Unsupported touring, whether camping or hostel-based adds a whole new dimension to travelling. You become far more self-sufficient, and its much easier to meet people along the route.
Travelling in a large/supported group, you can suffer from the "bubble effect", where you carry your own little portable world along with you, instead of interacting with the one passing by.
Supported rides are a good intro and I have enjoyed them, but I prefer the freedom of unsupported.
You can try for yourself on a shorter tour. A weekend is good enough to shakedown your equipment, but to get a feel for the rhythm of unsupported travelling takes a couple of days. Most self-sufficient riders camp, but you dont need to camp every night.