They warned her of this world, they told her that tricksters lurked around, they talked of evil, she walked out only to find how wrong they were.
When I went on my first solo trip, I was a little scared and a lot excited. I came back a lot wise and little more confident. This world is a beautiful place and full of kind souls. It’s time you go out and make it yours. When you go out alone, you are your rawest self. You get to know who you truly are, how you are stronger than you think you are.
Travelling in itself is a kind of meditation. You are out and free. You isolate yourself, peel off all pretense and be who you are.
Not long ago, I was the person who would plan umpteen number of hypothetical trips, get excited about it, and drop the idea later.
I’d write down places I’d like to see, prepare this long bucket list, but all to no use.
Fast forward to this good another day with the usual frustration about not putting enough effort, not being able to do what we should, et cetera. However, something happened. I grabbed my bag, put two T-shirts into it, a diary, a pair of socks, and yep I was out.
I was in no rush to return, no hurry to get back to finish the deadlines, to see to the pending task. I was out and free.
I could go to any place, do whatever I wished to. I could sit at the roadside sipping a cup of tea and pondering for hours, get up and head any direction and not bother to keep checking time.
I went to the bus stand, stared at the board displaying the buses which were to depart in a few hours. It took me a couple of seconds and I knew it. Dharamshala it was!
Long story short, I boarded the bus, reached there, met great people, saw every place you can name in Mcleodganj walking around ( Shiva Cafe, Bhagsu Fall, Bhagsu Temple, Dal Lake, St. John’s Church, Dalai Lama temple to name ), had Tibetan Butter Tea, went to this amazing place called Woeser’s Cafe, had this Tibetan dish called Laping.
Aaand, trekked Triund (2842 metres above sea level), slept in a tent, sitting by the fire, saw the moon wax and wane, borrowed warm clothes, saw the sun rise, and got down, walked around, and when I had taken the place enough in, I boarded a bus back to Delhi.
But, that would be another story, another answer where I could tell things in further detail. But, that’s not what the question is about, rather, it is about how does it feel to travel alone?
I felt liberated; liberated from my own self images.
You start seeing things differently.
You see how beautiful this world is. How trust is one of the strongest emotions in this world, and how comforting that emotion is. You do not lie while you travel (not even to yourself). You see possibilities.
When you return, you do not have answers to every question of yours, but you come back with a realization that it’s alright to have doubts and questions. And, sometimes, we should let confusion lead us.
You feel free. That’s the rawest answer I can give. You feel liberated; liberated from your own self images. Being on your own in a place where nobody knows you, lets you know a very raw, non-fabricated version of yours. Its beautiful to be alone and happy rather than being miserable in a group.
So, next time you want to go somewhere, pick your bag, get a ticket and leave. :)
“..And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.” - Into the Wild.