THINGS I LEARNT ON MY FIRST SOLO TRIP!
Tell me one person who doesn’t love traveling? Okay, there can be a few exceptions. Overconfidence isn’t a good thing after all. Let’s talk about the ones who love traveling. ME! ME! ME! Honestly traveling is the only thing I have consistently and passionately loved since childhood. Books and new travel destinations are what I looked forward to when I was a kid. Traveling solo never really crossed my mind until 2016.
Not all who wander are lost. ~J.R.R Tolkien.
In 2016, I was in the final semester of my post-graduation when I decided to travel solo to Goa, I was studying international business then, but wanted to be a writer and write about the destinations I’ve been to, the kind people I met through traveling in small villages about the food I ate, I would daydream of travel, and always thought I didn’t fit in the box, it took me a while to understand we’re not meant to fit in, it’s okay to stand out, it’s absolutely fine to do something everyone isn’t doing, what’s important is we follow our passion no matter how irrelevant it looks to others, and do what makes us happy. We may find our calling sooner or later, age is just a number we fool ourselves into thinking something isn’t achievable after a certain age, our age doesn’t matter, what matters is how happy it makes us and the efforts we take to achieve our goals, at 16 or 60 age is just a number and our dreams and passions never really expire. So, I packed my bags to be by the beach, watch the most beautiful sunsets, meet the most wonderful people and eat my favorite food!
So, asking for permission regarding this trip wasn’t a cakewalk, as I had never even lived alone in a hostel before, I had taken a few short flight journeys alone, but I don’t think they count as traveling solo. My wonderful family tried to understand my passion, they had their questions and I tried to answer them as nicely as I could. Family takes time, but once they know you’re really passionate about something they try not to say no, and I’m glad they gave me the green signal for this trip without whopping me, and that is how my journey finally started.
From almost missing my flight, driving on the wrong route for miles, to meeting the kindest people, such wonderful memories. There comes a time in life when you feel it’s now or never and my solo travel to Goa was one such realization, of learning, unlearning, and being comfortable with myself. Today, when I look back all I can see is how far I have come from being the girl who was confused about whether to travel solo or not, to the girl who is now curious to see places, try new cuisines and meet people belonging to different cultures. Traveling solo to Goa was just the beginning of the countless trips I was going to take in the future.
During this trip, I wanted to challenge myself to be alone, love my own company, not regret taking this trip and most importantly come back with lovely memories, and I’m glad to tell you all I ticked every single thing off the list.
Now you may ask, weren’t you scared, well I was very scared, I almost puked on the first night alone and wanted to rush back on the next flight home to my comfort zone, but I stayed back and let me tell you those four days of my life were the best days of my life, my mom asked me what did you gain after this trip, well I told her the list of things that I gained emotionally, what surprised her is when I told her about the things I lost, the fear of being alone all by myself in a different city, I learned to appreciate my own company and realized the world is as good as we are.
“sometimes solitude is one of the most beautiful things on earth “~Charles Bukowski.
Why take a solo trip is the question people ask? what is it that you can’t do with a group that gives you the freedom when you’re alone. Well for the starters, we all need to cut the judgments related to solo travel or traveling in general. Travel where you want, with whom you please, travel with a hundred people, a dozen women for all women’s trip or ALONE. Its 2020 guys, live and let live.
Here is a list of things TRAVELING SOLO TAUGHT ME,
- Life begins where comfort zones end – Comfort zone, oh sounds so comfortable, my home, my workplace, my family, my friends, familiar surroundings, all the people I know, pop pop! I had to burst my bubble and come out of it, be independent for a few days see what the outside world really feels like, travel by local transport and see how far I can go without depending on someone to do all the planning, we all know comfort zones don’t allow you to grow, a routine is lethal, so try new things, find new hobbies, read new stuff, go to some random cafes, I got to learn so much about myself, it’s funny all our life we are with ourselves yet we would know five random things someone likes yet won’t know how we like our eggs(scrambled, boiled, poached, how do you like your eggs? ) or won’t spend an extra hour alone to actually taste the coffee we gulp down without really enjoying it. Leave your comfort zone and love yourself, the first and most important thing I learned.
- Traveling solo is not boring – Family picnics, bachelorettes, vacation with friends, everything is cool, but once in a while, we all need to break our routine and go someplace alone, sit by ourselves. coffee in one hand, book in another, soaking in the sun on a warm afternoon by the beach. Appreciate your existence, smile for no reason, enjoy every minute, trust me, I didn’t force myself to do anything, I just let myself sway with the flow. Most of the times the monsters are in our head, we must break free, how will you know what’s behind the boundary if you don’t go ahead and see it for yourself? Witness travel first hand, it’s beautiful. Traveling solo isn’t boring unless you consider yourself a boring person.
- People are kinder than you think– sometimes we find kindness in the most random places, during my entire journey and stay at Goa, all four days I spent exploring it, I met the most amazing people, right from the Airport Security, Ground staff, staff where I was staying, Goa Police at check posts giving directions when I was lost, the fellow travelers and the ever amazing local people of Goa, I was so touched and so grateful, these people proved me wrong, yes the world is not just a state in India but we get back the kindness we put in the universe be kind and kindness is what you will get in return. Kindness is like a boomerang, throw it in any direction, and bang it comes back to you. The vibe you put in the universe finds its way back to you.
- Face your fears, it’s okay to be scared– Before 2016, never in my wildest dreams I imagined I would travel solo someday, what was I scared of, of being in a different city or being alone with myself most of the time, it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to not win at everything, but it’s not okay if you don’t even try. Many times we want to do so many things but the fear of failure stops us from being the best version of our self, punch fear in the teeth and just go for it. It’s funny every time I try something new, before doing it I feel like it’s the most impossible task, I avoid indulging in something new, whereas after doing it I realize the limitations are all in my head. Dreams are good, cozy, fluffy like pancakes, but making your dreams come true is like having pancakes with Nutella, everything just tastes much better (sounds weird, but give it a thought).
- Be responsible travel– okay so the most crucial thing I learned is, be a responsible traveler, when I travel I should have a positive impact on the people and place around me, As a traveler it’s my responsibility to not litter, to follow the rules of historical and religious places I’m visiting, to appreciate and promote local businesses, and most importantly, we must get rid of the attitude that I’m paying so I can do anything. No, we can’t, we should be responsible for the surroundings, for the property we stay at, for the places we visit, leave a place or person better than you found it, this should always be your attitude. Spread the kindest of vibes.
My first solo travel was an experiment to see how well I can perform in situations where I’m solely responsible for myself, to see my limits, to see how much I appreciate being with myself, how badly I want to live the dream I saw while pursuing a career that didn’t interest me, and here I am. Also, when you want something it’s also important you value it, let it be anything. I value what I do now, I value my journey and I want each day to be filled with warm memories and kindness. Writing and Traveling are my goals and I will live each day to achieve them, the purpose is to enjoy the journey, the destination will definitely be worth it at the end. SO, guys, I’m The Brown Wildflower who is consistently traveling since 2016, I studied creative writing along with my travels, I’m a Freelance Writer and now, here I’m presenting my day to day lifestyle and Travel journey with you. Let the vibe be the best, coffee strongest, and our souls kindest. Do let me know your travel stories, when did you take your first solo trip, and what did you learn?