Travelling alone may not be for everyone. But IMO, it’s something that should be tried at least once in anyone’s life. Being alone gave me space to learn many lessons that I wouldn’t have otherwise learnt if I was travelling with a party of friends.
Don’t be a tight arse
When I got to my first destination, living frugally was my priority. I had a carefully calculated daily budget to work with. But as I tried to stick to my budget I also found more areas I could save. At the height of ridiculousness, fruits and only fruits were the way to go for food. Unfortunately though, this became almost an obsession and soon I was pretty miserable. I was denying myself activities and other amazing things that would’ve contributed to the experience. It took me a whole two weeks to realise how foolishly frugal I had become. I wasn’t 100% enjoying the experience because I was worried about dollars and cents. No doubt budgets are important and handy but don’t ever let it get in the way of enjoying your travels.
The world is unique yet the same
Kind of like, same same but different. I love being in different cities and listening to different languages on the street but I am most fascinated by people. Us humans are inextricably bound by our values and principles. I encountered as much kindness as I did unkindness. Travelling alone, I did my best to connect with others and strangely, I was dismissed in places I expected to be welcomed. Instead, I felt most at home in a community of people from all over the world from different backgrounds all bound by shared values and interests.
Feeling lonely is okay… with a book
I felt it most when I was stuck in airports. Though, it’s okay. Eight hours in an airport goes by pretty quickly especially when you have a good book. Always have a good book (or rather, ebook) especially when you’re travelling alone. I indulged in several easy to read, fiction, rom-com novels. I ended up reading all of Liane Moriarty’s books. They were entertaining, made me LOL and didn’t hurt my brain after four chapters. No regrets.
Less is definitely more
If you read my other post on packing and repacking, you will know that I had a difficult time deciding on clothes I would need. While it seemed so important before, it paled in significance after two weeks on the road. It was such a realisation: I didn’t need so many clothes. Actually, I didn’t need so many clothes in my life. I had more than enough clothes (maybe too many) while I was travelling alone and after four months of it, I decided enough was enough. The first thing I did when I got home was give away clothes that was unnecessary in my life. I had a major wardrobe de-cluttering exercise. Proud to say that I’m still living in the same black, white and grey t-shirts but ask me again in 6 months time!