5 struggles when traveling alone.

The only acceptable reason for a selfie.

spotted in my sunglasses lens: my arm holding a camera for a selfie in Peru (2012)

spotted in my sunglasses lens: my arm holding a camera for a selfie in Peru (2012)

Traveling alone means freedom and liberty. I think that people, like me, that travel alone are maybe a little selfish and impatient.

Instead of waiting for our friends to travel with us at the end of Uni or for that special occasion, we just book a ticket and leave.

Instead of having to make plans and compromises with others, we do what we want to do. Right here, right now. And maybe with the YOLO mind set.

I’ve traveled alone twice. I love it. I love it so much that I have my doubts about traveling with anyone else. But I have to admit there are some inconveniences of being a solo traveler.

Here are 5 reasons why traveling alone can be difficult sometimes:

  1. Going to airport washrooms.
    The problem is that because I travel alone, every single time I want to go to the washroom (and it can be often when you have 12 hour layover at LAX and drink lots of water from the fountain because it’s the only drink you can afford ) I have to drag with us our backpack/luggage. I wouldn’t mind leaving my stuff unattended but for security reason, TSA or other airport securities, don’t appreciate. A explosion device could be in my bright yellow backpack and security will  take my stuff and destroy it. And EVERYTHING IMPORTANT IS IN THERE! So, we carry everything everywhere. Even when I decide to go window shopping at expensive store at the airport. (I am pretty sure those sales men and women think I am going to steal something with my big backpack.) If I had a friend there, I would ask her to watch my stuff while I wander freely in the gating area. Because even though I love flying, a 14 hours flight, is still a long one when you are sitting all that time.
  2. The selfies
    I think the subtitle speaks for itself. Traveling alone means no one to take picture with you in them. I have a lot of pictures with breathtaking views. 3 with my faces on them. I have to admit, I take selfies. Those selfies are pretty funny! Trying to take a shameless selfie without looking like a tourist is hard. I, sometimes, ask a stranger to take picture of me but that is also awkward…(I don’t have a Gopro…Somebody wants to donate one?)
  3. Not getting the aisle seat.
    The window seat is great during take offs and landing, the view is amazing! Having the window as a headrest is also a perk. (I have the privilege to be able to fall asleep on planes, so I don’t need the headrest, but I can see the appeal.) But the aisle seat is the best.  Like traveling alone, THIS seat gives you the privilege to go whatever you want, whenever you want. I can walk around the plane, go to the washroom even if everyone is asleep, I have more space to move my long arms ans legs. If a buddy was there, I would be less awkward to wake them up to go use the washroom.
  4. Eating alone.
    I don’t think it’s a bad thing in the way you might think. When I am traveling, I enjoy my time at restaurant table alone. It’s my ” Me time”. But I realized it was more uncomfortable for the others in the restaurant. They looked at me and it seems they felt sorry for me. And that’s what I don’t like. Yes, it’s possible for a girl to go eat alone at a table. It’s better than your bad first date.
  5. No one to be your sidekick.
    When you are traveling with someone, you have a backup, a plan B.  But alone, there is no one to wake you up in a rush telling you that you are going to miss your flight if you don’t move now! And also no one to be the little voice of reason when you’re about to do something stupid.Or just someone with who you can speak your first language. Pour avoir des conversations que personne n’arrive à comprendre à cause de l’accent québecois et simplement dire : ” J’veux manger une poutine et boire un cappucino glacé.” et que quelqu’un approuve cette merveilleuse idée.

 BONUS:Saving money.
Even though I believe in the saying that says ” traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”, traveling can become quite expensive depending on the country and the activities. (S.O to Scandinavian countries, Oz and Singapore…) With a travel companion, you can split expenses! Alone, you have to pay that full taxi price from the airport to the hostel…

These are my little struggles when traveling alone. When I think about it, I get to discover new cultures, see beautiful landscapes and meet people from around the world in exchange. I think it’s a pretty good deal.



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