Some people are afraid of being alone whenever they go out. They feel like everybody’s looking at them, judging them for eating or shopping alone. They think that all eyes are on them, so they feel suffocated going around places. The truth however is that being alone doesn’t equate to being lonely. In fact, there are fresh things in store for you to discover all by yourself, and these can open doors of unique opportunities for your good.
Traveling alone can be a big challenge, especially if it’s your first time or if you’re not used to it. Nonetheless, one of its unspoken advantages is meeting new people. As you can see, it is inevitable for you to closely and directly encounter strangers while you travel, especially when you travel alone.
Even though you do nothing huge, sometimes, you’ll suddenly have good, random talks with travelers like you. Even if you don’t really like starting conversations with strangers or aren’t interested in engaging in one, sometimes, you’ll just find yourself doing so because when you travel, encountering unknown people is really part of it. Actually, there are amazing things you get from meeting new people while you travel solo. What are they? Here are 4 of them:
1 – Helping Hands
Going on a trip on one’s own means you have to do everything without any direct help from companions, such as your friends or family. You have to exert more effort in properly providing your own necessities for the trip. Well, while you can probably do a lot since you decide to travel alone, still, there are situations where and times when you need assistance from a human being like you.
Meeting new people is great because you will be helped and guided, especially if you are a foreign tourist. Friendly locals are willing to help those who set foot on their beloved land for the very first time for a vacation trip or visit. They can lend you a hand whenever you need help with your things and other travel concerns.
If you need aid in carrying your stuff, kind-hearted people, locals or tourists like you, will not hesitate to offer some help. If you need to find ideal places to eat, recommendations from people who live in and near the area can tell you the town’s favorite eating spaces. Other people, especially those who are knowledgeable of the place you’re traveling in, can suggest tourist spots and other gems for you to visit before you leave!
2 – Answers to Questions
Your mobile phone or your tablet is your partner when there’s no one else with you. You use them to entertain yourself while you are traveling. Music keeps you cozy. Games keep you relaxed. You also use gadgets to take photos and videos. You use search engines to know this and that information. There’s a lot that these devices can do which can make you forget that you are alone, however, nothing can match people’s help and presence, especially because even though search engines seem to have almost everything you need to know, almost is never enough.
Traveling alone, you meet people who can answer your questions and even tell you more things you’re curious about. If you’re asking for directions to a certain place, you can reach out to someone, and they can give you clear instructions while also leaving some reminders for your convenience and safety. If they are approachable and accommodating enough, they can even spill the beans about matters not usually known by tourists! Now, that’s something unique and cool about meeting congenial people while you’re on a trip!
Your road map application can tell you precise directions, but it can’t tell you that there’s a private celebration going on that almost blocked the road you’re supposed to take. People, through word of mouth, can tell you that.
Mobile food applications can show you a list of the most famous restaurants in the place, but they might not be able to tell you about a newly opened restaurant that’s both affordable and excellent. That’s because the restaurant might have not put up their business information online yet. On the other hand, people can let you know that scoop! If you ask them good food for good prices, they can give you a number of options, even the unpopular and underrated ones!
3 – New Friendships
The most obvious reward you get when you meet new people while traveling is that you build new friendships. Some last happily during your whole trip while others even continue after you go back home! Sometimes, when you travel by yourself, that’s when you stumble across random strangers whom you didn’t know you would actually save for keeps!
Traveling and meeting someone you know nothing about and who knows not a thing about you as well, there’s a lot to discover! You encounter a face you’ve never met before, and you start awkward conversations until it becomes comfortable! Sometimes, some people just feel like home even if it’s the first or second time you see each other.
You can meet unfamiliar people in unfamiliar places and in ordinary situations. A long line while waiting for the train, a waiting game for your ordered food in a restaurant, a bus stop with a wooden bench, a fun time buying a cone of ice cream — all these and more! They may be plain moments at first look, but they can be unexpectedly meaningful, too, when conversations with random people in the same places and situations happen.
4 – A Better Understanding of the World
When you meet people while you travel, it’s both risky and enjoyable. Of course, it’s enjoyable because you’re making memories with other people who aren’t part of the original solo travel plan but are now making your experience even more colorful! It’s risky because it’s not very easy to trust people you just met a day or a while ago.
It’s a good thing in general because you are able to better grasp the realities of this world. While you’re in a line for the amusement ride tickets, someone might just start talking to you just because they’re friendly! That’s it! Nothing dramatic has to happen before people can initiate chitchats or respond to someone. Some conversations are short, while some can last until you’ve almost known everything about the other person. Both are possible.
You can meet many people who have different personalities and different life stories. Some just get easily comfortable, especially when they can feel that you really are a trustworthy person even at first encounter. That’s when people start to be fine with sharing personal stories. Regardless of whether the talks you have with those people you meet are short or long, you gain a better understanding of loads of things.
One, you learn about what you can see, such as why this certain culture is as it is, what these particular tourist spots are all about, why a specific monument was named after the person it is named after, and so on and so forth.
And two, you get to comprehend diversity even more when it comes to humans — cultures, traditions, attitudes, personalities, beliefs, tendencies, values, differences, similarities and many more! You’ll better understand why one person or race is just like this and not like that and is distinct from others. Going out there in the world all by yourself gives you a better understanding of it because of how exposed you become, not just to situations but most essentially, to people.
THE AMAZING IN THE UNFAMILIAR
Meeting new people while you are alone is good because as the famous quote goes, “No man is an island.” There’s always an amazing thing in going out of the box, stepping out of your comfort zone and into fresh and unfamiliar places, encountering new and unfamiliar faces through traveling independently! It may not seem to show up at an instant, but it will—it surely will.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a five-star hotel in Parramatta, New South Wales which provides a rewarding stay and a close reach of Australia’s noteworthy features. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.