The Telegraph
Tuesday , November 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

Lonesome? Not really!

When I知 on the road, I have often sat by a river watching ships pass by till it became too dark to see them. I have caught up on my siesta on the soft grass at random parks. I have lived on sandwiches for days when I ran short on cash.

I知 not sure if I could have done all this if I had travel companions. Because then, I壇 have had to worry if they were bored sitting at the same place for hours or if they approved of my sleeping in a park.

And I知 not sure if everyone enjoys the idea of eating nothing but sandwiches for a few days.

The best thing when you are travelling alone is that it痴 very easy to make friends.

的 have been travelling by myself for over 11 years now. I have lived in many countries, hitchhiked by myself and lived a wonderful life, says Marzia, 36, who works in the Maldives now and visits friends in India, Thailand and other countries whenever she finds time.

展hen you travel alone, you are more receptive to everything around you. You just need to open up and trust the flow of life, she says.

Travelling alone could be therapeutic as well. At least, Matt Heo Lon, 45, who lives in Quebec, Canada, thinks so.

鄭fter a big break-up, I travelled alone in Mexico, Southeast Asia and also hitchhiked across Canada. It helped me a lot to become calm and focus on myself.

Before his solo adventures, Matt used to travel with his girlfriend or friends but those trips, he thinks, were of a very different kind. 添ou have to be more responsible and plan things more in advance. You have to care about where you池e going to sleep and the people you meet.

釘ut when you池e on your own, you just don稚 care! It痴 nice not depend on anybody, do whatever you want to do whenever you want. I致e been in lot of weird situations that I would never accept if I was with a friend or my girlfriend. Today, those are happy memories.

Ava Irani, 23, who now lives in Australia, learnt firsthand why she liked travelling alone more than with a group.

鏑ast year, a girlfriend and I travelled to Bangkok for a holiday. We were good friends for two years but after two days, we realised this was turning out to be the holiday from hell. All she wanted to do was drink in expensive bars, avoid anything authentically Thai, complain about cultural differences and look for Australian guys in nightclubs. My goals were relaxation and cultural absorption. In Australia, we matched, but in Thailand, we repelled each other.

鏑uckily, she got the brilliant idea to hop over to Phuket for the remainder of our trip and we met up in the airport in Bangkok on the way home. We both found exactly what we wanted for the remaining six days.

典he clarity on what is essential for the individual when you take the risk of travelling alone is unbelievable, says Ava.

I met all these wonderful people on the road and the opportunity to make friends with them arose only because I was alone.

Give it a go. You won稚 regret it.