I have never ever travelled alone until last year when I travelled to Ho Chi Minh City into Phnom Penh, spending about a total of 1-week solo-backpacking. It was also my first time travelling from one country to another crossing the borders. My initial thought was that travelling alone would make me feel very lonely. But
#1 Travelling alone: ME Time
Whenever I travel, I try to get WIFI or data plan to ensure that I am contactable and to reply certain important emails that require immediate attention. Singapore is the most wired nation, with more than 99% household penetration rate. We are always on the move, replying email, WhatsApp or attending to calls.
But, when I was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I broke my phone on the 2nd day when travelling at the royal palace, and was uncontactable. Which allows me to have plenty of ME time, and spent more time indulging in the history and in the beauty of the country. I remember spending some time sitting in a cafe along the Riverside in Phnom Penh, sipping on my just brewed coffee, looking at the birds flying in the sky, just thinking about life and being selfish with myself, on myself.
#2 Travelling alone: Research Time
After the incident, on the infamous Thai gem scam (CLICK Here to read the incident on how I got Scammed), I ensure that I research extensively, to understand the place before I go on the trip. This allows me to have a better understanding on the trip and ensuring that I do not have mini-heart attacks when travelling.
The research time allows me to travel with the writer into the scenario, and to experience the trip with the writer. The research allows my imagination to run wide and crazy, making my adrenaline rush and keeping myself excited for the trip.
#3 Travelling alone: Get-To-Know-Yourself Time
With many hours being alone, you would get to know yourself more, and to understand your habits and your preference. The solo trip was kind of a self-discovery journey, I felt like I got to know myself more in depth. I realised that when I am travelling alone, there are certain habits that I discovered about myself that I wouldn’t have discovered if I travel with my friends.
#4 Travelling alone: Self-Centered Time
You wouldn’t need to accommodate others’ plans and travel habits. I remember there was once when I travelled with my group of friends, as I am kinda an early riser, would love to stroll down to the lobby and spent time having breakfast at the cafe, before heading out. But others in the group, prefer to sleep all the way to the afternoon before heading out. The difference in the habits makes the whole trip stressful for everyone.
#5 Travelling alone: Socialise Time
Travelling alone doesn’t mean that you need to be alone 24/7. It opens the door for you to socialise with the locals, and to learn the culture in depth. When I was in Cambodia, Randy, a restaurateur, Mok Mony, on Cambodia politics, history, and culture. He even allowed me to drive and ride his motorbike in the alley in Cambodia. Socialising allow you to find hidden gems on where the locals tend to hang out. When I was in HCMC, I got to know the locals and they brought me to Vivocity to watch a 4DX Movie. **We do not have that in Singapore.
So, When should I start travelling alone?
You should start travelling alone as soon as possible! Start discovering yourself! After my first solo trip, I have fallen in love travelling alone, and would be travelling alone at least once a year, to have more ME Time, more Research Time, more Get-to-know-myself Time, more Self-centered time, and Socialise time.
Share with me on what you discovered travelling alone….