Why You Shouldn't Solo Travel

April 09, 2015

It's nice to be part of the generation that wants to explore every inch of the world. Airfares are cheaper, travel guides are more extensive. We are in a travel revolution after all, as they say. This generation's so into the wanderlust lifestyle and for whatever reason we may have, too -- may it be soul-searching, meeting new friends or plainly just to have something breathtaking to Instagram. It's a generation that inspires friends, and friends of friends to move.

But why travel alone when you can do it with people you already know? Below, I have listed seven reasons why you should never ever travel solo.

1. It could be scary and unsafe

Going on your own means you have no one checking on you to see if you have been abducted like what happens during your Taken nightmare. The worse part is you don't have Liam Neeson as your dad, who will give your abductors this speech

Kota Kinabalu Fishermen's Port. Every local I ran into before going here said "Be careful! There are many thieves there!"

Traveling alone will require a great deal of courage and willpower. You need to always be doubtful of too-good-to-be true moments. You need to be alert at all times. Do you really need to prove to yourself that you can do it on your own?

2.  No one to look after your things

Whether you need to pee, order at a fast food restaurant, or try to look for the nearest money changer, you will need to lug your bag/s all around with you. There's no one else you could tell, "Please look after my stuff so I don't have to carry them all the way to the women's restroom!"

Airport Nomad. Those on the left were my bags. I brought them everywhere with me, even when I had to go pee.

And when you're out of luck, the restroom stall won't have a hook to hang your bag on. Sorry girl, you will have to carry all that weight on your lap while you squat to pee! (Because you should never a. put down your bag on the bathroom floor, and b. sit on the toilet seat, especially when traveling. You don't wanna risk catching anything and then consequently ruin your travel plans.)

3. No one to share the nice view with

So you saw the magnificent sunset over where Survivor Borneo was filmed. It was glorious and it was a dream come true for you. But guess what, no one really witnessed you saw it. You will immortalize that memory in your brain and bask in its realness at that moment... on your own. 

Sunset at Pulau Tiga beach. I had this whole beach on my own. Took a quick snap before I let my camera retire for the day.

The screaming sound of serenity will be too loud. Can you handle it?

4. No one to share delicious group meals with

Those big prawns you saw in the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront Food Market that you can have cooked in any way you want? Those are being sold by the kilo. For sure, you cannot finish all that on your own! And do you really wanna eat just that? Of course you can buy more dishes but it will also cost you more.

Seafood Heaven. Most stalls are ran by Pinoys who migrated in Sabah, Malaysia. They will want to talk to you in Tagalog

Simply put, it is just not optimal to be spending and eating for one. You may have to look for people who would want to share with you. Do you really want to engage in small talk?

5. You will 100% engage in small talk

This is a nightmare for non-conversationalists, me included. Whenever you meet other travelers or even locals, there would be no Tonix, who you can pull to continue the conversation for you. It's just you. You cannot escape it.

Naturalized Malaysians. Both had Filipino parents but were raised in Sabah, Malaysia. These kids also tried to hit on me.  

You shouldn't be too aloof and rude, too, even when this stranger is telling you all his backpacking stories across the world. Why would you wanna hear that? Surely, you don't need any more convincing on how living in Thailand for one whole month was such a great adventure!

6. Expect blurry pictures

Along this trip, it would be almost impossible to get a picture with an awesome backdrop of a view. If you're without check-in luggage, chances are, you also won't be allowed to board the plane with a monopod, much less a bulky tripod. Most likely, you will have to ask a stranger to take a photo of you using your camera.

Blurred Lines. You can't really ask a busy stranger to take a few more, even after you've seen everything he took was blurry. 

The statistics are made up and could vary (LOL), but I'm guessing 9 times out of 10 that your picture will be blurry. That 10 percent chance is if you luck out on a stranger who also happens to know his way around your camera.

7. No one to stop your guilty pleasures

No one will tell you to stop jumping up and down when your feet touched the ground of your dream destination. No one will be there to tell how foolish you look dancing on the beach while your favorite song is playing on Spotify. 

Feeling the Survivor Castaway Vibe. Dammit, I should've bought a buff because that's the only thing missing here. 

And if ever you do have a tripod with you, there is literally no one to tell you that's enough solo pictures for the day, because you're all alone on that beach.


If it wasn't obvious, the title and content of this blog post is a setup and the opposite of what I have been advocating to friends. Because when you travel alone, it could be scary, yes, but it also means conquering your fears and the surprises of the unknown. You get to listen to yourself, and eventually see what you really want in life. 

No one to share a meal with? Guess what, you get to make new friends, talk about both your lives without any biases, over a good feast. Small talks become real, long conversations. Those blurry photos won't really matter because this trip will be so imprinted in your head, that you won't need said photos. As for the vanity, or whatever your guilty pleasure is, when you travel alone, you won't get judged by people you know on why you do the things you do. It's as organic as the experience can get.

I think everyone needs to travel alone, at least once in this lifetime. We learn so much about ourselves whenever we do. 

And now, I shall end this post with this video from my first ever solo trip abroad. I'm in it a lot (sorry!) but I think it's the best travel video I have made yet. Go watch!

Solo Travel of 2014: BRUNEI x BORNEO from Jennever Pelaez on Vimeo.


- Survivor Travel Bucket List

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  1. Hi! What do you use to edit your videos? :)


  2. Hello, Angel. I use Adobe Premier Pro. :)

  3. No. 6. The terror! I won't be able to forgive myself if I never had good pictures!

  4. Me too! I bring a mini-tripod for the same reason when I travel on my own.