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ON TRAVELING ALONE
I finally did it!
Today I collected all my strength and booked a one way ticket from Thailand to Indonesia for the beginning of April.
Nothing so extraordinary right? as I’ve been traveling already for more than a month, booking a plane ticket should be routine for me.
The difference this time is that I’ll be traveling alone!
This isn’t a decision I took overnight of course. The idea crossed my mind even before my departure for Asia.
My travel mate already knew about my idea, and even if in the beginning he was a bit skeptical about it, he now agrees with me that this can be a wonderful opportunity to evolve for the both of us.
What are the reasons behind this decision?
Let’s start by saying that this wasn’t an easy step. Many people have this idea of me being a bit crazy, determined and brave with all the decisions I made in my life. Well let me tell you what’s behind the scenes: every time I take a risky decision I literally panic. And this is no exception.
As soon as I booked the flight, I immediately realized that this was going to be a totally different experience from the one I’m living at the moment, which is already amazing and challenging enough! I felt lost, vulnerable and scared like a little child.
Despite this, my inner nature always wins against my biggest fears. As someone once said :”If you are not scared by your dreams, it means that they are not big enough”
So here are the main reasons why I bought that ticket:
1 | My Independent Nature
I’ve always been really independent.
Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my friends and meet new people, but it is also vital for my sanity to have a space all for myself if I want to. Only this way I can process the million thoughts running into my mind and understand what’s going on with my life.
Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with me, but the answer is always no. For a simple reason: when I have my spaces, I feel so much better and I realize that I’m also a better person with other people. Happier, calmer and kinder.
I think that everyone is different, and we need to figure out what works best for us, to reach a good life balance.
2 | The love for Challenges
Traveling with a good friend is always a good choice for so many reasons:
- You have someone to share all the amazing experiences with
- you don’t have to worry about who’s watching your bags if you need to go somewhere
- You don’t have the feeling of being alone and overwhelmed by everything so you can relax a bit
But yet again, I love challenges. I want to see if I’m able to survive on my own in a foreign country, far away from my home, friends and culture.
Example: When I arrived in Krabi they stole my debit card. I had another one, so I didn’t worry too much. Guess what? I couldn’t withdraw any money with it , as the bank didn’t allow the transaction in Thailand.
I was left without access to my money and I was running out of cash. Crappy situation. I was lucky because my friend backed me up until I managed to sort out the issue.
What would have happened if I were alone? How would I have dealt with all that? These are situations where you discover your strengths and weaknesses.
I’m sure that traveling alone will teach me some good lessons, the spirit is totally different when you know you have your back covered. Just like what happens in your own country: you feel safe around your usual friends and family and the chance to really test your “survivor” skills are very limited.
3 | The need to discover more about myself
Such a cliche’, right? well I don’t think it is. Not for me.
The other day I met a 60 something woman here in the Hostel where I’m staying in Siem Reap. We had an amazing conversation. She is 5 months into her RTW solo trip. I was amazed by her energy and positivity and asked her how she managed to be like that, especially not being exactly a teenager anymore.
She said a couple of things that hit me for some reason: one was that she didn’t travel to be somewhere in particular, she travelled just to BE. I totally got what she meant. I can be anywhere in the world, seeing the most beautiful temple, or landscape but what really makes the difference is my attitude towards it.
And my question was: ” So, if it’s not the sights, but your attitude and the people you meet, why you need to travel? can’t you just try it at home?” but I think I already knew the answer before she replied.
Routine kills your observation skills. The safety, the “no challenge” environment diminish your sensitivity to the events and people around you. During the trip the emotions are amplified and enhanced. Your senses get sharper, and the fatigue sometimes is a very good tool for this.
When I travel I feel that I’m more in touch with myself than I’ve ever been before. It’s not going to be easy, I already know that, but I’m 100% sure that this is one of the best decisions I made during this trip. Anyway, this is only a “trial test”. There are no rights or wrongs here. Only experience to gain.
And I hope it will be a good one, for me and for my travel mate Paolo as well. We will have to live it and see how it goes, and as freaked out as I can be now, I’m also super excited for this trip inside the trip. Stay tuned!