I'll preference this article by saying that I love going to and exploring new places, even though I am not "well-traveled." I've only been out of the country twice, and both times was to Europe with/for school. I've visited a solid handful of states here in the U.S. too, but nothing crazy exciting or solely for the sake of seeing new sights.
Almost every trip I've taken, I've been with family and/or friends. Up until my study abroad last summer, I had no idea what it really meant to travel, and how terrifying it can be when you do it alone. And from my recent experiences, I've decided that despite traveling being something I love, I will not travel alone if I can help it.
It's not that being alone means that things are any less interesting, or that a destination is any less important. But, it does mean that all the responsibility falls on you, even the responsibility to overcome unforeseen circumstances. Life is full of surprises and obstacles, and traveling is no different.
On the logical and pragmatic side of things, you have to be ultra-overprepared to manage traveling alone. Be ready for any and every disaster, and maybe you'll get by. And, depending on your destination, prepare yourself for language and culture barriers. New experiences are not meant to be comfortable, and you need to know how you'll handle such situations before you jump into them, especially alone.
I am naturally introverted, and I enjoy my personal space. I like having greater responsibility, independence, freedom, and opportunities. And the result of succeeding in something through your own capabilities is an amazing rush. But, there will always be times when I feel overwhelmed and in need of companionship.
I believe that having such a comfortable and strong relationship with my family has helped me develop the confidence I have in living alone and trying new things. But, it is also those strong relationships that make me feel like those new experiences have a greater impact on me when I'm with another person.
Technically, you can live life alone and do and experience awesome things. But, for me personally, shared experiences are more meaningful. I want to reminisce and laugh about times without always having to give the background and context. I want to see something that makes me speechless and smile and be able to look over at my companion's expression too.
There is so much that the world has to offer, but I want to offer all of that to someone else too. Yeah, if I do my research and have a specific plan, I will travel solo again. But, I don't want to. I want to feel that intense excitement with another person because it feels almost selfish not to.
In truth, I'm kind of scared to travel again, because I know what all it entails, but, I'm also excited at the thought of being in a new place. There is a definite anxiety about everything that could go wrong, but as long as you're understanding of that, there is also so much that can go right.
I'm looking forward to the next new place I end up, and I hope that the travel plans are for at least two.