I love travelling... infact I wish that I have my feet at every inch of land in the world. That is one reason when I get lost while travelling, I don't feel bad. Instead I feel that "had not this happened, I wouldn't have come to this street, village or road". Very few people understand that craziness. I am a happy traveller but I am most happy when I travel alone.
I used to travel alone, in public transports and on feet, and it started out of compulsion. Like I had mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, I started to travel alone because none from my circle wanted to travel with an another lone traveller and I can't keep waiting for a "Crowd" to gather before we start visiting that place. So I invited myself and started travelling alone. Since I started travelling when my salary was little and am travelling alone, expenses without being shared, I need to keep within my budget and that lead to checking into the public transports.
But later I realised that this turned out to be one of the best qualities of the travel. When you need to travel in public transport, adopting the local habits, you tend to interact and understand the local people, empathise with them and makes you a better human. This also enables you to adapt to the surroundings irrespective of how much you are cushioned at home.
You tend to research about the place when you travel alone. This leads to develop good knowledge about the local culture, living style and the process of mingling with locals help you in opening up as person.
When you travel alone, there is no external peer pressure. When you go in a crowd, it is unlikely that all the fellow travellers share the same passion like you have for a particular activity. This tends to affect your trip because you might either get pulled by others or you start feeling for them and inturn you compromise your quality time. I love spending a lot of time in Thirumurthy hills when I go alone. I thought that it will be of great fun to visit the same place with my relatives on a birthday occassion. But they 'found' that the place is filled with 'just water' and left that place within 20 minutes. Had I travelled alone that day, I would have cherished that experience.
Travelling alone, unprepared conditions you to face any situations. In a way, it is theraputic. Even though people claim that there is no 'tangible' or 'proven link', lot of lone travellers will agree with this. Being alone gives a lot of time for your'self' and you tend to understand yourself better. This process helps in identifying your strengths and weakness, instills self confidence. Even though I can't give any dramatic experiences to prove this, I feel that I was more a happy, contended and "take life as it comes" person when I travelled alone a lot.
Many people think that travelling alone is not as safe as travelling in crowd, but I feel the otherwise. When I travel alone I can just hop into any bus, eat in any roadside eateries and sleep in a dormatory. In short I mingle with the crowds but when I take my family, I can't try these things. I need to make sure that my family stays in a "decent" place, eat "decent" food and commute in "safe" means. Also this avoids lot of dramas when the environment is not so conducive.
In short, travelling alone helps you in enhancing as a person. When I say "travel", it is not that you move around with your set of people in your own conveyance and visit the "destination" directly. Most of us prefer to "travel" this way only. But there is no value addition in that to you as person. Instead just pack your backpack and hop to the bus or train. You'll understand the local milieu and the experience it gives will definitely be something you'll cherish forever.
This is the main reason why I liked the movie - Rani Padmini, which is about the protagonists undertaking a travel come together and experiencing a personality change. That movie rekindled my passion for travelling alone and I had been thinking of this post ever since until it materialised today. Happy Travelling!!!