Life is all a matter of timing; it’s a strange thought that everything happens for a reason. As if our destiny is controlled by an outer force, but do we like it that way? Does it mean that we have no decisions to make in the paths and journeys we take, that everything is already planned according to the way we were nurtured and the way our brain ticks. There is no point wondering ‘what if’, if there’s no way in turning time backwards and reliving our mistakes. Our past shapes our future but sometimes I wonder how much the things that happen are ‘karma’ or ‘fate’, these big words that occupy us and give us these maybe irrational superstitions. That all our wrong doings will come back to haunt us in one-way or another. Without a conscience and the emotions that cage our body we could live entirely freely and do whatever we want. But without these things we would be selfish robots, and isn’t happiness motored by others as well as our own achievements? These questions circle around in my mind but ultimately I know there will never be an answer to these philosophical wonderings. My mind constantly contradicts itself, in the decisions I need to make, in the things I have to do. Sometimes I think about what would happen if I dropped plans and waited for something to happen. But things don’t happen if you wait. You will become a lost soul amongst the millions of other sand grains trying to find, or trying to give up on their rightful place on earth.
Travelling solo can be a challenge but there are so many perks and advantages to embarking on a new journey alone. The key is not to be afraid and embrace the freedom. The challenges along the way will allow you as an individual to grow and learn more about the cultural surroundings as well as the people which inhabit the places you visit. Travelling alone gives you the freedom to make your own plans when you want and allow you to be completely spontaneous depending on what your in the mood for the moment you wake up!
I began my first travel trip alone when I was 18 years old, in India. Although encountering some tricky situations such as money loss, language barriers and illness, it is possible to learn from these encounters and judge situations more easily thereafter. The key to stay safe is to analyze situations and take a risk if by moral judgment the sincerity of what you are about to do seems adequate.
I have encountered many people during my travels who have become frustrated with their travel partner due to varying interests. The beauty about travelling alone is that you have a chance to be selfish in a positive way of making decisions to suit you. Yes, travelling alone can be lonely at times when you are in a remote area but being solo encourages you to make the most out of an experience and make the effort to get to know the locals as well as other travelers.
You will meet people in every hostel doing similar trips as you, which will allow philosophical conversations as well as advise on future places to visit. I previously travelled China for three and a half months. One week I spent commuting with a Dutch traveller, two of the weeks I was with a group of Italians. I never felt alone. When I needed company I spent long nights engaging in conversation with like-minded individuals from all over the world, many people of which I have kept in touch with. Whenever I wanted to be alone and independent, I could be by moving on to the next city, the next beach, the next remote area or countryside location. Having time to oneself as well as meeting so many inspiring people can be very refreshing.
Another plus to journeying solo is the sense of achievement. It can be a challenge finding the right bus route to go to the next location or taking long trips which exhaust. But ultimately you will feel a sense of freedom and accomplishment of having travelled from the north to the south of a country alone.
The key is to be organized; having personal documents safe and ready, prior checking which visas you will need, clothing according to the weather conditions, health and travel insurance as well as a first aid kit for the journey. A good guidebook is vital and the courage to adapt to situations and asses situations even if problematic.
Although I do not discourage travelling with someone, travelling alone can give you liberty, self-determination and will allow you to contemplate and experience the country of interest in full swing. I advise everybody to give it a go; everybody can do it with the right responsibility, positive mindset and outlook on life.
BRIDGES ARE SUCH STRANGE CREATURES, they take you from one place to another but you can feel so torn between the two places when you stand in the middle of its walkway. There are bridges into a new life when one bridge ends and you are ready to embark on a new one, a new journey. They conclude the gaps between your past and your future, they fill those difficult voids between decisions.But it is important to remember you will never walk across the same bridge in exactly the same way. Even if you make the wrong decisons, they are mistakes well learned from and will take you onto the next walkway, the next adventure, the next bridges.