I, am a Singaporean.
Apparently, Singapore is a country filled with "travellers".
Singaporeans among most frequent travellers in the world: VISA
Well, at the very least, Singaporeans "think" they travel alot.
I'm sure you've at least one friend who has said something along the lines of, "if you travelled as much as I have...." Or, "You should get out and see more of the world....." (Implying they are "well travelled")
Photo from reasonablyludicrous.com
When it comes to bragging, Singaporeans are in pole position. When it comes to travelling; we're the equivalent of a deer caught in headlights.
Picture from http://randyalbright.net/
Here's are the things i've noticed about Singaporeans with regard to travelling.
Most of us; have an overwhelming need for predictablity (think package tours), keep to ourselves (anti social), are spoilt (Must be hotels. Staying in an Air B&B is like summiting Mt Everest. The word "Hostel", is like a swear word), are conceited (think we got ourselves the best deals, itinerary, cheapest tickets), AND are afraid travelling alone signals we have no friends (same as eating lunch alone. No face).
Oh, the other excuse Singaporeans give themselves for not travelling alone is because it's boring. They wouldn't enjoy it.
Photo from The Businesstimes. Singaporeans Hunting for "the best" packages, tickets, etc
Now, the real reason, is because Singaporeans are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Why should that be the case? Are we a herd of sheep not daring to step out without the guidance of a sheep dog?
So here's how solo travelling can do wonders not just for our self-improvement, but also contributing to a more fulfilling travel experience.
When you travel alone, you WILL......
1. Develop Social Skills
Making new friends. Dinner with hostel buddies in Marrakech, Morocco
Most Singaporeans are self centred & low in confidence individuals who keep to themselves when they are alone so they can mask their insecurities.
Solo travelling will FORCE you to take the initiative to say "hello" or strike up a conversation with that stranger you met at your hostel, day tour, or even the bar.
Or instead of opening up and making friends with strangers, you could always stay in a hotel, curl up in your lonely little corner, talk to your reflection in the mirror for a couple of weeks, then return home even more spineless than you were before. It's your holiday, you decide.
2. Stop Being A Mummy's Boy
Alone at The Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
When you tell another Singaporean you're going alone on a holiday. The usual replies are, "huh? Not boring meh? Izzit dangerous? You no friends ah? Got people go with you for wat you go alone?"
The truth is, you're one frightened individual, shivering because of your lack of confidence in your abilities. Everything you tell yourself is an excuse.
You're afraid of how people look at you, afraid of the unknown, afraid to discover that the real you, might not be that independent, confident, and capable person you've constructed for your peers to see. Afraid of confronting loneliness.
3. Find Out If We Are The Person We Think We Are
Having fun with the island boys of Tanna, Vanuatu
Ever blame your partner/friend/whoever for some screw up that happened on your holiday? Navigation problems, lost keys, missed the train? Thought you could do a better job?
Here's your chance to find out if you're the man you thought you were. Got lost? Missed your ride? Ran out of cash? You deal with YOUR problems YOURSELF. See how you fare. Can't be "so & so's" fault this time can it?
4. Discover The Meaning Of Life
"Me time" at Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
You're going to have so much "me time", that reflection and self discovery is inevitable. You'll probably draw up a new "bucket list", develop new goals in life, find out if you've been an idiot for the past 10 years, maybe even do things you'd never thought you'd do.
[On my (The Bald Guy's) 1st solo trip, I sang aloud to myself for 30mins straight while I was walking and waiting for the bus. Wouldn't do that in Singapore; i'd be STOMPed]
5. Return A Different Person
Conquered the Highest Mountain Pass In The World, Thorong La Pass, 5416m (albeit with some help from a horse)
YOU made the decision to step out of your comfort zone, book your airticket and hop on the plane; Alone.
YOU made it through your trip; saw the things you wanted to see, did the stuff you wanted to do.
YOU could have waited for your friends/partner to go with you, (and end up paying for a more expensive ticket) but you didn't and you came back more sociable, more confident, and discovered the YOU, that YOU want to be. (your peers still wallowing in their comfortzone, bitching about how life could be better)
Most of all. YOU empowered yourself, to conquer yourself.
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