„Viajando solo ?“
„Are you traveling alone ?“ A question I was asked several times these days, last time at the Peruvian border today so I thought I might as well write something about this issue.
Yes, I am traveling solo and that was more or less my decision.
I am traveling solo at least most of the time . I had „visitors“ along the way : my sister „visited “ twice and we traveled to Alaska and around the southern US so far. I met her again in Lima this past weekend and we are traveling together again through southern Peru and Bolivia. Petra visited twice so far – in Florida an Mexico and I hope we can arrange another meeting at the end of the trip. My father visited and we traveled from Mexico all the way across Central America to Costa Rica together. Finally I am still waiting for my son to visit and it looks like we will meet in Argentina at the end of this trip.
Still I am traveling by myself most of the time. When I decided to go on this trip and i finally had the chance to in fact do it there was no other option than going by myself. Petra had to work with no option whatsoever to get a longer time off. I did not want to wait any longer for several reasons .
So why not travel solo ? You can do whatever and whenever you like . There are no limits . Eat , sleep, drink, go to bed , get up .. just ask yourself what you want to do. There is also time to think things over and reflect . Your life before the trip, your life in the trip, your life after the trip …
You will also learn about yourself , how you react in certain situations , how you manage situations not common or known before …
After all you will end up knowing more about yourself and your life than ever before.
It will also make you more open for other people be it fellow travelers or local people you will meet. You will be much more ready to get in contact when traveling solo. I met so many people along the way. Some just by chance , others I met „online first“ and later in real life and some only online. I very much appreciate the „Panamerican Travellers Association“ a group on Facebook as an information source , but also as a possibility to meet people .
On the other hand you can appreciate things much more when you are traveling with somebody . It is just more fun to have fun together (with someone you love at the best!). It is in fact nice to be able to share all the nice things along the way and the good moods.
Traveling solo has also some practical drawbacks. It is difficult to drive and navigate at the same time. So your much more dependent on GPS systems as you cannot look on maps while driving. The whole day is very much filled with getting organized in your camper, driving, finding another camp, doing the „household“ , keeping up with your logbook, gather travel information, taking care of the car and all the technical stuff etc. I am very busy doing all that and I realize that I keep forgetting things or that I just cannot manage to do everything in the time given. So some things will be taken care of insufficiently. Further more I realize that I don’t do or cannot do certain things because I am solo. Traveling with a trailer as I am doing is not as easy as just driving a car. It requires certain skills and still it sometimes requires a second person who can help to rank. The same is true for off-roading – there are certain limits to what you can do when you are alone.
After 3 days of driving without a cell phone signal I was asking myself what if I had a car breakdown or if something was happening to myself out in the middle of nowhere. So I bought a „spot gen3“ sat tracker for safety reasons.
So – traveling solo has pros and cons. After one year of more or less solo travel I think I am not a solo traveler „par principe“ . I would rather share the joy in the future !