Spring break was very magical and blissful, and I am extremely grateful for my time. I had a wonderful time in Faro, Portugal and Sevilla, Tarifa, and Malaga in the south of Spain. I can’t describe the fullness and happiness felt each day there. The weather forecasted rain, but the days were sunny and clear, which was a wonderful surprise! It was also a pleasure to be able to speak Spanish; I derived a lot of happiness from being able to speak Spanish (despite my bad accent) and it was nice to have the opportunity to speak Spanish and interact with people. Everything was extraordinarily beautiful and inspired this undeniable feeling of wonder.
I think traveling in a group and traveling alone each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It was nice that I got to do spring break in a group; we were able to stay in airbnbs instead of hostels and it is nice to have other people, both to enjoy and share in moments of bliss and in the bumpier moments of travel. It’s nice to have company and have someone else who is experiencing the same thing you are whether good or bad. Especially with the more difficult things, having someone to troubleshoot with or just knowing you are not alone is a comfort. However, sometimes with a group, getting around can be slow. Everyone has their own needs and making decisions and getting around to doing things can be slower than if you were by yourself. Compromise can also be required; you will probably end up doing things you wouldn’t necessarily have done which can be both good or bad, depending on how you look at it. Traveling alone you have the control of your entire day: you can eat whenever and wherever you want, go wherever you want. There’s a higher degree of flexibility and movability present than with a larger group.
I am grateful I was able to taste both experiences. There were days when we moved as a group, but I also had the opportunity to have solo days and spend a day by myself entirely at my discretion. I think having truly enjoyable and wonderful days on my own made me better appreciate and embrace spending time by myself. I had been feeling self-conscious of the fact that I had been spending majority of my days in London by myself, going to museums or parks by myself, eating out and walking around by myself, especially when most people did things in groups or always in the presence of others. But having such a positive experience doing so in Spain made me feel less self-conscious about that aspect of my time in London. I began to look forward to and relish days I would have to spend by myself.
There can be a negative connotation around being alone or spending time by yourself. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, although I have been aware and self-conscious of it. Although there can be a tendency to see it as being indicative of being someone lacking friends to hang out with, we should look at it as indicative of independence and self-assuredness. Being able to spend time by yourself and do things by yourself is freeing and a good thing and should be appreciated as such.
Attached: photo of view from Tarifa