Associate Alice Kim on the Gifts of a Solo Traveling Adventure
Alice Kim — April 27, 2022
Prior to joining the team at PowerPlant, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to solo travel. I’ve loved traveling alone ever since taking my first trip during college, but like many others have experienced, a combination of work schedules and COVID restrictions hindered most of my plans over the last couple years. With travel bans lifting and a new job on the horizon, I was thrilled to be able to carve out some time out to visit Costa Rica this year.
Solo traveling is paradise for the extroverted introvert (such as myself). I had numerous opportunities to connect with others from different walks of life – other solo travelers, families, or couples from all around the world, who might be taking a sabbatical, a spring break vacation, or celebrating an anniversary. And at the same time, I also had unlimited freedom to create my own schedule and spend as much (or as little) time alone as I wanted. I could plan a day trip to a nearby island with new friends or grab dinner and drinks with my hostel, while also having plenty of space to hit an early morning surf session or watch the sunset with just the company of nature around me.
All that being said, solo traveling isn’t perfect – eating alone can be awkward, especially at dinnertime when most others are in a party greater than one, and my couple years of elementary Spanish classes weren’t always enough to help me navigate my way (which can be tough when you’re in the middle of a jungle with no cell service). But these inconveniences are nevertheless valuable experiences that are essential to the beauty of solo travel. Every moment – good, bad, exhilarating, uncomfortable – contributes to the fulfillment of traveling alone, always leaving me with a desire to come back for more.
The single greatest thing about going solo is the extent to which I’m able to zone into the environment and really absorb everything around me – closely observing and aligning with the people, the culture, the food, the nature – without any distractions or reminders of life at home. Solo traveling has given me the greatest appreciation for the people and places that are different from us, and is a much-needed reminder of the world that exists beyond my desk and the bubble in which I go about my daily life. During my latest trip, I explored secluded waterfalls within lush, green forests and spotted a range of plants and animals that I could only imagine seeing in books. I also met local people who were passionate about their homes and preserving the biodiversity that makes Costa Rica such a popular travel destination and an integral part of the global ecosystem.
My experiences have given me admiration and respect for the cultures who welcome visitors like me and have pushed me to be a more responsible and conscientious traveler. Now back at home, I’m excited to be a part of an organization that puts the environment and climate change at the forefront of our values and brings me closer to making a positive impact on the forests and beaches that we are privileged enough to visit.
If you’re interested in what we’re working on at PowerPlant (or have any suggestions on where I should go for my next solo trip), I’d love to connect with you at firstname.lastname@example.org.