If you struggle to understand people that want to travel the world alone, know that I struggle to comprehend people that don’t want to travel alone.
The biggest thing that holds us back from packing a bag, checking a passport and heading to the airport is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what could go wrong. Perhaps even, the fear of being alone. I still feel the latter, but the day I use that as an excuse to not travel is the day that part of my personality dies. And we all know how much we secretly enjoy a good travel story, like that one time red wine told me to go to Croatia.
As I embark on my trip across Canada (+1 week in Hawaii) I want you to really know what it is like to travel alone. I can’t represent the whole community of solo travellers out there, but I can tell you what it’s like from first hand experience. More than anything, if this inspires you to travel alone, waiting for an opportunity will only give you more time to ponder and query whether you can do it or not. Trust me, you can! Get on that plane and go.
After several weeks away from home, jumping on and off trains to seek new adventures in new places, constantly meeting new people you reach a point of tiredness and wonder how on Earth you managed to make it half the way across the world. So many emotions to deal with internally, it’s no wonder you can feel overwhelmed. Take some time to slow down and never forget there are people around you feeling the same; sharing how you feel will give you a huge sense of security when the other person says they feel the same too – you’re not going mad!
The best moments in travelling come after completing something arduous and being able to appreciate your efforts overlooking beautiful scenery. Often, but rare enough for true appreciation, I find myself at the apex of a steep climb observing some of the most beautiful landscapes that even the best of photography cannot capture in the moment. These moments I look out and find myself with aching cheeks as I realise I have been grinning to myself for the past 5 minutes.
The streets of New York, Vancouver and Honolulu all have one thing in common, which is the desolate amount of homeless people that sleep on the street. I am very much guilty of not handing a dollar to homeless people, but it amazed me how I was only truly able to truly empathize with people in these circumstances until I travelled to major cities outside of my home country. Perhaps it is because there are larger quantities, or maybe it is because travelling has opened my perspective and given me time to take in my surroundings.
Cycling at rapid speed down the world’s most dangerous road I took a daring glimpse around and recall saying out loud to myself, “I love my life. My life I awesome!” There have only been one or two more occasions that I have said this, but I really do know that if I died tomorrow I have made the most of every opportunity. I guess that’s what it, life, is about.
After all, we are only human. Sure I get those moments when I look to my side after doing something exhilarating and realise there’s no one to share that moment or memory with. To counter this, when I feel lonely I use it as an opportunity to realise how lucky I am to know that I have the best of family and friends that bring so much joy and happiness to my life back home. That joy doesn’t stop when I’m half the way around the world, it gives me something to look forward to on my return.