Going solo or moving with a pack?

Which travel 'style' is best for you?

It’s foolish to think that there’s one single ‘best’ way to travel. Depending on your situation you can either go it alone, travel as a couple or move with a group of friends. Each of these has their own advantages and disadvantages, but I felt compelled to write a bit about my experiences with each of these different travel ‘styles’ and how I’ve dealt with them on each occasion.
Solo travel
For the most part, almost all of my international travel in 2019 has been on my own. Travelling solo is at once daunting yet empowering; an experience almost akin to ‘learning on the job.’ I think one of the aspects I’ve enjoyed most about solo travel is figuring things out for myself, and solving the micro-challenges that come with having no-one else to rely on. Thankfully in today’s era of modern travel there isn’t that much that can go wrong, at least in terms of the pure logistics of getting around. But, being a Type 1 personality, the planning aspect is something I find to be one of the most exciting aspects of solo travel. Going alone, then, is an exercise in accountability and
and the fact that I’m accountable only to myself is an exercise in responsibility.
Naturally, there are times when I crave a travel partner – someone to share a pertinent memory with, or just simply for an alternate viewpoint.
It’s not all blue skies and clear waters, though. There are times when solo travel is deafeningly lonely. This is one of the toughest parts of this travel style. Call me a masochist, but as tough as these bouts of intense loneliness are, I really believe that they build a mental fortitude which stands you in good stead for other aspects of life.
Couple travel
Travelling as a couple, too, has its benefits. It generally costs less to travel and you can’t put a price on holding company with someone that you get along with. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a partner but could just be a close friend. The ingredients that I’ve found work best in this equation are giving each other ample space, time and being upfront with travel expectations. There needs to be a good personality fit here, or else you could very quickly find yourself regretting your decision to have a travel partner.
Group travel
And finally, travelling as a group. This is something I’m hesitant to recommend as there’s just so much to consider here. Logistically, it’s extremely difficult to make things work. There’s a very delicate personality balance required for this to work, and if there are two or more dominant personality types in a group of four or more then it generally turns out being a nightmare. But, if you’ve got a great rapport and understanding between all of you then you’re generally guaranteed to have some of the best travel experiences, ever. Every so often, I’ve done domestic trips in Korea this way and for the most part, it’s been a process of finding who I gel with. Sharing moments with a group of like-minded individuals really is something special, but the bad apples can make life miserable.
Of all three options, I’ll probably stick to solo travel – for now. It’s the easy option but also the style that suits me the best. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the solo trips I’ve taken this year and as much as it’s been a gamble in certain aspects, I can confidently say that it’s paid off immensely.
Solo travel has allowed me to explore unencumbered and untethered, going as slow (or fast) as I wish. It’s something I’d suggest everyone try at least once in their lifetime. Couple and group travel can be just as rewarding, but takes a little bit more effort to get the same sense of satisfaction.

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