Solo Traveling: Why I’ve Never Traveled Alone
I love traveling. It is one of life’s simple treasures that I thoroughly enjoy and something I am bent on doing for the rest of my life.
It seems that in every different places I’ve been to, I bring with me beautiful memories akin to a prized heirloom. Traveling also helps to me recoup my sanity in the midst of all these palpable chaos and makes me well grounded on things that I’m truly grateful for.
As I am wistfully contemplating on my next trip for this year while browsing my photo albums of my past escapades in Facebook, I began to notice one common denominator:
I have never traveled to unfamiliar places alone.
I scoured enough reason for me to understand why this is so or if I should really care at all. It slightly bothered me that I’ve never took a stab at traveling without friends in tow.
I mean why not? What is wrong with traveling by yourself?
It is all too easy to get used to the familiar comfort of family and friends’ company. I can just text any one of them and some may go with me in a heartbeat.
But solo traveling is a different story.
It’s an unfamiliar terrain that I have not explored fully and one that I can’t elaborate without a little trepidation.
I am one of those folks who can’t throw away their inhibitions simply because being on the safe side of the fence is far better than treading on the unknown.
What if the bus I’m riding on suddenly breaks down leaving me stranded in the middle of nowhere? Am I prepared if I encounter a gangster on the street? Or won’t it look awkward to eat alone in a resto?
That and host of other worries are what’s stopping me from even trying. I realized my perception of how the world operates is as as skewed as how the media and the rest of the world wants to show it.
Reading up on real experiences from solo travelers’ blogs, these bad scenarios don’t happen 90% of the time, they say. And if they do happen, they’re an isolated case—a matter of wrong place, wrong time.
Of course, the dangers of being raped, getting injured in a vehicular accident, feeling sick eating a foreign food are REAL. Bad things can happen to anyone at any time at any place–even in your own backyard.
That’s why every seasoned solo traveler will advise you to take every precaution there is in the book and do your homework before setting foot on a different place.
Yes, fear can also be good. Fear is what keeps us aware of the present and has mobilized humanity to survival for many years. But I have been engulfed by fear too much to even appreciate how traveling can change me personally.
I sometimes felt a twinge of regret growing older but feeling like I’ve never really enjoyed my life as much as I should since I have to depend on other people to have a good time, most of the time. So now, I’m going to change all that. From now on,
I will find that courage to do solo traveling. I won’t let any travel plans get hampered should any of my travel companions bail out on me. When traveling with others, each one has to be patient enough to compromise and wait for each one to agree on an itinerary.
Sometimes, travel plans are ultimately canceled before it has even started. However, solo traveling can afford me the freedom to accomplish my travel goals in my own terms. I am the captain of my own ship.
I’m not going to wait for that perfect timing. There will never be enough perfect timing in this lifetime. In the Philippines alone, we are beset with more than 20 typhoons each year. Any day in the calendar can be a day of calamity or a momentous event. Or both.
I’m just sorely disappointed with myself that I didn’t travel to some exquisite places in the Visayas when I had the chance. Typhoon Yolanda beat me to it.
I’ll stop making excuses and just GO! I am so done with making excuses and procrastinating. I want to come around my fears and take a leap of faith.
I want to trust, to love and connect with the world the best way I can; to be genuinely free and and not be defined by people’s well-meaning but unfounded skepticism; to travel alone and become a better version of myself.
So there. I’ll stop blabbering for now and draft my own itinerary. We’ll see how this will work out for me.
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