Solo Travel vs Travelling in a Group

Travelling solo versus travelling in a group/with friends. It’s a topic debated by many travelers around the world and I’m here to offer my share of wisdom on this topic. I may not have an abundance of knowledge on this, however; I have done both and therefore feel like I am adequately experienced to provide some good and valid insight, so here we go.

All my life I have traveled in a group, whether that be for a school trip, a family holiday, a lad’s holiday, or anything in between and they have all been great. On the other hand; I have also traveled a few times alone, recently on my month long backpacking trip to Thailand, which again was amazing. Now there are obviously pro’s and con’s to both, and that’s what I’m here to discuss, starting with travelling in a group.

The obvious benefit of travelling with other people is that it’s cheaper. 1 room split between 2 people, for example, is the best and most obvious saving. But the savings don’t stop there. Depending on the size of your group you can save on things like tours, taxi’s, entrance fee’s etc, granted this isn’t a guarantee, but with good haggling skills it can be achieved and sometimes with great success, and depending on where you are in the world, it can save you a lot of money.

Another positive for travelling in a group is that you have someone to share your incredible travel experiences with, something that will make you closer with that person and something that you can reminisce about together for years to come. In my opinion, it’s always better to share these moments with others, especially friends, however; I do understand that solo travelers prefer the more personal feelings of travelling alone, I just prefer to share these experiences with others.

Travelling in a group also means you won’t, or are less likely to, get lonely. Sometimes you just want someone to talk to, and if you are travelling solo this is, sometimes, not an option. But obviously if you have a travel partner/s you will always have someone to lift your spirits and mask the feeling of homesickness which might creep in from time to time. Travelling is not always easy, it can get stressful as things won’t always go to plan, therefore having someone you know with you is often very beneficial and again can keep your morale up and get you through the challenges of travelling.

On the other hand, solo travel also has its benefits. The main one is the fact that it is you and only you making all of the decisions. In a group people will have differing opinions on where to go, what to eat, where to stay etc. This could mean that you miss out on something you wanted to do due to the fact the majority of your party chose something else. Also, it could slow you down as it can often take a while to come to a decision on said subjects. Furthermore, the feeling of total freedom you get travelling alone is unbeatable. It’s very intimate, and evolves you as a person in ways you could never imagine. It’s just you and the earth, and that is so powerful.

However; obviously the best thing about solo travel is the fact that you will meet new people and make some great new friends. Whilst this isn’t restricted to solo travel, you will be more inclined to go out and interact with new people more. This can lead to new friendships made and a massive growth in your confidence. I mean, if you can go to a completely foreign country, overcome an insane amount of culture shock, meet new friends, gain amazing new experiences and just have an overall amazing time, then it is quite clear solo travel is definitely worth it, and in my opinion can be more rewarding than travelling with a group, particularly due to the amount of personal growth you will achieve.

So there is my two cents on the subject, I hope you enjoyed reading this. Stay tuned for new posts and keep smiling 🙂

 

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Time Flies

I know it’s a cliche, but time does really fly. It feels like yesterday that I was nervous about transitioning into uni life, but here I am now, with a year under my belt and loving every minute of it.

I genuinely can’t believe that I have finished a year at uni, like how did that happen? (okay I still have one exam left, but still!) And not only that, but I’m actually doing quite well, despite my attendance may suggest. I mean, I haven’t failed anything yet, emphasis on the yet as I just submitted my poetry assignment, and this first year I’m on for at least a 2:1, which is bloody good and far better than I expected. Granted I’m not the perfect uni student, I have been roped into doing a few things I probably shouldn’t have and left whole assignments till the last day etc etc, but in my opinion that’s what uni is about, having fun, you just happen to get a degree out of it at the end. That outlook is more than likely an awful one, however; I just think Uni is far more about growing as a person than getting a qualification, but maybe that’s just my laid back attitude coming into play again.

Anyways, I’m rambling, as usual. If anyone reading this is on the fence about university, I say go for it, you won’t regret it. People look at it like it’s just the degree, but it’s so much more than that. You make friends and have experiences that will stay for life, you discover new passions, finally live independently and most importantly, grow exponentially as a person whilst still holding onto that childish, teenager side who goes clubbing the day before 9am lectures. Obviously it’s not for everyone, but uni, like life, is what you make of it, and in my opinion everyone can make uni the time of their lives if they want to.

