Solitary in Savannah
Travel is something many people enjoy doing and most often, it is done in pairs or groups. Memories are created and adventure is had, but sometimes a solitary trip, can offer more than meets the eye.
Though the idea is not well-received by many, traveling alone is done by people more often than we think and I can say from personal experience, that it is quite honestly, one of the best ways to travel. Not the only way to travel, but one of the best ways to travel.
Over the weekend, I visited Savannah, Georgia. I stayed two nights and enjoyed three blissful days sightseeing, dining, and enjoying some personal hobbies of mine like reading and writing. But in between all of that, I did and experienced things I might not have otherwise experienced, had I been there with others.
The benefits from traveling alone vary, but my top ones are these...
Meeting new people. If you're anything like me, then you will enjoy this one as much as I did. I met an older couple who were newlyweds! They came to Savannah with their dog, to get married. I met them while dining at the Olde Pink House, when I offered to take their photo for them. We connected immediately and listened to each other's stories over glasses of wine. Now, how often do you meet people with a story like that? I met a fun bartender named Madison who shared how she envied my alone time and that her life never really offers her opportunities like that. Next, were Riley and Brie. Two young women, I would say in their mid-twenties, visiting Savannah for the first time. As we stood in line to be admitted into the Planter's Tavern, we shared our stories with one another and shared a few laughs.
Owning your schedule. Smile and nod. Smile and nod. When you travel with others, be prepared to be flexible, because just as they will have to accommodate you, you will also have to accommodate them and go to places that maybe are not high on your list of activities. Having ownership of your schedule and what you do during your trip, is the absolute best. Want an hour-by-hour itinerary? Do it! Want no itinerary at all? You can do that too! You can take a break and go back to your hotel at your leisure, take your time at your favorite store, sit for longer periods of time at a cafe, or, as mentioned above, enjoy the company of a stranger.
President of the bank. You get to be the one and only say on the financial aspects of the trip. If you want to enjoy fine dining, you can. Want to stay at a luxury hotel? Yes please! Valet your car? Um, yes. Likewise, you can also choose to guide your trip on a more cost-conscious tone and that's okay too. It's just one of the perks of traveling solo and you not having to take into consideration who can afford (or is willing to afford) what when traveling in a group.
Travel agent. This could tie-in to the "owning your schedule" portion, but essentially what goes on here is you can extend or cut your trip short, as you please. Ah, the freedom to do what you want...For me, had I planned a longer span of time, I would have started my travels with a visit to Charleston, SC first and then made way to Savannah, GA, followed by my trip back home. All in perfect order. I would highly recommend you see what other cities surround the destination you're traveling to and see if it makes sense to include them in your itinerary. I mean, you're already traveling, why not get the most out of your time and money right?
Now to that end, one could argue the very obvious cons of traveling alone. No one to consistently talk to, accompany you, dining alone is embarrassing, participating in certain activities alone is also embarrassing, the list goes on and on. And while traveling solo may not be for everyone, I would encourage you to first ask yourself why you're not traveling alone and then ask yourself what you're giving up by missing out on this experience. One last benefit before I go...
Discovery. You will discover things about yourself when traveling alone and discover things about the world. You will discover that there is nothing to be afraid of and that you are stronger and wiser than you imagine. You will discover that strangers are not all "bad" and that you can break the confines of your mind and of your life, in order to experience the life that's out there waiting.
One may not always have companionship, one may not always be fearless, but that doesn't mean you should forgo experiencing the wonders of the world...however that may look like to you...
Happy travels friends!