Most of us, when we’re kids, fantasized and dreamed of many beautiful travel scenarios, like exploring the symmetrical Chocolate Hills in Bohol and falling in love in Paris. But, as we grow older, our yearning for travel starts to downslide, with most of us getting too occupied with our responsibilities and work. And sometimes, traveling takes a backseat because we got stuck in bad relationships.
Eventually, all those visions and dreams of traveling the globe turn into a pipe dream and lost memories. Then, you take a glance at your bucket list or childhood scrapbook, and you realize that could have made it to your dream destination, if only you didn’t have to save money for your next anniversary or wedding.
If you have the opportunity to choose between traveling alone and dating, I strongly urge you to satisfy your wanderlust. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that you shouldn’t date anybody right now because it’s not good for you. Honestly, dating can be a great and magical experience that will teach you a bunch of life lessons.
But, traveling alone offers a ton of perks that dating and being in a relationship can’t give you. Not to mention, it can enrich you life as well as let you know more about yourself in many ways.
And, by the way, I’m not a bitter and broken-hearted millennial who bombards his friends’ Facebook feeds with posts and comments saying “walang forever”. As a matter of fact, I’m in a flourishing relationship that’s ready for the next level. What I’m trying to do, though, is give you a perspective that could make your life, as a young Filipino, a bit better.
1. You become better at solving problems on your own
Traveling, whether with your friends or alone, isn’t always fun, glamorous and exciting. Trust me, there are dozens of hiccups and stumbling blocks along the way, as you travel solo, including delayed flights and missed bus rides. But in the end, these unforeseen challenges will make you stronger and wiser. What’s more, it will teach you how to solve problems without having to rely on anyone.
As the saying goes, “what does not kill you makes you stronger”.
Traveling alone isn’t easy, by any means, and you’ve got to make quick destinations to fix problems when they arise. Nevertheless, it builds your confidence, and is also a terrific way to show to everyone what you are made of.
On the other hand, being in a relationship may often mean you need to depend on your partner, when sorting out an issue or problem. While two thinking heads are always better than one, it removes a character-building aspect that will benefit you greatly in the long run.
2. You’re free to do whatever you want
Relationships can be pretty restricting, especially when you are dating a clingy type. When you make decisions, there is another person that you have to keep in mind, and his or her wants and ideas may not fit in with what’s on your mind. Compromise is necessary in every relationship, meaning you need to sacrifice a bit of your freedom to make things work.
When you travel alone, however, you are literally free to do what you want, with no arguments and consultations. The world is your oyster, and you’re the producer and lead actor of your own movie.
Got a partner who also loves to travel as much you as do? Take it from me, your trips would still involve some arguments, even if your partner loves to travel. Remember, everyone has a different taste and preference, when it comes to traveling. Some want to spend their vacation days lazing by the pool, while others like the vibrant members of Team Bang prefer to explore steep peaks and hilly landscapes.
3. Traveling alone improves mental health
Traveling solo makes you a lot more open-minded as well as helps cultivate positive experiences that will raise your happiness level. Not only does it foster a positive way of thinking, but it also adds a unique insight on life.
Dating requires a great deal of patience and work. And though there are many upsides to having meaningful relationship, you may develop a feeling of unhappiness and mental exhaustion, if you date a horrible match.
4. Forge new friendships
Being in a relationship or dating typically means you won’t be making a glut of new friends. Most of the time, you’re just going to hang out with partner’s friends and your good old buddies. You’ll be trapped in a world made up of clubs, restaurants and malls that you normally go to.
Even though it’s not applicable to everyone, dating may sometimes prevent you from meeting new and awesome folks who could give you new insights that may spice up your life. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing wrong with having a small circle of buddies, but there’s a beautiful and big world out there, waiting and begging to be explored.
5. It’s a chance to explore all your options
Dating someone, but got an unexplainable feeling that there’s someone out there who may be a better fit for you? Don’t rush things, and explore other options by traveling alone, before you say your wedding wows. Who knows? You might end up dating a Miss Universe candidate from Brazil or a macho hunk from Italy. And take note that annulment can cost you a fortune in the Philippines, so take your time, travel, and pick your partner wisely.
6. Living in the moment without any pressure
One of the things I like about traveling alone is that it lets you breathe in and soak in the moment, without anyone distracting you. Free from the series of pressures and distractions of your daily grind, you can just completely forget about everything, and live in the moment.
When you’re in the serious stages of dating, you’ll get caught up in a string of everyday worries about plans and finances that will magnify when someone’s in the mix. For me, traveling and indulging on the fascinating moments that each experience gives you, are much appreciated and absorbed easily, when you are alone.
7. You will understand yourself better
Dating, especially in the earlier stages, will take away your sense of self. You’re going to be easily swayed and influenced by your partner, which will in turn make you lose yourself unconsciously in the process.
But as a solo traveler, you’ll have ample amounts of time to know yourself fully in ways being tied closely with a partner cannot. With nobody around to sway your thoughts and opinions, traveling alone lets you think deep, as well as allow you discover who you really are. In my case, I discovered my true calling and real passion after spending so many hours on resorts, buses and ferries alone, just thinking and meditating.
8. Foster new skills
With no one else to rely on, you’ll be forced to develop new skills and enhance your old ones. Your ability as well as your organization and communication skills will go through the roof, when you’ve mastered the art of traveling alone.
9. Enhance practical knowledge
From politics and geography to art and history, traveling alone teaches you a plethora of things that you won’t learn from textbooks and classrooms. In addition, it enhances your street smarts, allowing you to gain practical knowledge that may be useful in your everyday life.
10. The world is beautiful
Travel alone because the world is beautiful, and life is full of surprises and wondrous experiences. Don’t let loneliness or a heartbreak stop you from being happy! Pack your bags, and see in person the wonders of nature and human engineering!