“So you’re here by yourself?” she asked with a mouth full of toothpaste.
“Indeed I am” I replied as I spread toothpaste on my own toothbrush.
“Thats so cool!” She said in between spits into the sink
“It totally is and you can do it too!” and with that, I got to brushing.
It was morning the hostel I was staying. I was in Koh Samet an island about three hours from Bangkok. The girl who noticed me traveling solo was also staying at the hostel, three beds over, she couldn’t have been older than 24. We got to chatting and found out we were both teachers in Bangkok. She was there with three of her friends, also teachers, also staying in the same hostel.
It got me thinking, what are the benefits of traveling solo?
You Can Sway Whichever Way The Wind Blows…
Want to hit the beach? Go get a massage? Stay in bed all day, you can do whatever you feel like, set your own schedule, or don’t.
Save Money (Seriously? Seriously!)
“Do you guys just want to split the bill?” I know I know, coming off as a real cheapskate here, but in realty, that extra few rounded dollars add up. Also, I find myself a much more social drinker in social situations (was that redundant?) more alcohol = more money.
It Pushes You Out Of Your Comfort Zone….
“I’m Jenna by the way” its a simple enough statement, but can give certain folks anxiety (even me sometimes!). I was traveling solo and knew I would have a better shot of meeting people if I stayed in a Hostel. I read in my pod, had a beer in the hostel’s bar area and people would come and go and, you know, talk to you. I struck up a few conversations with some folks and before you knew it, I was invited out to check out the night life (which I politely declined – I wanted an early start at the beach).
It Pushes You Out Of Your Comfort Zone….(Continued)
A goal of mine while traveling is to “Blend In” its pretty easy, surprisingly.
This past Saturday while on Koh Samet , I rented a Motorbike (Yes I got back on even after falling off one!) and cruised around the island. I came upon a beautiful resort, at which point I parked and nonchalantly snuck onto their beach. No one sad a word to me the entire time. Sure, I had a story made up in my head if I were to be approached, but I guess we will save that one for another adventure.
But don’t you get lonely?
Hostels, online forms (couch surfing Meetup) the internet’s travel community is well established with people just like you wanting to do a lot of the same things.
“What are you doing for breakfast?” I asked my fellow bathroom co-habitor.
“My Friends and I are headed to a place on the beach, do you want to come along? We have a golf cart”
“You had me at golf cart” I replied.