You aren’t quite ever really ‘alone’ when you travel solo. In the technological age where everyone you know is a few finger swipes away, you cant truely be completely alone. Despite knowing that you can contact those whom you love, in most cases, with relative ease the feeling of loneliness or emptiness is occasionally undeniable.
Budweiser my drop of choice whilst I wait for my connecting flight. I do not love this light ‘piss’ tasting beer, my only choice at present. The commonality of it being called Bud is fitting perhaps, do I now have a buddy? a companion?… Unlikely. But i daze through my bud as I drink him down impatiently.
Do not fool yourself, I am not ranting for attention nor do I regret my decisions to travel solo. This is not my first rodeo and will not be my last. I spitball to share my experience, but also encourage others to challenge their inner understanding of what you believe you ‘can’ do. I am not a spiritual type who wants to tell you that ‘you can achieve anything’ or ‘the world is your oyster’. You just need honesty and be real with yourself. I would love to fly unassisted, however there is the small physical issue with that – I don’t have feathered wings that would make such an activity possible. But to travel and do so solo or to travel from extended periods is totally possible and accessible to the majority of us.
**disclaimer: I am a male, at least last I checked I was male. I check infrequently so I may find myself wrong at the time of my next check. I understand that being female can be seem more of a challenge to travel solo by some. I sympathies with this yet still think it shouldn’t solely stop any young ladies pursuing the hunt for cultural and geographical change.
Doing some form of travel/adventure/activity, something that you see as a challenge to yourself, is nothing short of character building. Yes, you may see times in which your not on top of the world so to speak. I argue that this could slink into your thoughts anywhere and at anytime. We all go though emotional roller coasters, some more than others, and the ride of emotions will continue no matter where you are. I know personally I have had slumps in my general positivity and this has been with family and friends surrounding me. Being able to break from what you know to be comfort is a learning experience, one that has the ability to enrich you culturally and mentally. Provided perspective from experiences, I don’t feel like I could say I never gain from travel.
Personally, I want to see landscapes and cities with my own eyes. I lust for a life rich in experience. I wish to have stories to share with others and connect with strangers over the smallest ideas and commonalities. Constantly I yearn for social interactions and activities. One individual can not totally experience something from the comfort of their couch, or through watching tv or mindlessly staring into their computer in the late hours of the night. Individuals must seek out and find new experiences, being physically present is apart of this experience.
To travel, occasionally without companion, has opened my world and expanded my ideas of what I once thought I could be capable of doing. It has allowed me the time to know myself better than I ever would have had I ran for safety and guarded my insecurities, hidden from the unknown. Traveling solo has, in part, moulded the character that I am today. It has provided me with opportunities to see other cultures, dive into oceans, try new cuisine, mumble my way through conversations in broken english and Spanish/french/Icelandic. I have been lucky enough to surf some of the most picturesque islands, get lost in jungles of Central America in search of waterfalls, climb mountains and volcanoes and gaze back over a landscape nothing like that which i see from the top of a hill in my hometown.
Throughout every trip I have met and spent time with some of the most welcoming strangers who become apart of the story. They too, solo travellers, open to exchange stories and ideas. Banter over beverages or overnight buses, it is easy to connect with like minded humans and enjoy brief stints of ones company. This too standing testament to the inability to totally feel alone when you travel. As much as you think and can feel without a support network while away from home, you have the resources to connect with people. By planning and being open minded, travel can be the catalyst for change in anyones life.