Travelling by far has had the most therapeutic effect on me than anything else. More than just travelling, its the solo travel that I am most nostalgic about. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and courage to plan the next adventure. It definitely is an adventure.
When you travel you must have a Plan-B, that’s the Golden Rule. I learnt it the hard way, but then again, experience is the best teacher, no matter how much you read up on the internet about contingency plans, there is always the surprise element.
I once read a beautiful quote about travel – “There are two types of travelers, some set out looking for an adventure and the others secretly hope that there is no adventure!” I understood what this meant with clarity, when I almost missed my flight back from Colombo due to a new online check-in rule. Believe me it was an Adventure!
My colleagues had seldom heard about anyone who would go backpacking alone. I guess the normal form of a holiday is going out with your loved one, partner, friends or family. When I was asked about my travel, I would tell them enthusiastically about my little adventure. The reaction of almost ever single one would either be of awe, amazement or total conviction that I had lost my mind to travel alone. Many would hurl their opinions at me mostly out of concern about the danger of travelling alone, and few others would react with sheer amusement. Some others would just not understand as to how I could spend an entire month by myself, mostly it would end up with “Dint you feel lonely?” I tell them as a matter of fact, that there is a stark difference between being lonely and enjoying solitude 🙂
I am the blessed to belong to the lot who enjoys their solitude and gains strength from it.
Solo Travel calls for total confidence in oneself, and total confidence that you are going to take care of YOU! You feel extremely responsible, your radar is bound to be at its best, it teaches you to be vigilant, you make sure to get the logistics right, you don’t leave any loose ends, you most definitely will plan the contingencies and become a meticulous planner!
It makes you smart, trust worthy, and makes you feel like you are in total control of how you go about your day, your itinerary for the entire trip and for all the choices you make.
We are really blessed to have all the help we need at the tip of our fingers really, there is information about the place, the mode of transport & the places to stay with ratings and feedback on the hotel websites.
I guess the first step would be to go to a place that you feel safe at, a place where you know the local language & in close proximity to your base camp (city you live) 🙂
The perks of travelling solo for me is the undivided attention I have for myself, for self introspection, meeting amazing fellow travelers, soaking in the culture of the place, getting a feel of freedom and the slight but rewarding strain of responsibility, staying out of harms way, taking precautions and getting back in one piece 😉
Solo Travel also helps you alter your itinerary as you please! You could end up staying at a place you loved for days at end. Ideally this may not be a plausible situation if your travel buddy has had enough of that place!
With Solo Travel there is No pressure. You could play it by the ear, and move on when you feel you are 0k to go on.
Some countries do not encourage their young women to venture out alone, the taboo is not just for the imminent danger but also because it’s not a social norm. Well – then again Taboos are meant to be broken right?!