Traveling solo is almost always a wild ride.
Actually, there are few things in life that will impact me as much as traveling will. Like, hitchhiking across Europe. Or, living with Bedouins in southern Morocco. Crossing the Israel-West Bank border without a passport. Taking a 40h train journey across Turkey. Swimming in the Europe’s second-longest river, the Danube. Scuba diving in the Read Sea and floating in the Dead Sea. Climbing alone the Dolomites Mountains in Italy. Improving my Spanish with locals, while swimming in sangria. Dealing with scams, finding my way around the town, bargaining with my taxi driver. Being sick. Lost. Patient. Listening to people. Finding someone I love. Getting dumped. Start to travel solo again.
I believe that everyone should give him or herself a favor: travel solo at least once. You learn a lot about yourself doing so. By dealing with everything by myself, I had to find enough strength to be able to depend on myself, and trust my instincts. No one is there holding my hand, I am responsible for everything I do, and in the end I try to enjoy the experience as much as I can.
There’s nothing particularly brave or novel about traveling on your own. It’s just not for everyone. Sharing a moment with strangers is much different than sharing it with people you already know, or worse, people you really want. Again, you have to make all your own choices, and that’s harder than it sounds. You may be forced to leave the bed at 03:00 in the morning, face a heavy storm, and just leave, alone on a plane and wet like a dolphin.
Of course, traveling with a friend always seems like an amazing idea – shared experiences, someone to take photos of me so I don’t have to try and do non-selfie selfies, and even someone who can help carrying my camera. 🙂 I’m a storyteller, therefore I want to share my stories, and create new ones. It’s cool to stay in a hotel with a spectacular view, somewhere on a top level. Enjoying it with the person you want might be even cooler.
But even so, I’ve traveled alone almost all my life.
So how I deal with it?
Well, we all start off in the same boat in a foreign country without any friends, looking for people to spend time with.
I learned how to appreciate little things and be in the present moment. Travel is not just something I do – it’s a way of life. I can still find sand inside my camera. I often hear it when I rotate the lens. I have no idea where it comes from, The Mediterranean or North Sea, desert or just some dusty cities, but it always reminds me one thing:
– Travel stories are great. Photos too. But solo travel remains a wild ride, a ride that I’ll continue to take. The most important thing for me is to try and keep myself as fresh as the countries I am visiting.
So what’s yours? 🙂