Are you a person craving new travel experiences but apprehensive about partaking in adventures without familiar company present? Take it from a seasoned traveler: the calvary isn’t coming. Your friends have more pressing matters: work emergencies … hair appointments … cocktails with the dude that finally texted back. Solo travel isn’t as bad once you consider these words: “Time is non-renewable.”
People are flaky. My companions. Your companions. But nobody wants to be eating a side of soggy broccolini inside a Fort Lauderdale TGI Friday’s because they misplaced faith in their friend’s ability to honor a commitment. “What a colossal disappointment. What a waste of time. Why didn’t I just get on that plane and GO by myself? I’ll just try again next year.”
Our friends don’t mean offense with their unreliability. But when it comes to seeing the world, no one should have your back more than you. No one should care about how limited your time is on this earth more than you. This is a lesson I learned early in college when friends would enthusiastically listen to tales of Mayan ruins, rice and peas and snorkeling with nurse sharks and sting rays off the coast of Belize. I’d plan a trip for a few of my buddies and by the time spring break rolled around, everyone was broke, or in love or just scared to go. And do you know how many times I canceled a trip because of them?
Even today the most financially successful friend in my social circle cancels trips all the time. In the past year he’s flaked on Mexico. He just didn’t make it to the airport when it came time to fly to Guadalajara for New Years because … well, life. And again months later, this time road-tripping from Los Angeles to Tijuana, he flaked again. Why? Something came up. I don’t know what. It’s not my job to press. Live and let live. My job is to make the most of my time here. I’m knocking on having visited nearly 50 countries, 40 of those journeys completed solo.
No one should have the power to hinder your experiences, growth, relaxation, romance or passport stamp acquisitions.
Eric has revolved in and out of passport controls for over 20 years. From his first archaeological field school in Belize to rural villages in Ethiopia and Buddhist temples in Laos, Eric has come smile to smile with all walks of life. A writer, photographer and entrepreneur, the LA native believes the power of connectivity and community is enriched through travel.