When people begin to think and wonder about travelling the world, one of the first things they begin to put into their plans is WHO they are going to travel with. For me this poses itself as a slight inconvenience and another element that you have to fit into an already busy and usually difficult process of planning 1) Where you want to go 2) How long you want to go for and 3) How you are going to get there. These three things don’t take into account other such things as accommodation and food (which you will no doubt have to split between how ever many people you are travelling with). I believe that you can get a lot more out of your trips away by saying goodbye to your friends from home for a few weeks/months and embarking on an ‘adventure’ all of your own; The Lone Ranger.
For me there are many benefits to travelling and seeing the world ‘on your own’ (using the term ‘on your own’ loosely as you’re anything but ‘on your own’) and one of these benefits is that you are able to do what YOU want to do without dragging the restrictions and pre conceived ideas from your acquaintances back home into the new experiences you are creating; which for me, makes them just that, totally pure new experiences for yourself. Maybe the title of this should be ‘The Selfish Ranger’, never mind.
Travelling on your own gives you the opportunity to push your boundaries even further than if you happened to be travelling with a friend/s, it will put you in situations which you will have to figure out yourself; given you a certain type of independence you don’t even experience for example when you first move away from home and live on your own. These challenges will more than likely be one offs, as you move from place to place. It could be something as simple as conversing with a local through a bad grasp of the language and hand gestures, querying where the train station is. But once you have solved this situation and got over the embarrassment of originally asking the local ‘Wie ist deine Mutter’ instead of ‘Wo ist der Bahnhof’, there will be a great sense of achievement (and relief). Yes if you brought a friend who was better at languages than you this situation would have been made a lot easier, but hey, it’s another challenge overcome, another step towards maturity, another story too tell.