Traveling Solo

I am often asked questions about solo travel. They come in a variety of forms. There are your "Don't you get lonely?" ones and your "Aren't you afraid to be alone?" ones and then the occasional "Isn't it boring alone?." (Travel and boring are two words together that do not compute for me.) They also take a number of other forms as you can imagine. The truth is I love to travel alone. Truth has a lot of roots and branches though and the other truth is that I really like my own company, I always have, and it allows me to do what I want when I want and on whatever whim suits me. I can sit on a park bench and just watch people for a while, talk to strangers, take pictures and wander off without a map as I am so fond of doing.

Recently I've been thinking about this a little bit more in depth. Yes, I like my own company and traveling alone makes me meet people which is great for an introvert like me, but am I doing it to the detriment of experience? Somewhere along the way I think the notion of another person "ruining" or changing travel for me has crept in. I think this means that I have begun to undervalue sharing an experience with another person or them even enhancing it. It is never the first thing that comes to mind. It is always the negative.
This is not a great thing to realize and makes me a little mad at myself. For all my seemingly open mindedness for travel, it seems to be closed in this specific way.

Another reason I tend to shy away from the group/partner travel experience is because I can sometimes get lost in a larger personality as an introvert. It is easier for me to be alone and chose what I want instead of having to haggle over it with another person, especially if that person is more boisterous, outgoing and talkative than myself. I tend more towards the calm, contemplative, curious type, seeing if I can find a place to hide away from the over talking to read and write. I am not meek by any means and if you catch me right it may even seem like I am an extrovert, but I have a tendency to let others show and display their colors before they get a glimpse of mine. I am often told years later by friends, that upon first meeting me they were intimidated by me and my silence. My silence is really just observation and my own shyness, but it always seems to come across differently to different people. For example I get asked by strangers for directions no matter where I go, actually in almost every city I have ever visited, including Tehran, so I guess I can't be that unapproachable.

All of these characteristics which I am a little shy to admit are real, are things I am working on and want to continue to work on. I have to much to share and too much to tell to let myself fade into the background with such ease. Time to be out in front.