Traveling alone really means watching and having your own back–everything from making sure you don’t forget your passport somewhere (LNT!) to solving any problem that comes up to taking care of your own sanity/health. I’m just beginning, but am building new habits to double check my gear, find my way through unfamiliar places, and make new friends-of-the-moment. Not assuming anyone else will take care of me; there is responsibility in this, but I am discovering also power.
I will admit that couples have already started to annoy me. They have things so easy! They share the logistics and cost, have a built in social safety net, never need to worry about being alone. But by this default they are so insular and solitary in their coupledom. So far I love the more open hostel lifestyle and wish I had partaken in it more when I had the opportunity on past trips even when I was traveling in a couple. C’est la vie, and I am taking the chance now.