Travelling solo has its advantages; you make all the decisions, it’s easier to join other travellers and you quite often get special treatment from the locals… but this is where people get confused. Quite often what we see as an advantage for travelling alone often involves not being alone at all.
Human beings weren’t made to be solo beings; throughout history we have shown that we are far happier, stronger and safer in numbers. Sure, there are moments when we need our personal time… but generally not months or years.
Whilst on this crazy journey across the globe, I have rarely been alone, and the moments that I have, I have been quite happy writing away digesting my own thoughts, I have appreciated being myself completely, no false smiles, no forced chatter. I’ve had time to practise being mindful and feel grateful for my life.
But every so often a thought niggles its way into my mind; I see my friends, family and acquaintances get engaged, married, being promoted, buy houses and start families. And after eighteen months of spending time away from these possibilities, I have started to feel like an outsider, as though the doors and shutters are closing on me as I watch these beautiful ‘happy family/cultural norms” scenes.
People regularly tell me how they envy my lifestyle and it makes me smile because in all honesty unless you give travel some meaning, it becomes… meaningless. With time, you start forgetting what you did and where you were a month ago and that’s why writing has become important for me. It’s a way of documenting my personal growth whilst also creating some memoirs to fondly look back on. But in truth, I envy your lifestyle; waking up next to someone, having your children jump on you whilst you’re still in bed to wake you up, having people visit you, investing time in your family and taking pride in your home gives your life true meaning, a purpose. You’re needed, wanted, you have a role.
Locals often ask me why I’m travelling alone and if I am afraid. My answer is always the same “I like it and no, should I be?” to which they look at me intensely, look away and shrug… Maybe I should be afraid, maybe their concern isn’t the dangers of travel but that I’ll regret not having all the above. But surely I have time…
I guess what I have realised from this ongoing adventure is that being a part of something small and beautiful is far better than having a small part in everything.
So, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays- make it meaningful.