But back to the title of this post. One of my favourite quotes is this “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” I like to try and live my life by that. Making the most of every opportunity, being the best possible person I can be and having a load of fun along the way.  We’re all on this rollercoaster that is life together, so let’s make the most of it hey. And…

Keep smiling, Harrison

(Soz for going all inspirational, Gandhi style on you there)

2016 And a Change in Direction + HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Another year’s over, 2015 has been and gone and 2016 has officially arrived. Like I said in my post from last year, time flies as you get older. Again this year feels like it went by faster than ever before, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just makes you realise how quickly life can pass you by. Already this year has started better than the last due to the fact I haven’t got a broken jaw and nose this time round (hooray!).

2015 was a pretty good year for me, looking back at my post from last year (link here if interested) I achieved everything I set out to achieve and not only that but I developed friendships and made some awesome new ones. I also feel like I evolved substantially as a person over the year, changing my lifestyle massively, and this is where the ‘change in direction’ part of the title comes from. I went Vegan on the 20th September 2015 and it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me and something I feel hugely passionate about and, therefore, why I am going to be writing about veganism a lot more on my blog. So this is just a heads up if you dislike people ‘preaching’ about stuff like veganism (although I wouldn’t consider it preaching) because I will be writing about Vegan related stuff a lot more from now on as I feel it is very important.

I suppose this is the part where I make a few ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. Whilst I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions as if you are going to do something why not just do it straight away, I do have a few aims and things I want to achieve over the year. The main one is to travel somewhere. Just anywhere. Have an adventure as that is my dream in life and I haven’t really done anything to achieve that as of yet. I also want to keep fit, cliché I know, and pass my year at University, all of these are achievable and I cannot wait to see what 2016 holds.

So yeah hope you guys had a good Christmas and New Year, I certainly did, my new kitchen accessories that I got will definitely come in handy! I wish you all a very happy new year.

Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

memeee

Loving Life :)

For some reason these last few weeks I’ve felt super happy, like on top of the world and I have no idea why, but I like it (obviously). Nothing of note has changed in my life, I just feel great. Maybe it’s because I have finally motivated myself to actually start working; whether that be Uni work, attending class or writing blog posts, I have finally pulled the metaphorical finger out and started being productive again. Like this week was my first week at University where I got 100% attendance and, bearing in mind I only have 8 hours a week and this is week 11 (or 12?), that is not something to be proud of. I also just love University in general. It’s not like school where you had groups of people, many of whom were horridly judgmental and just mean, everyone is like minded and therefore pretty much everyone gets along. Living away from home (gotta be careful here because my Mum usually reads my posts) is also amazing, I love being able to go in the kitchen and just sit and talk with my flatmates, who are awesome and somehow cope with my weirdness. The people I’ve met and became acquainted with at Uni are people I will never forget and, luckily for me, many of them live abroad so hopefully I have somewhere to stay when I go travelling, not to use them or anything, haha. In addition to this I’ve actually sorted out my accommodation for next year, super exciting. Whilst I love halls I cannot wait to live in a house, who I am sharing with my 2 awesome friends, I mean the landlord said I can have a pet Tortoise, of course I’m gonna be excited!

So yeah, bit of a random post but life is good at the moment and why not spread some positivity. Oooh one more thing. I got my grade for my Studying Literature module and it was, to my bemusement, an A grade, which I am ecstatic with and it has upped my confidence for the course massively. I hope everyone who reads this is also feeling happy. Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

PROM! (And an apology)

Before I start this post I’d like to apologise. Not only have I neglected writing a post for so long, I also haven’t been keeping up with all of your amazing blogs, and this is inexcusable. Whilst I have been busy with other things I should/could have committed to reading and liking your posts and I promise it won’t happen again. Now that’s out of the way…

Recently (okay it was June 27th, I’m just late writing this post), my year group cemented our legacy as the greatest year group in sixth form history when we attended our leavers prom. It was an amazing day and one of the few times we have actually managed to get our whole group together.

