How does it feel to travel alone?
Scary at first . But then its exhilarating
- But as they say; once you step out of your comfort zone - that’s where all the magic happens
The feeling is much worse than the reality. I remember being 20 years old and catching a bus from Belgrade to Prishtina, Kosovo and talking to the ticket master:
‘What time is the bus for Prishtina arriving?’
‘It should be at 6 but I don’t know. You can wait and see’
‘What do you mean “I don’t know”…I don’t understand :(’
‘Well the bus is meant to come every day, but sometimes it comes every few days’
‘Why is that?’
‘Because no one wants to go to Kosovo.’
That WAS scary
But that’s about as bad as it will typically gets. And you move in this fashion:
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of being alone
- Fear you might get hurt
- Fear that no-one will know
But what reality shows you is that:
- The unknown brings adventure
- Being alone forces you to meet people; and so you’re not often long alone
- The only hurt inflicted upon you is that of your own making. Fear.
- I didn’t travel with a cell phone when away. You can
And then what does it bring:
ACCELERATED social learning
You talk to around 8 new people per day
Judgements are made very rapidly
You speak to around 2/3 different nationalities per day
Over a 1 month trip that’s:
240 new people. 75 different nationalities
Over 6 months that’s:
1440 new people. The same number of nationalities - maybe 5-10 more (less 20%-40% say to account for friends you make). That’s A LOT of people.
Skills you gain
Improvisation. Cultural learning. Chatting up girls/guys from different cultures. Sex with different guys/girls from different cultures. Self confidence. Learning another language. Experiencing different personality types. Learning from people. Self reliance (maps, travel, decisions, hygiene, health, diet).
Travel with a friend? Kiss goodbye to most of that.
And then when you come back to your home town you’ll be ‘Deepak/Jackie/Richard/Bla bla’ 2.0.
To get more of my thoughts on life head over here.
N.B I’ve lived in 8 countries. In 6 of them I moved there alone. I prefer alone. It’s always brilliant.
transcribed from how it feels to travel alone