I had constantly been berated on my decision to travel by myself because “danger” may be involved. It dawned upon me that people simply want reassurance that it is indeed safe to travel by myself. Back in 2018, I realized that there were only two ways to go about it, either I provide more reassurance about my safety to them or I could simply convince them that their assumptions about the destination were incorrect and that it is safe in general.
I recalled my dad and me having a small chat about his relative staying in Singapore while his children are abroad. He mentioned that them being far away from each other, they as a family are not updated day to day basis on each other’s well-being. Hearing that, I just amicably shared that it will be a short trip to Mexico and joked that even if I am in Singapore, he is still not keen on what I do on a daily basis. He smiled over my sass and simply chided that I should not be bringing home a foreigner as my love interest. With that concluded, none of my older siblings mentioned and barred me from travelling because they knew that I would have gone on my solo trip eventually.
I have been planning my major solo vacation trip in 2022 since then because I truly enjoy travelling by myself, being self-reliant and disregarding what people may perceive of me. Throughout my 27 years of my life, I have had a constant travelling partner (my sisters) and we have gone on numerous trips but I did truly enjoy making decisions of my own and exploring new destinations as well. It is definitely not because I dislike them (but of course, the little hiccups trigger me), but primarily because I don’t want to wait around for someone to go to places with me or to negotiate what the meal of the day would be. Mainly the freedom to do what I want, when I want it and where I want it to be is the reasoning why I choose to travel alone.
This motivation factor will never be enough to conquer the butterflies in the stomach as you waved goodbye through the departure hall. It will always be daunting and forces me to step out of my comfort zone to ensure that I am always aware of my belongings and my surroundings, but it is certainly worth it. You will discover the subconscious reactions that you expressed in an awkward situation when meeting new people, nerve-wracking situations when you are waiting for the luggages and more. I learned more about myself through my trip alone through reflection as the break from my safety net allows me to evaluate where I am in life, spiritually and socially.
One of the things I learned about myself is that I can actually sleep 14 hours in a sitting without going to the toilet throughout the plane!
But what can I do by myself?
There’s a common concern by my female peers which was travelling on your own may be really boring without a companion. In actuality, with an imaginative mind, it’s quite the opposite.
Jumping on a solo trip away alone, it is a time for me to reconnect with myself and discover what I enjoy and hate. How I spend my time defines myself as a person, whether I am seeking outdoor activities like kayaking, sipping coffee at a corner of a town or by the beach. It’s all about getting to know more about who I am as an individual.
I have the choice of going with the flow or following to a strict itinerary. I have total control of my hours and activity and I may freely switch up plans without seeking approval.
Lastly, the reason why I chose to travel alone is simply because I am sure that with the solo travel experience, it will be the bar for any tough challenges that I will overcome. The confidence boost and the sense of achievement from travelling alone, I have been using the same mantra for any setbacks that I faced.
“How can you be crushed by a failure? You even went to Mexico by yourself to prove others wrong and came back in one piece. Try again!”
With that same boost of morale, I am driven to be fitter and plan an itinerary for travel to happen at the later end of the year.
Your profound sense of independence and hunger for new experiences will keep you, tracking for travel deals, leaving you willing to get out of your country once more!