The Joy of Traveling Alone

09 Feb

My Sunday morning is lousy. ‘Weather-wise, it’s such a lovely day’, but the noise and the house aura suck : someone has ruined Sunday morning. At times like this morning, I find myself dreaming about my traveling days, especially those days when I travel alone.

The joy of traveling alone begins the second I decide when to do the trip. The destination was determined way before this – usually triggered by reading some travel articles. I don’t have to think about the availability of my travel companion, if he/she can get a time off from his/her office. I don’t have to think about whether it’s a high season, low season, rainy season, dry season at destination and if my travel companion can afford to go there or no, or if he/she is OK to monsoon or if he/she can endure the heat.

I always like experiencing 2 travel style in one period. The first few days/weeks I do some serious splurge. The higher floor the bar is located (hence the fatter the cocktail bill), is the better. The fewer rooms the boutique hotel has, the better it is. Then I move to a cheaper (yet still safe) scene : all-girl dorm room.
I can’t do this kind of traveling when having a travel companion : They usually want to stay at normal room at an international chain hotel. What’s the fun of doing that?

I wake up very early in the morning when I travel : usually before sunrise, even after all those alcohols consumed the night before (read : a few hours before). I call it a duty call. It’s a shame if I can’t take sunrise photo from where I’m at. The morning light is the best soft light and I don’t care if I have to wake up at 4 AM to get it.
Imagine if a travel companion comes back to the hotel with me at 2:30 AM in a not sober state and they will hear noises of me getting ready for the door at 4? Isn’t it a disturbing picture for you?

I like to take a nap in the afternoon when I travel. I need my energy to go out drinking at night and waking up early in the morning for the sunrise. I don’t do tourist activity after lunch time, they’re all packed with tourists in colorful shirts and dresses. I can’t take a good photo with them around. I visit those places in the morning after my sunrise photo shoot – when the places are still abandoned by tourists and abandoned by my travel companion.

During my days of traveling alone, I seldom have meal alone. You see, there are a lot of websites and apps of finding a fellow solo travelers. I’ve tried for doing the bar-hopping for the nights, all ended well (sometimes too well). Of course when I’m staying at the dorm, there’s always a fellow solo woman traveler who’s up for dinner downstairs or go to swanky bar.

 The almost down-side of traveling alone is not having someone to take a photo of me. I’m not into doing selfie when I travel, mind you. But this issue is always solved by smiling to someone who has a DSLR camera (I always bump into professional photographers at 4-8 AM) and ask them to take a photo of me.

The bad thing of traveling alone for me is when I miss having a debate with someone, an argument bantering – if you must say. When that happens, I top up my SIM card and call overseas. The arguments and the noises that once make my Sunday morning lousy are somehow bearable when I’m away from home, traveling alone. 


Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Travel


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2 responses to “The Joy of Traveling Alone

  1. Howard Hasik

    February 10, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Yeah, I knew you were the type who enjoys traveling on your own. Nicely explained here, Dewi!! And as I read your story, it seems quite reasonable that a person would enjoy that.

    But in my life, no. I’m the person you mentioned who likes the international chain hotel, haha!

    Hey, did you send another blog posting to me? I got a second email from you, but the blog had only video links in it!!! It looked like spam, so I delete it. ??

    I enjoyed your Viet Nam photos. Several really good shots in there. Me, I always sleep so late, I’ll never get one of those lovely morning light shots, LOL.

    • sekardewi

      February 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      International chain hotels are OK (when I travel with you-know-who, we always stay there), but their service/interior/facilities are very standard (predictable?) throughout the world.

      I should say here though that there are also international chain boutique hotel.. now, those are ones made for me!


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