You were the fastest among millions to travel when it was your time to be born. You didn’t have to wait for another to reach your destination to make the maximum impact and look, here you are now. Not everything in life is best enjoyed in someone’s company, there are things which are enjoyed incomparably, alone. No cookies for guessing, travelling is one such thing that very few people truly know can be enjoyed in unimaginable ways, alone. Not lonely, mind you, alone. That’s what solo travel is all about. Make the most of a moment exactly the way you want to make out of it, make friends with exactly who you want to with, make the mistakes you always wanted to, just for the sake of it, to learn how it felt like – that’s what solo travels are for. But truth be spoken, not everyone is cut out for enjoying one’s own company while travelling and there’s absolutely no harm in that, but yes, you’ve to give in to the fact that you would still, somewhat secretly, crave for the thrill that solo travels have to offer. Read on to find out if you have seen, like the old masters did, the signs in yourself, of becoming the next great solo traveller.
You like to challenge yourself every day, each moment
There is nothing more challenging as travelling all by yourself. Facing your fears head on and challenging yourself in every little thing you do. Solo travellers do that just perfectly with every place they travel. Every time they throw themselves in a place where 1000 strange faces speak 1000 different language and they face it with that broad smile, embracing the world just as it is. They do not fear getting stranded in the middle of nowhere at midnight, they do not fear of getting served with strange creatures on their plates, neither they doubt the good Samaritan who opens his/her doors and offers them a free meal and a bed to sleep. All because you have challenged the conventional norms and have head out to explore the world all by yourself.
You define spontaneity
You know that people have actually been scared when you just asked them around dinnertime to skip the meal and go on a long drive to eat out. Or when you walked just into your boss’s cabin and told him with a straight face that you would take a break for a week because you just felt like going on a trip and that’s it. You know there’s this thing inside you that you cannot define, cannot explain, that drives you and your actions and doesn’t make you worried at all about the consequences. You could easily take a detour on a longer road just because you wanted it and wouldn’t like anybody to dissuade you with all the mundane reasons that practicality has to offer. Just is your word. Just defines you.
You love to click more than being clicked
Who doesn’t love to be clicked in front of the Taj or the Eiffel or on the white steps overlooking the crystal blue water of the Pangong? You. ‘Coz you love to capture the stories you want to show the world, not bore them with a little less than a million selfies or pose-like-a-mannequin photos from wherever you travel. You love to spend time ideating how to get that perfect shot rather than dictating or deciding poses for yourself or someone else to get one of those tacky photos that nobody bothers to see a second time. And you absolutely detest people nagging to take their pic every other minute on a journey!
You love befriending strangers in strange places.
You love meeting new people, strike a conversation with a stranger in the middle of nowhere, their stories mesmerise you and make you realise how little you know about life. Every traveller you meet becomes a company in your journey. You do not need friends and family just for company everywhere you go.
You love man no less, but nature more.
Although this might sound contrasting to the point above, but it might happen that you prefer solitude over company. You prefer peace over the chatters. You love your own company and silence the most above everything else. The legendary romantic poet Lord Byron once penned, that perfectly defines the likes of a solo traveller:
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more”
For you Experiences Matter, Things Don’t.
Every time someone asks you about that last trip to Ladakh, your face beams up with joy to tell the stories all over again. You do not remember the moment you chose the trip over whether to buy that new phone that you had finalized to buy; it was too important to remember. Things don’t matter to you unless they matter more than experiences do coz you truly believe that you die rich with your experiences, not with your things.
A book and a cup of ginger lemon honey tea are all you need to pass the day.
You get lost in words and the characters from a book start talking to you in no time as you take sips at the somewhat yellowish, somewhat brownish magic that’s popularly known as ginger lemon honey tea. You feel the silence around only when you’ve put the book down, wondering where all the conversations have suddenly vanished. You realize you haven’t had these deep conversations in a long time.
You have a better night’s sleep in a hostel or a tent pitched upon the mountains.
We all love a good night’s sleep, but you know you have a better night’s sleep on a hostel bed or when you pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere. Discomfort does not bother you as long as all these leads you to experience something that all comforts of the world cannot buy.
Keep your nose out of my business! I make my own decisions and want no intruders.
Yes absolutely! I dislike people poking their nose in other people’s business! And that includes people commenting and dictating my travel plans and my style of travelling as well. Hence, like many I prefer to travel all by myself sometimes taking my own sweet time to explore a place, a cuisine, speaking for endless hours with a stranger or making last minute changes to a well-planned itinerary, I love my freedom to be, and traveling as my hear pleases
You cannot wait to share your day with your diary.
You love solitude but words run a riot inside you. You feel restless until they get a shape, a place in your dear diary that silently and carefully takes record of all of that. You feel like you’re talking to your best pal when you are busy writing about the amazing people you met, the food you had for the first time, the dance that you tried with the locals, the fleeting glances that you caught of strangers as if they had known you from the past. You love the audience that your diary so warmly provides and do not ever feel like your words were lost bouncing off the four walls around you.
So what is your take on travelling solo?
This piece by me was first published on: https://www.seenshot.in/single-post/Solo-Traveller