Today, I’m excited to write about the first solo trip I ever took. Even though it’s been three weeks since I’ve returned, but there are so many things to share. So stay tuned for the upcoming blog post as I will tell you about the whole experience.
When it comes to travel, I always yearn for solo traveling. I wonder how it feels like to explore the cities by myself. Stepping into a new place to experience their cultures, history, people and the different sides of the world. Whether the touristy or non-touristy places, I’m curious about them. That’s why this year, I decided to take the opportunity and step out of my comfort zone. If I don’t do it now, it will act like procrastination that will end up nothing.
A Little Side Story
Before I booked my flight, I told my mom I wanted to go solo travel. And…she wasn’t happy with the idea at all. She concerned that I might get rob or taken hostage by a stranger. Her fears did get me terrified. But of course, I understand. Especially her daughter will be staying alone in another place without knowing anyone. It is intimidating.
But since I’ve made up my mind and told her my desires, she finally allowed me to go and pray for my safety instead. Funny thing when it comes to my dad, he hung up the phone and told me to never do it again. It was the first time he acted that way when usually he doesn’t bother much about our choices.
Anyway, here I wanted to share what solo travel taught me.
“…there ain’t no journey what don’t change you some.”
It’s not lonely at all.
Now let’s talk about loneliness. This is the typical question people would ask when someone goes traveling alone.”WHY?”. “It’s too lonely. With friends are better. You can have someone to talk to without being seen as a loner. You should bring your boyfriend along too.”
Maybe they are correct, but not for me. I’m perfectly fine being alone. Doing everything by myself, I had all the privilege to enjoy the moment. Going shopping, eating, sightseeing alone, I never once felt lonely besides having fun with my own companionship.
I guess since I fell in love with me time a long time ago, being alone is no biggie for me. That’s why I treasure everything about my solo travel. Rather than loneliness, it was more of learning to embrace the solitude with grace.
Though don’t get me wrong, I love to travel with others as much as I love to travel alone.
This is irrelevant, but I love the word solitude. It feels magical.
I’m free to make decisions.
The truth when it comes to making decisions, most of the time we need to consider our choices to be aligned with others. Especially with different interests, we have to adjust the time to follow our and their schedules to fit the itinerary. Since our life involves others, this is hard when it comes to travel with someone.
That’s when the perk of being alone shines. I can take the pressure off and choose to go anywhere. I don’t need to worry about anyone since I’m responsible for all of my decisions.
Also, as a person who prefers to travel without the hustle of must go to a place with a fixed schedule, I’m allowed to be selfish with my time without any restrictions. I can go anywhere according to my energy at that moment.
Being shy is only a waste of time.
Being in a big city is no doubt confusing for a village girl like me. I wasn’t mentally prepared to face the challenge of getting lost in an unknown place. Though, it’s hard to avoid these situations. And despite how much google map helps, there will still be a possibility of going in the wrong direction. Like me.
To tell you the truth, I’m quite shy when it comes to asking strangers for directions. I know to seek help from someone mean shortcut, but the people’s eyes frightened me.
I did think about skipping the question and look for the places myself. But I realize it wasted so much time. It even takes hours to find one destination. In the end, I chose to ask for a stranger’s help. It was indeed intimidating, but it saves a lot of my time. And that really pushes my braveness into another level.
There’s a lot of nice people willing to help and I’m happy to discover that too.
Facing fear is not as bad as it seems.
Since a long time ago, I’m grateful to always be surrounded by supports from my family. I can rely on them to defend my view when I’m feeling weak. So this time was a huge leap for me. During my travel, I’ve decided to overcome one of my biggest fear which is taking the train alone. Since I had trauma with losing my tickets all the time, I’m timid when it comes to train.
But I’m happy to tell you that I accomplished my goal and took a lot of train rides. I even manage to take transit to another station without getting lost even once. It was confusing at first, but the researched pays off. Even though it’s might be easy for some people, but this is a great achievement for me. I realize we are capable of doing more things but only the mind stops the action. Fear is just a gap to feel capable.
I relied more on myself.
For a long time, I depend too much on others. I rarely believe in myself whether it’s about my opinions or decisions. That’s why I chose to go on a solo journey. To strongly follow my intuition and force myself to believe in the possibilities of success with my own choices.
In my recent trip, I really learned to rely on myself. From safety, taking trains, finding directions, and as simple as buying things.
Some part was indeed challenging, but I’m happy to do everything by myself. Just like the achievement I mentioned above.
I know the feeling of nervous when solo travel means doing everything by yourself. But it’s the reason to feel capable without being reliant on someone.
“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”
No need to worry about judger.
One person told me, “I don’t like eating alone because everyone looks at me like a crazy person. It’s pathetic and weird when I have no one to talk to.” Honestly, I don’t think it’s wrong to have that mindset since each person has their thoughts about how to enjoy life. I understand some people do think a person eating and sightseeing alone is rather pitiful. But I don’t care to eat in a crowd full of couples. I also don’t care to walk in a park only with my camera.
I’m in a new place so no one knows me. I realize a lot of people don’t bother about me. Instead, they were occupied by their own company. If I put the thought of someone is judging me, I won’t be able to soak up the environment.
You know, doubt is only temporary.
Doubt has been my biggest weakness to solve. When I booked my flight, I had doubts about not be able to do it alone. I doubt that I will not face any problems. When I wanted to try new things, I was terrified about the worst possibility that something might go wrong. I doubt myself, thinking that it won’t worth my time.
But when I was there alone trying to figure out my plan, I didn’t realize the doubts that were once in front of my head is no longer there. I was so much into feeling grateful instead. It’s amazing when the situations push me to stop the negativity yet focus on the positivity.
Also, it’s normal to feel the doubts in the beginning. But if it’s still playing in your head, know that it’s gonna be fine and it’s only temporary.
My best intakes from solo traveling are to feel comfortable with myself. It shows my capabilities. I felt more responsible and independent in all circumstances. Being in a completely different city, I really learn to embrace myself and fully dependent on my decisions.
I can have leisure time for slow travel and linger in one place for as long as I wanted. It allows me to find what suits me best. I don’t need to bother about offending anyone or feel guilty for my choices. I can have an honest opinion about my likes or dislikes. It’s also okay to be whoever I want even pretending like a hardcore tourist anytime.
There’s indeed some part where I missed my family when it comes to eating good food. I wish them to taste the food I had.
But overall, it was the best choice I’ve ever made. I had a pleasant adventure with many challenges to learn. The emotions are undefinable until you experience them. Maybe some would love traveling alone, while others will hate the ideas. But it’s worth to try, especially to explore and learn more about your real interest. It taught me more than I could’ve imagined.
“Life is full of endless possibilities. Explore your world.” ―