At one point in our lives we all decide to travel abroad, or at the very least take a vacation. But for those of us who want to really explore the world and spend a longer period of time in another country, it can sometimes be hard to persuade someone to join us. But should we even try to? Traveling alone can be a scary thought, but there are benefits to packing your bags and jet-setting solo.
It goes without saying that traveling with a partner definitely has its perks. At the very least, you have someone on whom you can rely in case of an emergency. And hanging out with a friend abroad can be an amazing experience to share.
“If you get bored, you have someone to talk to and you won’t feel lonely,” said Bogook Chae, a senior majoring in management.
But traveling with someone has the potential to turn sour, especially if you find yourself always taking care of your friend. Whether you want it or not, you will be responsible for one another. And arguments over things like where to go and how long to stay will inevitably be brought to the table.
You will end up seeing your friend from an angle you would never have suspected. He or she could be a slow walker or an annoying photographer, taking a picture of everything. And if he or she gets arrested for some reason, you’ll have to come to the rescue. Not only will that waste your money and time, but your friendship could be tested.
When traveling, time is money, and neither of them should be wasted. And if you truly want to share your special moments with your friends, you can always do it with Facebook or a cell phone.
It’s true that it can be scary to be alone in a foreign country, but just like the college experience, it’s the adventure of a lifetime. It can be the kind of journey in which you can constantly challenge yourself.
Where else can you use that second language you learned in high school? Also, without an acquaintance by your side, you’ll be less tempted to speak English. You will rely on your own adaptability skills and find out how you can adjust to any given situation.
Furthermore, you will be able to enjoy your own time, meet different people and discover inspiring places. In short, you will find out what you are truly capable of.
“Being alone is a freedom that cannot be beat when you are exploring the world,” said Paulette Steeves, a Binghamton University anthropology teaching fellow.
By the time you get back, you will find yourself more confident and more inspired by the wonders and reality you discovered. They say college is an important path you have to cross to discover and meet what kind of things you want for your future. But traveling abroad alone is also one of the best bridges to cross if you want to meet yourself and go through a life-changing experience.