To start, it’s easy to guess that I’m an introvert. I’m not claiming this label of introversion to validate my solo traveling. I actually am. Apart from other introverts’ common reasoning of their solo journey, these are my outlooks towards the turning point of why I prefer roaming alone.
1. I hate constant #selfie
Sure, I still do enjoy taking selfie like other girls. Girls love selfie.
My numbers of selfie photos just happen to be below par compared to those of other girls. A stranger girl I knew took her 8 selfie photos out of her 10 photos of the same scene. While I, statistically calculated, take only 3 out of 100. Girls, if you move your a*s to other places, please put your phone down or flip your screen from front camera to rear camera. What’s the point of travelling? Isn’t it to see the place, observe lives, study novelty and immerse yourself in an environment? 1 selfie out of 10 is alright. 2/10 is bearable. More than 3 is…. self-absorbed or narcissistic.
The group selfie is even worse. All of you try to seize the spot that fits in the frame and perk your face up to the screen or selfie stick. It looks like a school of Koi fish struggling for food fed by humans or dolphins jumping into the air.
It doesn’t exactly mean I dislike it but CONSTANT selfie is exhaustive and distracting.
2) I hate constantly taking other people’s #selfie
Honestly, I like taking portraits and aiming my focuses to the lives of others. I love it much more than I take photos of myself. I always volunteer to take photos of the whole group. The problem is the sentences of this….
“TAKE PHOTO OF ME! COME AND TAKE PHOTO OF ME!“
… ear-piecing noise from metres away with demanding tone of self-absorbed “spread myself to the worldddd and let them know what I am doinggggg” notion.
Can you imagine how annoying it is?
Picture yourself adjusting the light and angle for a good shot of a scenery with your hands holding a DSLR, all of a sudden someone you know messes your frame. You can’t retouch them out right away with your camera, can you? You can’t transform yourself to be a giant or a hulk just to hurl that view-destroyer away, can you? A good shot requires concentration. It’s not just point-and-shoot and you’re done.
As always, less-into-selfie persons are swamped by more-into-selfie persons. Once they notice you enjoy photography, they ASSUME that you enjoy responding to every call for taking photos of them. The utmost nuisance is that they demand you retake photos until they are satisfied with their look.
“ayeeeeeee, my face looks too round and big. Retake it.”
“Awwwww, I look so dark. Retake it.”
“Oops! My acnes are too obvious. Retake it.”
It’s in my vein that I NEED tranquility and frown upon any interruption. Hey! I’m more than satisfied to take your selfie photos but can’t you just wait and be less fussy about your appearance?
The reason behind their “come and take photo of meeeeee” calling is that these people are more prone to Facebookaholism and/or Instagramaholism. They claim that “without your own faces in the photos, you can get those photos from Google Images.” Taking selfie is an automatic copyright mark to their proof of “I was really going to that place.”
I’m against this idea. I’m satisfied with myself REALLY going to that place without worry about anyone’s scrutiny to my leisure. I know at best that I HAVE ALREADY BEEN TO THAT PLACE because I can remember it. Oh, unless you had a supernatural ability to foresee yourself being neurotically ill caused by Alzheimer’s in your sixties, accordingly you were planning ahead to preserve your old memory by constantly reminding yourself where you had been to as well as how you used to look like in case you couldn’t recognise your identity. Genius.
I don’t need other people’s validation of my ‘having a good time’ moment, no matter what it is; food, travel, events.
I myself evaluate my happiness and satisfaction. Without any face of myself in it, those photos are NOT like ones on the Internet. Every photo has its uniqueness, remember that.
3) Travel = Leisure. Leisure = Indulgence
The apex of happiness while travelling is to not give a d*mn about your daily living hell. I am usually a well-organised person in real life. Everything must be planned, rearranged, written down and categorised. It’s a worthwhile practice to leave the ways you do behind and seek more spontaneity. My travel moral is to go unplanned and go local.
I just want to be in the mood of being able to get up any time I want and to not be guilty of not going to the place I don’t really need to go. If I get up late, I offend the trip buddies. If I just want to roll on the bed reading, I offend trip buddies. If I tell them I’m not into going to xyz place, I offend trip buddies. F*ck trip buddies! It’s inevitable that you must be in a role of people pleaser while traveling in group!
“Hey! What’s the point of rolling on the bed doing literally nothing while you are in other country? Isn’t it a waste of time and money you’ve paid?
Awwwwwww that sounds like making a trip your burden to carry on like job or work.
Why can’t you just be contented with slow-paced life and enjoy as many little elements in your surrounding as you should?
Chill~ Travel is to relax. Being entangled by peer pressure is a big no-no to independent leisure. A good trip shouldn’t be overly occupied with what other people need. A good trip should be what you are unbound from what you’re expected to act. Be yourself to the fullest.
4) Travel is not just an I-am-here photo checkin. It’s learning the different mindsets of foreigners and authenticity.
It’s painful to come to a realise that all those places you really want to go are not in the list of what general people plan to go generally. When I come to any place, I want to know their history, education system, literacy, cultural mindsets and genuine locality. This was a real case, when I was in Singapore, I insisted that I go to the national library. How many people nowadays are fond of going to a non-mainstream boring place such as a library? All the rest of the group went to a theme park, I wanted to know what have made Singapore an economically leading country in Southeast Asia. Theme parks are anywhere. It’s a manmade area of construction. However, knowledge is authenticity.
When I was in Vietnam, I visited a large bookshop in Danang just wanted to review their elementary schoolbooks. How does Vietnamese government generate the recognition of national identities in young generation? Elementary schoolbooks give you clearer answers how a grownup Vietnamese would think about neighbouring countries.
If I were going to have some weeks in the UK, my friend(s) would say they want to have a photo checkin with the Big Ben, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, wherever most tourists head to. I, in contrast, would say I want to visit Leeds, because it was some of the world’s first places of motion picture invention. I would want to visit somewhere in northern England that is related to the War of Roses. Scotland’s historic Antonine Wall shouldn’t be missed as the reasons behind construction of this fortification by the Romans reminds me of similar Game of Throne’s “The Wall”.
I would want to visit Yekaterinburg in Russia as it was the place of Shooting the Romanov Family incidence. If you are not as much geeky as I am, surely you’re clueless about why I go to those unheard cities.
I visited libraries, bookshops, banks, universities, residential areas and slum areas in any countries I’ve been to. Tourism areas are illusion. They are managed to be presented to the outsiders. What lies inside their people’s head is the substantial authenticity.
5) “The More, The Merrier” phrase has never been my preference.
It’s the less, the merrier.
Well, personally, I have a kinky anxiety when interacting with people. When I am with people, I always need to equalise the importance I place for each person. When I talk to A, I unconsciously worry if B, C, D would be less existentially visible to me. If I talk to C & D, the rest would be deemed unimportant to me and that makes me guilty of an overwhelmed feeling that I wasn’t nice with them well enough. Then I recede to the regular loop of keeping to myself and not approaching people altogether.
To cut that unexplainable overwhelming feeling, going alone is probably the best choice.