There’s nothing I can recommend to one more than to travel solo.
“You’re travelling… ALONE?” Their eyes widen when I tell them. Maybe even a reflection of dissapproving doubt that would have almost wind me in the chest if I wasn’t confident that it wasn’t a good idea. But I was, so no damage was done.
And here I am, almost 3 months into my trip, typing this on the Croatian island of Pag at a camp I’ve been doing a work exchange for the past week. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I live in the moment so I don’t think about it too much. Living in the moment of travelling involves being in a motion of new cultures, experiences and people at constant. Living in the moment of travelling solo is this same motion, but alone- which really means a whole different experience altogether. This is an introspective journey where having your own shadow for company sheds a new light on everyday encounters. Because only YOU are living in this story- a self navigation of memories where you are the silent narrator. From city to city I trek (or take the bus), walking these paths alone but often stumbling upon the roots of new friends, because although alone, you will find people everywhere you go. Or they will find you- perhaps even more so when solo.
I am currently journeying the paths around Europe and can’t help but feel as if some orb of positive light is leading me. I mean, so far everything has just fallen into place. It doesn’t seem real, it seems magic. But magic is real. Everyday is a new chapter with new pages being flipped at an incessant rate because time goes by so, so fast. New country, new language, new people, repeat. Except the trip hardly feels repetitive because everything is just so new and fresh. Maybe just the introductions. The memorized “My name’s Maya, I’m from Canada and I’m backpacking around Europe! Where are you from?” And answering to the default “How are long have you been travelling?” “Where have you been?” and “Where are you going’s sometimes make me feel like I’m a broken record player at a press conference.
The itinerary so far: London, England- Edinburgh, Scotland- Frankfurt, Germany- Berlin- Prague, Czech Republic- Krakow, Poland- Budapest, Hungary- Ljubiana, Slovenia- Novalja, Croatia
Walking around the city from dusk til dawn/dancing until my feet are too sore/ passing around bottles of wine under the bridge overlooking the glittering water/ cycling around the countryside of abundant daisies/ hitching a boat/ stuffing yourself with fresh seafood right by the sea//// These are only some of the magic moments that occur during my spontaneous travel. You feel a laughing bliss, these times of adventure put you in a state of pure euphoria.
Of course there are always highs and lows. Independence includes symptoms of loneliness, overthinking, fatigue from not having other energy around to keep you going, and that toxic voice in your head stripping you of your confidence and telling yourself you can’t do it. You are an emotional rollercoaster, very conscious of your insecurities and anxieties because sometimes no one is there to distract you. But I think the melancholy makes the good times great and the waves of sadness brings better waves, you can see them faintly in the distance and you’re just waiting for them to splash you. And when they do, you are rejuvinated and refreshed, with a desire to continue travelling forever.
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion” -Albert Camus