than theirs. It will be sad to leave them, but once you do, you’ll find that the thrill of solo traveling quickly reinvigorates your spirit. This freedom is the beauty of experiencing the best of both worlds.