Following my purchase of alcohol for the pre-drinks and a ‘fresh trim’ (that’s a phrase the youngsters use now, right?) I headed to my friends, where all my other friends were, for photos and pre-drinks. It was amazing, I loved it, everyone looked beautiful and everyone was happy, did I mention I loved it? (See some of the photos taken below). 100’s of photos and a few beverages later, our transport arrived, I went in a super cool pimped out Jeep. We then arrived at the venue, which was a rather swanky and very posh hotel, it was also amazing, despite the fact a 330ml bottle of beer cost £4.20, but I won’t get into that daylight robbery as this is supposed to be a positive post (bloody ridiculous). The vegetarian food, despite not knowing what it was, was surprisingly delicious, and not frickin nut roast, which is usually all we get! As the meal came to an end the teachers, and student leadership, made their hilarious but rather emotional speeches summarising the 2 years in sixth form and humiliating as many people as is possible in a short speech, me being one of them. From here the real party started, the DJ arrived and the photobooth was opened (wild, I know). We, along with the teachers, danced the night away. Prom officially ended at 12, however the party, of course, went on till the early hours in the morning (or the next afternoon if you’re me, oops). Several hours of clubbing, sweaty dancing with strangers, and way too much alcohol, later I got home in one piece (just) and had only managed to spend around £70 on drinks, lose a further £20 and lose my house key, as well as not inform my parents that I wouldn’t be returning home that night (I had 22 missed calls when I woke up). So yeah was an awesome night and one I will never forget haha. It was also hilarious seeing the teachers hammered and dancing to house music :D.

Hope you’re prom was as awesome and memorable as mine. Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

Group Me & Raneeeeem

Me & Jonny Me & Jess Me & G

Me & Em Me & Ash Lads (2)

Turning 18 and (Almost) Party Disaster!

On Saturday I hit the big one, and no that isn’t a home run, I did in fact, along with my cousin who shares the same birthday as me (cool story that is), turn 18. I can now legally drink, buy fireworks, get married or even write my own will, although that might be a bit hasty. Not only did I turn 18, I also threw, again along with my cousin, my first proper party and even though my Mum did most of the planning, I was extremely apprehensive. I mean you don’t want to be that guy who’s known for throwing a terrible party, it’s social suicide! Luckily the party went extremely well, the dance-floor was consistently full of extremely drunk dad dancers, the turnout was better than expected and there was no trouble at all, quite surprising considering the amount of alcohol consumed. There was however one blip in the otherwise perfect occasion and this came right at the start of the event. My cousin and I had compiled the playlist of all playlists consisting of, as the great Free Radio say, ‘A bit of old and a bit of new’. We thought it would be a good idea to leave the playlist on shuffle, and how wrong we were. It went from dance central to tear jerker in a matter of seconds and we panicked. Luckily there was only family here at this time, but still, we only had a matter of minutes to fix this. We frantically tried to organise the playlist, making sure there were no sudden jumps in the mood and that a consistent flow of upbeat songs were playing for the bulk of the night and then slower songs as the evening came to an end. Somehow, we succeeded, and managed to sort the playlist perfectly in less than 10 minutes, making sure the Beach Boys blended nicely with Skrillex – Bangarang. It was amazing. However, let this be a lesson to you all, don’t trust shuffle!

Thank you for reading, let me know if you have had any party disasters like me! Keep smiling, Harrison.

The Future, Embrace It

If you’re like me there’s nothing worse than moving on. The daunting feeling of the future is something I find crippling and extremely apprehensive towards. I’m someone who lives completely in the present and ‘goes with the flow’ to put it simply, and this works for me. Throughout school and sixth form questions along the lines of “what do you want to do when you’re older” are something I strive to avoid due to the simple fact that I don’t like moving on. Whilst the idea of going to my dream university to study something that I love excites me, at the same time I can’t comprehend leaving everything that’s currently in my life behind. And what’s even stranger is that I know when I do inevitably take this metaphorical leap of faith and uncover a new chapter to my life, everything will be fine and I will have this looming felling the next time I have to move on. These feelings and anxieties are not all bad, it means that most of the time I am happy and content with my life as long as I know exactly what I’m doing and the relationships I develop with people in my life are very strong, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. However thinking about the future and what it holds scares me and can have a negative impact on my life. It prevents me from making decisions, taking on opportunities amongst a wealth of other things. This fear of the unknown is very common I’m sure and I reckon everyone has some sort of apprehension towards moving on and uncovering a new chapter of their life. Basically I am writing this post to remind myself, and others if you feel the same, that the future is inevitable, you can’t stop it and the best way to avoid these feelings is to enjoy the present and embrace the future and everything it holds, the future soon turns into the present so the thing you fear, in reality never actually arrives so what’s there to be afraid of?

Keep Smiling, Harrison 🙂