I know, I’m an ass for putting anything to do with math in a travel blog post. If it’s been awhile for you, the signs (>) you see in the title stand for greater than. So, this title (which is just my opinion of course) reads Traveling with Others “is greater than” Traveling Alone “which is greater than” Not Traveling At All. And after my short time in Central America, this is how I truly feel. I’ve read a lot of posts about this topic from other travel blogs, and as many have pointed out before me, your preference for how/who you travel with will often come down to your personality. I am an extrovert, to the fullest meaning of the word.
I love being around other people, I love sharing everything I can with everyone in my life (which is half of the reason I started a travel blog in the first place), and I honestly don’t feel complete coming home (or back to my hostel) without the company of friends. Many people out there may scathe at the idea of having to wait for and deal with others wants and needs, but I think it adds immensely to the pleasure, and adventure of travel. Some of the most memorable moments of my trip were when I was doing something someone else wanted to do. And why were they memorable? Because I was stepping out of my comfort zone and into a situation I might never have found myself in without the influence of friends.
Yes, there are negatives to traveling with others. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Sometimes you have to slow down your pace to give someone time to look at something you have no interest in. Sometimes you might spend an entire day doing stuff you aren’t really interested in, all because other people with you want to do them. But to me, these are all small prices to pay to be able to share some of the greatest experiences of my life with the people who are closest to me.
With all of that being sad, I must acknowledge the rest of my title. It isn’t always the case that others can travel with you. Whether it be work, school, or some other concern, it isn’t always guaranteed you’ll have a “travel partner”. I am faced with this reality for my upcoming trip to South America after the first of the year. It appears as if I may be doing the entire three month trip completely by myself. But guess what? Traveling alone is better than not traveling at all, even for people like myself.
While in Central America there were a couple of weeks I spent traveling alone. But in reality, I was never actually alone. There might have been a bus ride here or there where I didn’t have anyone to talk to (because of empty seats or language barriers) but more often than not I was able to find other groups of travelers to enjoy myself with. In fact, without my support group of friends, I was actually forced to branch out and meet people in order to keep my sanity. So, although it might not be my favorite form of travel. I’ll take traveling alone over sitting at home any day.
Now as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, all of this is simply my opinion. And it has a lot to with my personality type. It’s up to each and every traveler to decide what is best for them and their travels. At the end of the day, you have to do what is right for you.
So, how do you prefer to travel? With friends and loved ones in tow? Or at your own pace with no extra baggage?