It was a month ago that I was watching Eat Pray Love on repeat. The sense of boredom and realization of not having used the best of what I had was killing me inside every day. Having strict parents and an unpredictable college routine, I was bound to the vicious cycle of the same old drama. I had to do something to get out of it.
It is when Elizabeth, the protagonist of the novel says, "I think I deserve something beautiful”, that motivated me to pack my bags for a solo travel.
In all honesty! Place didn’t matter, I just wanted to buy myself a new adventure. So I participated in a conference-cum-competition that was being held in Bangkok, Thailand from November 3 to 6. I extended my trip for five days and travelled solo. My parents didn’t deny of the idea, rather, they asked me to give it a shot. In the conference, I was awarded as the best delegate and the trip was unimaginably amazing!
I travelled alone to Thailand. I Learned, Loved and Wished with every step I took in the trip. It was undeniably surreal and s/heroic for me! As I boarded a flight back to home, I knew the tale had ended. But the memories I had collected hadn't. So I took a deep breath, looked around, closed my eyes for a while and recollected the memories I had made. There was an important lesson from the trip: For at least once in their lifetime, everyone should travel solo!
Here are six important points on why everyone should travel solo at least once in their lives from a noobie!
Self- discovery – We are so consumed with our everyday lives that we do not truly know who we are and what we really want. The ‘I’ in me and you comes out to search for it every now and then. Our self-discovery is marred by our priorities and the walls that we've built around ourselves. The best way to ponder upon what you truly want is a solo trip to some place where you get enough time to spend with yourselves and know yourselves more!
Ever feel like you limit yourselves? – People I met during my trip were amazing! I don't know how to swim but the best decision I made in the trip was doing scuba diving. Then, there were amazing stories -- tempting you, teasing you to break the walls around you. I met a real life James Bond, an amazing South African scientist who got into a fight at a bar for trying to woo a guy, a Moroccan guy who travels, at least, a country every year to find his soul mate, a beautiful Russian girl who couldn’t communicate well in English, but pondered about her journeys with me swinging on the beach, an Italian chef who bought me food, a kind Thai girl who gave me free rides, a very cute American guy who kept questioning the morality of relationships.
In your solo trip, you are the s/hero of your story. The story starts and ends with you and the choices you make. The story goes on!
You will feel alive! – Tired of every day work to home monotony? A solo trip will give you a much needed break. When you are travelling alone, there is a natural tendency to get conscious. As much as you enjoy living your stories, you will feel alive and wish to go back again when you narrate your tales. The consciousness of being alone makes it more prone, but the fact of letting go of yourself to get the most out of the world in your journey will make you feel alive!
Sense of a boosted confidence – You have travelled the entire trip alone. The sense of you arranging and doing everything on your own is gutsy and a mark of a confidence. Embarking on a solo trip and having stories to tell from the trip is a big deal! Congratulations on the rebirth of your boosted confident self because you can do anything, if you can travel miles apart from your home and family alone!
You will learn what the four walls of classroom couldn’t teach- When I had to interact with people in gestures and sign languages in Thailand, I questioned the efforts I made on all the English classes I took as a child. As of now, I’ve never been an initiator in any sort of friendship or relationship, call it prudence or lack of interest, but solo trip made me approach people. Believe it or not, I bargained a drink of 1500 baht to 300 baht! Guess what! Bargaining is an art if you do it at the right place! I wish schools, parents and companions taught or shared experiences like these so that we could learn from it. But, life and survival skills are only learnt by experience that comes when things fall down on your shoe.
Breaking barriers– I know as dreamy as it sounds, its hard to act on the idea of solo travel. But think of it as a detour to the never-ending circle you're making since years. Know that you will break the barrier to actually prove yourself worth to your self, if nothing else. And in due course, don’t forget to tighten the seatbelt, yet. Let go of yourself, there, where, everyone is new and ultimately has something to offer. And remember that while you are alone, you're surrounded with everyone who has something or the other to offer! By the end of my rejuvenating journey, I realized that there is much more life on earth than eating, praying and loving. While travelling, I met lot of solo travelers like me and it was wonderful to talk my heart out to them.
After Thailand, I've found my next solo trip -- To Khalinga, Philippines to get a tattoo from one of the world's oldest tattoo artist who tattoos tribal patterns that are considered as mark of good luck in one's life.