My article Difference between traveling and vacation was an instant hit on Tripoto. It got more than 285,000 views with a couple of hundred shares and a few hundred new visitors to my website.
Next thing that happened was I got a dozen new friend requests on Facebook. And I answered a couple of questions about my blog, about bodybuilding, traveling etc.
One of the readers asked why I choose to travel solo?
I told her, I do what I do and that lack of company never stops me. Also I decided to write an article about it.
Before I go any further I’ll make a confession – A year ago, I was even scared of going for a movie alone, mostly because of the fear of being judged.
Do not let social pressure stop you from doing something you absolutely love doing.
Because of all the canceled plans with my friends, I figured it out the hard way that if I keep on holding or postponing my plans for others, I’ll never be able to go anywhere.
You can’t let people have control over your dreams.
I got so tired of waiting for a perfect companion that I just took the plunge. I couldn’t have waited forever!
One of the readers asked me if it’s possible for her to backpack as a single woman all by herself? She said it’s her dream to travel, but she was also scared at the same time. I told her, I met many women travelers too and a few of them had been traveling for more than a year.
Anyway, on the first few days of my trip, I had no idea what to do, where to go, whom to talk to. I wished I had company. I would roam aimlessly with no clear idea on the streets. It took me a while and then everything became clear, like a puzzle solved.
And now I have got a hang of traveling alone. I’d never prefer company. Time spent alone is good for the mind and the soul.
When you do things with other people, you give up control, thereby limiting your alternatives.
When you travel alone, you experience ultimate freedom. You get to do what you want, when you want.
It’s a good thing when you don’t have someone to pull you in any direction, to remind you of who you are.
You let your intuition guide your feet. And only in that environment, that freedom, you listen to your inner voice. You learn more about your likes and dislikes. You learn to prioritize!
Are you really alone?
While traveling you’re never really alone unless of course you have been spending big dollars on a lonely hotel room.
I preferred staying at backpacker hostels where I met a lot of travelers. I often used CouchSurfing as well which is a good way to meet locals. You get insights and an entirely different perspective of a city through a local host.
You always get to meet like-minded interesting people of all ages, backgrounds, professions and locations from across the globe.
I met so many people on the road, few of them are now family. Being a single and solo backpacker, a part of my trip was also about women (Latinas are the best). I met many women during my trip resulting in interesting moments, conversations, intimate moments, etc. Luckily I was in good shape, thanks to all the bodybuilding.
Also, I believe more than places it is people who make your travels special and memorable. And this article is dedicated to all the beautiful people I met in my travels.
One of the best things that can happen to you when you travel alone is that you get to make new friends and family on the road!
I have so many stories that if I write them all, it would become a novel. So, I’ll highlight a reel of moments by using some key phrases, and a few pictures of people who stood out the most.
“I always wanted to go to India!”
“Would you like to go out anywhere tonight?” she asked in a tender, loving voice.
She was a perfect 10. I was mystified. Is she really asking me out??
I ended up going out with her to one of the most posh rooftop restaurants in town. We danced and gulped down two bottles of the finest Chilean wine.
“You don’t need to speak the same language to make a new friend.”
I met Karlos at the Airport. He was my host from CouhSurfing. His English was as good as my Spanish. I had almost two weeks with me for Peru and I didn’t know anything about Peru except Machu Pichhu. He was enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of the country & the best way he figured out was to show me YouTube videos for all the things to do.
“You can join us for dinner, if you want.”
In a buggy with 10 more people, I felt an immediate connection with Bere. She was set to explore all of South America (It took her 8 months). We met again at Cusco, after I returned from Machu Pichhu. It was Inti raymi festival, we danced till late with the locals, ate lots of street food.
“Sometimes you just look at someone and realize that they are good.”
I got pick pocketed the previous night and I wanted to leave the city for good. I went to the bus station and it turned out that the last bus had already left and there were no more buses for the day. I got more anxious, thinking that now I’d have to go back to the hostel and spend money again for the cab and the hostel, in a city where I just didn’t want to be.
I saw this backpacker couple standing on the other side of the road. I asked them about their plans; luckily Nicole spoke English. They had just arrived at Cusco and were in a dilemma whether they should leave for Machu Picchu or stay in Cusco.
At that moment a mini-van came and offered us a ride. We became friends in a day and in three days we became family.
“Best Wingman Ever!”
I was all set to explore the city, when Rodrigo checked in. A true Chilean, he spoke Spanish, a little bit of Portuguese and English that even he didn’t understand.
We invented a new language to communicate with each other which was a mix of some sign language, a little bit of English and Spanish. From the moment we met, he made a point of hooking me up with some nice Brazilian women. He talked to every woman on the street. I still have no idea what he said to them. He asked every girl in the bar to teach me Samba and they all obliged.
That was one crazy night!
“Not a Gringo anymore, I became a Carioca”
It took me two weeks and I became a Carioca. No picture can do justice to what Rio has to offer. My days here were spent eating lots of Açaí , cheese, drinking lots of juice, Capirinha, gyming at beaches and clubbing.
Ps- Brazilians do know how to party!
Stop worrying and start living. Because this world of ours is amazing.
Get that visa, book your tickets and spread your wings.
So what’s your first destination?
My name is Shobhit Choudhary and I am an advocate of Iron Therapy.
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