I have been traveling in groups until now. Primary purpose of traveling was usually photography. But this was the first time I planned to go out on my own. I recently completed my first solo trip to Varanasi, India. So I am going to share my first experience as a solo traveler. At first, it was a little scary to plan alone. A lot of things came to mind; what if I get into any trouble, what if I feel bored, what if it fails? But I was fed up of making plans with groups, last minute cancellation of plans, changes in itinerary. Decisions are more collaborative, you share the responsibilities. You’ll do this, I’ll do that. If anything goes wrong, somebody always got your back. This time, there was a lot more to it than just photography or even the place.
There are times in everybody’s life where the person struggles with finding significance to his life. A lot of questions starts confusing the mind. Such thing happens when you don’t want to be bound by limits of human life. You don’t want to live life in the way most of the people around are living, that is the time you start searching for answers from different sources especially books. But nothing really gives you the answers, because you want to figure out answers to your own relevance. A similar thing was happening with me from the last couple of months, where I was feeling restless all the time. The monotony of the life has begun to bug me slowly.
It is about discovering who you are when nobody is looking.
I understand, more you travel, more clarity you get with your life with the experiences of traveling. So to break the monotony of the life, I planned to travel. I was not in a mood to convince anybody else to go out with me. Moreover, I was interested in trying something new, not the usual traveling, so I thought, let’s travel solo. As a solo traveler, being totally responsible for yourself, it’s inevitable that you will discover how capable you are.
Without the presence of family and friends who expect you to act in a certain way, you can be yourself more than what you are at any other time. In other words, it is about discovering who you are when nobody is looking at you.
The experience was just awesome. More than anything else, I won’t be wrong if I call this a self-realization kind of experience. Traveling alone was not about the loneliness, it was more about finding out how good you are with your own company. I didn’t choose to stay in a hotel. There was one hostel I found in Varanasi, a place called Zostel. I stayed there for three days. It was my first experience in a hostel. Never knew how it would be, but honestly, if you are not looking for a luxurious trip, a hostel is the best way to experience things. You get to meet a lot of new people there.
It was a welcoming experience when I stepped in the hostel. Quite different. In just a few hours, I started getting to know people. And then, we had long conversations on different topics all night long. Conversations full of laughter and mindfulness. In those conversations, eventually, there are answers hidden to your questions. Sometimes, we call those as experiences as well. The second thing, you start realizing things you are good at or the things you lack at. You’ll start realising how you stand out in the world. After all, that is the beauty of meeting new people from different cultures and countries.
Then comes exploring the place/city alone. When you travel with a group of friends, the agenda of the group gets more priority than your own. But when you are a solo traveler, even if you make new friends, your personal agenda is still a priority. Even with those friends, you are still independent. So here, choose to explore the place alone, but it also feels nice if you explore some part of the place along with the new friends as well. Exploring the place alone will result in you talking to local guys more deeply when you connect with them, you’ll realize how many misconceptions you had about other cultures. So there is a lot of scope to understand how things work in different places.
In a nutshell…
For me, it was a lovely experience. I can’t wait to travel solo again soon.
I’d say, to those who never traveled alone, They should give it a chance. You never know what you will find out about yourself and reveal the hidden self-confidence unintentionally. You never know what beautiful experiences you’ll take back. However, you start getting answers to the questions you struggle with. So there are hundreds of opportunities. This is something which can get you what you are looking for.
Moreover, you’ll have at least one more life story to share with your children 😉
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