I got a call the other day from a friend who was eager to travel alone but was very apprehensive as he had never travelled alone for an extended period anywhere.
It just got me thinking about how I too had serious doubts about myself when I set out on my first trip alone. However after the initial reservations started fading away, I actually started enjoying each and every aspect of my travels!
Travelling for work or business, visiting family or for a specific purpose is quite different from picking your backpack and heading out the door for the sake of just exploring, without a set agenda or a definite plan. As daunting as it seems, it does feel even more so when you plan on doing this alone and especially if you are a female.
But every step away from home only gets you closer to your inner self, irrespective in which direction of the compass you are headed.
Here is my list of top 5 positive outcomes of backpacking alone:
1) You don’t have to think too far ahead. Your plans do not affect anyone but youself. You miss a bus, catch the next one. You are a little under the weather, don’t go sightseeing that day. You feel the urge to change your itinerary, go right ahead!!
You can sing only what you are. You can paint only what you are. You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life – Dale Carnegie
2) Locals are more comfortable approaching a solo traveller that if you were a couple or in a group. I have had random peolpe coming up and having random conversations, some even inviting me to their homes for a cuppa chai or a traditional meal.
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign – Robert Louis Stevenson
3) You connect with yourself. You dig deeper to find resources for working your way around challenges. You grow exponentially as a person.
We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be – May Sarton
4) You start to trust your instincts. Self-doubt, failure to make decisions and procrastination – All these negative emotions start fading away every mile you travel further away from home!
Follow your genius closely enough, and it will not fail to show you a fresh prospect every hour — Henry David Thoreau
5) You will come back home a changed person. You will have a greater respect for people and their view points, you will be more composed and resourceful when facing your day to day challenges and you will find that things that would have scared you prior your trip seem quite manegable now!!
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page – Saint Augustine
But, hey don’t take my word for it….Go try it out yourself!!
To travel is to take a journey into yourself – Danny Kaye