Traveling solo around the world can bring many surprises. Yes, there are the lonely times. And yes, you will meet tons of interesting people from all parts of the globe. You will most definitely make new friends that you never would have if you were traveling with a partner or in a group. This topic is covered extensively in one of my favorite travel books of all time…Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. I highly recommend it as it kickstarted me into my first long term backpacking trip across Europe. I have recently chosen to continue to stay in hostels with a private room as opposed to a dorm but in many cases pay the same as a hotel room. The hostel atmosphere, whether in a private room or dormitory, lends itself to meeting far many more people. You may find yourself in many cases meeting someone special that is traveling the world as you are. It is highly likely as you are in a place with many others who have the same interests and made the choice to venture out into foreign lands far away from home.
Then there are the locals. Ohhh…the locals. With tons of new social media platforms like Facebook, Showaround, Tinder, WhatsApp, Happn, and many more it is much easier today to meet up with both locals and travelers around the globe than it was just five years ago when I first began to travel internationally. Maybe, just maybe you will find a special attraction to someone that is in their home land. This person could be half your age, but wise far beyond their years. Maybe you will meet someone much closer to your years on earth but who has led a much different life than you. Maybe you will fall in love more than once in the same trip. You could have even fallen in love a third time if you had only stayed another day? Possible?
These situations may create attractions that you may have never experienced before. With these kinds of relationships, the good must come with the bad. You must come to the realization that you may be traveling for long periods of time with little responsibilities, at least for the time being. You must remember that your new friend, however, is in their own environment. They may have a job to go to, a family to take care of, or even another special person in their life that you don’t even know about. You might even find out about this other person and it might not set well with you. Who knows?
These days or sometimes weeks of bliss must end, sometimes much sooner than you would like them to. You may have to move on because of necessary travel plans that have been made far ahead of time. You may find yourself staying far more days than planned in cities and towns that you never even thought to travel to in the first place. Plans for your new friend to visit you in your home country may also arise. Sometimes these plans can end as abruptly as they were conjured up. So is the nature of international travel. Prepare for the unexpected. The personalities that it takes to be found in these situations usually feed off of each other in and
It is no coincidence that I write about this just under two months of solo travel in the most romantic of continents in the world. Okay, and maybe that’s just my opinion…I haven’t even been to every continent yet. But with a knot in my stomach and lump in my throat that I have not felt in very long time, my bags are packed for a journey to my 43rd country. I will not say that all of these things have happened to me in this very short time in South America but I can tell you that some surely have. Who knows what or who awaits in the next town? ….We will see.