A few weeks ago, an poingent article was written by Bart Schaneman entitled “Why you should stop traveling alone.” The essay is interesting and presents some very good points, its main thesis being that travel can be more fulfilling and memorable when experienced with friends. I think Schanerman meant well, or perhaps was being purposely controversial, since most of the travelsphere is made up of solo travellers. This is evidenced by the backlash his essay received from readers who seemed like their acceptance of independent travel was somehow attacked via his argument.
I read the article and immediately thought “Yeesh, this guy doesn’t know who he is writing for.” Not in a bad way, but telling people to stop traveling alone is a pretty bold statement, considering that most travel writers, bloggers and hobby travellers take their trips alone. So I wrote a response article supporting why people should start traveling alone.
Hot damn, did that garner some attention.
There’s no mistaking that traveling alone can be lonely. But you can feel just as insecure in your own backyard – if you’re going to feel sorry for yourself, do it somewhere cool.
I figured there might be equal backlash from people who agreed with Schanerman’s essay. After all, travel is only as good as a person, or people, make it, and travel experiences are subjective. There is obviously no right way to travel. I however enjoy solo travel more than traveling with friends, due to my independent nature. Apparently most travellers on Matador Network do too..
This is my most successful Matador article yet, and I am so happy with the response. I’ve received positive feedback, criticism, and folks who swing both ways. But I am so happy reading how my article has inspired people to travel on their own. That was never my intention – I was merely presenting my side of the argument – but I received countless twitter messages, emails and Facebook comments thanking me for helping them overcome their fear of traveling alone, and how my article gave them courage to do it now.
Call me a narcissist, but that’s an amazing fucking feeling, folks.
How do you feel about traveling alone? Are you a fan? What makes it special or revolting to you? I love discussing this topic with people and hearing their viewpoints on such a polar topic.
Read my article here: