Why I prefer traveling solo

Categories blog carnival, Experiences, I Travel
Enjoying the view of Batanes

I travel solo. Not because I don’t have any options but because I like the freedom it entails. I don’t want to wait for people to decide to go, to freak out when there’s no set itineraries, to wait for consensus on what to do, what and where to eat and stay. I travel solo because I want to linger in a place without other people telling me that we have to go and head to another attraction. I don’t want to say to myself: This is another place that I have to go back to and visit again.

I’m not a tourist who visits for the sake of visiting. I’m a photographer and travel blogger and I prefer to be given time to explore through images or to immerse myself in asking questions, taking notes, enjoying time with the locals and feeling the soul of what the destination offers. I want to be given free reign of what to do and where to focus so that I can give justice to the place when I write and feature it.

Most of the time, there are lonely nights, and lonely journeys. Where thoughts race through my head as the scenery zip pass me while aboard a bus or a boat. Where a book can be a good companion or a chit chat with strangers can fill the gaps of waiting for the next trip to another town, or a break from the monotonous whirring of the motorcycle.

I travel solo because it affords me time to think for myself, of myself. Of pains and relationships. Of dreams and plans. And I travel solo because, as I wrote in my first post in this blog, it’s a personal journey to oneself.

This is my entry for the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival hosted by Nina.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

51 thoughts on “Why I prefer traveling solo

  1. i was born way too far ahead of this kind of lifestyle, Estan. If given another chance, I would probably be traveling the world, but I am not complaining. Godspeed on your travels, my friend.

  2. I can relate with you in traveling solo. Traveling alone is best way to enjoy one’s freedom. For me, when i travel alone, it gives me a different perspective in life. I’m able to see things clearly. Most of all, you don’t have to worry other people. You only worry yourself.

  3. couldn’t agree more. traveling solo gives you freedom. don’t like making itinerary either but when you’re with a group,I guess you’re forced to make one. true enough, waiting for the rest of the group to have that free sked for the planned trip is a bit of a challenge, only thing is, it saves you a lot if you’re in a group. haha

  4. Well said! Many can’t appreciate the joy of traveling alone. To enjoy your own company. To wait for no one. I’m no tourist either that’s why I can relate when you mentioned that, I quote, ” I’m not a tourist who visits for the sake of visiting”. Please continue inspiring us with your articles and pictures.

  5. So true! I also like traveling solo, I can feel freedom doing it and exploring the place by yourself. Group travel can also be fun just make sure not to bring with you those maarte friends, coz they will give you stress along the way.

    I’ve been travelling solo to some places for few times already and I feel like I own the world, no one dictates me, you don’t have to wait for others when you want to go from place to place, transfer from bus to jeepney to tricycle etc. The feeling is awesome!

  6. Sama ako sa biyahe mo next time, Estan. Hehehe! As one of your fans and avid readers, I’m living vicariously through your adventures around our beautiful islands until I’m able to go back home.

    Thanks for creating such vivid images, Estan. Padayon.

  7. @gael, well, despte saving and having nothing to worry when with a group, i still feel better when i travel alone πŸ™‚

  8. Hey Estan! I agree for most part. Though I think that when traveling for extended periods of time (talking about over 1 month) traveling solo does wear you down mentally. I used to only travel solo before I met my wife. It was great in many ways, but there comes a time when you kinda need to share what you’ve experienced with a (real non virtual) person, if you don’t, I feel like all the thoughts can just eat away at you.

    It is especially tough to travel solo for long periods of time in different cultures. Everything you think of as “normal” becomes abnormal, it gets to a point where you become confused about your own way of being and your own values. This in itself isn’t necessarily bad, as it can help one grow, but at some point, just having someone tell you that you are still sane is definitely a big plus. πŸ™‚

    I guess the only thing is that if you do travel with that someone, the person has to be on the same page as you, if not, the whole thing becomes a distaster. πŸ™‚

  9. @mitchell, I agree. In longer trips, it really is something to think about. In my case, I haven’t done month long trips alone but I’m planning something big either later this year or next year. And it will be solo.

  10. @ling, why not. you should contact me then πŸ™‚
    @nathalie, of course! πŸ™‚
    @leland, kung sure, dapat kita tayo pre πŸ™‚

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more. When I travel solo, I listen to myself, to my instincts. I go where I feel I want to go, not to some trumped up tourist attraction that my companions feel everyone must see.

  12. “I travel solo because it affords me time to think for myself, of myself. Of pains and relationships. Of dreams and plans. And I travel solo because, as I wrote in my first post in this blog, it’s a personal journey to oneself. ” – yup, i share your sentiments. traveling alone is the only time I think I can reflect, write and do what I want without having to ask someone for premission

  13. Hi Estan,

    I’d like to thank you for one of my solo travels. Went to Southern Cebu last April and checked out some of the old churches there. I printed a map, crossed out the towns you mentioned and explored them on my own. Family and friends couldn’t believe that I was able to visit Boljoon, Alcoy, Dalaguete, Argao, Sibonga, Carcar and Naga in just one day. And without you even knowing, you are instrumental in that feat. I will forever be grateful.

    Warm regards,
    Abby

  14. I personally travel solo because I simply enjoy it more alone. It is something I found out after many trips with friends. I recently went to Uruguay on my own and really enjoyed it. People there are very friendly. A foreigner made a video that perfectly describes Uruguay, in case you’ve never been there: http://bit.ly/lSvdil
    I’m sure you will like the country, Esteban.
    Cheers!

  15. hahaha…i also like traveling alone, but its kinda risky when your a girl like me…coz it’s scary at the same time LOL…

  16. thanks for the link…i enjoyed reading it…ill be traveling to malaysia this june…ALONE…and also this is my first travel outside philippines…A little bit scared but, I’m sure ill have the time of my life….thanks again…

  17. This is so true. There are things that I want to do solo like eating in a restaurant, watching a movie, strolling the streets of Cebu. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to distant places, like maybe solo day trips down south for a start but I haven’t realized them yet. My being a female traveling alone kind of worries me. Do you have tips about this?

  18. i just wanted to say… your pictures are awesome. The idea of traveling solo sounds interesting and also scary (i’ve never done it before). It should be an interesting experience!

  19. Thanks for the inspiration. Was looking for that encouragement for my trip to Thailand tmr, alone.

    By the way, where is that beach featured on this page? Beautiful.

    Moses

  20. @moses, glad that you got inspired. goodluck on your thailand trip and always be curious πŸ™‚

    the beach is in batanes.

  21. So true. A lot of time wasted when you are with a group travelling, you have to all agree with almost everything, there are a lot of disagreements and debates before you can agree with a plan. Not to mention the “ma-arte” ones who wants convenience over adventure.

    I’m so excited to travel alone in other countries. I haven’t tried that yet, but I will soon by December. hehehe

  22. it’s okay to travel alone para bagahe mo lang aalalahanin mo.. hehe..
    pero pag may pupunta ng Malabrigo Lighthouse in Batangas, invite niyo naman ako! =)

  23. if you travel with someone, you get to know that person better. if you travel alone, you get to know yourself better. you were absolutely right about traveling solo but being only 20 and female, im still finding the courage to do what you guys do.

  24. @carm, there are several pinay solo travel bloggers who you can get inspiration from. One of them is ThePinaySoloBackpacker. Do search her up and chat her up. She’s a very friendly person πŸ™‚

  25. Great post! I can agree with you in many ways, traveling solo gives you the freedom and flexibility to soak in and experience a place on your terms, in your time. I’ve just found your blog, as I have recently discovered the beauty of your country and am planning on a return trip, so I will be sure to visit this site more often!

  26. You just spelled out what’s on my mind…Very same reasons why I travel solo. Down to the last point. And oh, I spent 4 nights at Buhisan Lodge in Siquijor using your post about it as my guide…

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