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Travelin' Tales: Traveling alone

 article about Travelin Tales: Traveling alone
2004-11-21 09:35:50

I have traveled as a hitch-hiker through Europe more than once. This summer I took up a hitch-hiking trip all by my own. What can you expect from this type of trip?

Starting to smoke

I didn't use to smoke. Now I do. In theory, to get a ride alone should be a lot easier than to get a ride together with your friend. However, this theory let me down. I don't know, maybe I was looking too frightening to people, but even crossing the border of Estonia (my country) was time consuming for me. I was trying to get my first ride for four hours. Three couples that came to the road after me got a ride before me. So I started to have monologues already on the first day. The four packages of cigarettes that I had taken with me to deliver to my friend in France started to disappear fast, half a package a day. Why? Traveling alone in the sun with no one to talk to, no one who would give you a ride can sometimes be very tiring. And it's very good if you can take a cigarette to fill your useless time with something.

Depending on yourself

While traveling together with someone, you can count on him to keep an eye on you. And your friend can count on you to keep an eye on him. When you're alone, you have no one to count on than yourself. If anything should happen, it's all up to you. And you really need to consider that every step of the way. While finding a place in the park to sleep, while stopping a car, while wondering alone in dark alleys. You need to know the languages, to read the map, to find good places to continue your hitch-hiking trip.

Positive sides

Traveling alone might really seem like a dangerous way to travel. Sometimes it is. But there are also many good sides associated with this traveling option. The main thing is that you have a lot more freedom. Every person has his own wishes and goals for every trip he makes. These different thoughts might cause problems and misunderstandings between you and your traveling partner. Especially if it's a long trip, more than 1-2 weeks.

While traveling alone, you can do whatever you like. Whenever you like and wherever you like. That's one of the best things about traveling all by yourself. I remember a situation when I decided to visit a friend of mine in Germany. I just went and stayed there for 3 days, without having to think about my partner's feelings about it. Or when you're sometimes tired of hitch-hiking and you want to take a train. If you have the money, you take it. Same with hostels and such. Two people never think alike. So it's easy to get into misunderstadings with your traveling-partner, especially if there's money involved.

When you're traveling alone, you can be very impulsive. For example, I decided to go to visit my friend in France for couple of days. I ended up staying there for 3 weeks. Could I have done that with a traveling-partner? No.

It's also easier to find people who want to talk to you. It's easier to approach a stranger if the person is alone.

Traveling alone will fill you with new self-confidence, new belief in yourself you can do it, you can hitch-hike around the world all by yourself and you can actually handle it. Before actually doing it I never thought I could, but I did it.

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