I think one reason I tend to prefer travelling alone, is the freedom that comes with being totally independent, and being able to just go with the flow.
You can make decisions on the fly without having to consult someone else, or feel like you’re being insensitive because you want to do something totally different from the previously agreed-on plan.
When traveling with a group, you usually have to stick to an already predetermined itinerary, or else run the risk of being seen as insensitive or lacking any empathy. A plan takes away most of the risk and uncertainty that comes with traveling to somewhere new and generally makes the trip more relaxing; and some of us do travel to relax.
But there’s a thrill that comes from not knowing exactly what to expect…from taking a risk and not being exactly sure how things will pan out; from being the master of your own destiny and having to answer to no one.
Then there’s the serendipity that comes with traveling this way – experiences you have that would have been difficult to plan for. During my trip to Abraka, I decided to see the River Ethiope at one of the points where the water is so clear you can see the bottom; and also see the source of the river at Umuaja. On the way to the river, I changed my mind and decided to see the source of the river first, and then see the river on my way back.
When I finally made it back, there were teenagers trying to cool off after work by jumping off the bridge into the river. The photographs I got of them in the water are priceless to me. If you told me today to plan a shoot of teenagers jumping off a bridge into the River Ethiope, I wouldn’t know where to start.
And no, I’m not saying you should travel without a plan; that would be terrible (you have to at least try it once though). I’m just saying not everything about the trip has to be set in stone. Be flexible, go with the flow, and you will be surprised how much fun you can have; or you will know if having a set plan is what works for you.
Either way, just go.
This piece was put together by Enefaa Thomas.
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