Nervous butterflies fluttered in my stomach. A new place. A new life. For the next two months, London will be my home. My job is challenging, no doubt about it. With endless hours of coding before the same computer screen, only the wallpaper brings some solace. The wallpaper, a beautiful family picture reminds me of the dear ones back home. Like the synchronous symphony, the dog-eared pages of my old diary flips open due to a sudden whiff of the wind. This diary, a gift from my dad turned to those forgotten pages. In faded handwriting, 3 words are written: London, Amsterdam, Florida. That was my old checklist. The places I had traveled alone. Now, the list was longer. With a smile, I started adding more names and thinking back what traveling alone has taught me.
How To Be Independent
An individual grows up living a sheltered life. It was the same in my case. Hostel life was my first break to tasting freedom, yet somehow that protective grasp was there. I started traveling alone at my first job. The workload was unending and so was my thirst to succeed. Numerous projects took me to numerous places, and I became an independent person. From making all arrangements to researching about my new temporary home, I have done it all. I failed miserably the first few times. But I finally learned how to cope up with everything life threw at me. Maps, flights and other travel information, financial management and personal security, I became an expert at all.
Putting All Fears Aside
Traveling alone often brings a wave of nervousness that is difficult to fight initially. This fear actually comes due to lack of confidence. Many thoughts, mostly related to personal safety cross our minds and hence we consider many possible negative outcomes of traveling alone. None of it is true. Only traveling alone has taught me that our safety completely lies on our own discretion and decisions. Thus initially we must consult our elders before traveling, but with time we learn to recognize people and situations. My personal experience has taught me that fear is are part of those initial jitters. But with the experience, I have finally learned to put it aside and become confident.
Knowing New People
Traveling alone has given me a chance to communicate outside my social circle. Meeting new people and knowing about their lives and culture has an unexplainable charm. Often I have bonded with strangers while journeying from one place to another and some acquaintances were of a great help. Once you discover different places, you appreciate their cultural values and get to know the local people. Thus, traveling alone often becomes easier as you may gain much helpful information. Plus you never know, you may suddenly gain a friend for life.
Discovering Beauty Outside The Caged World
We are but a tiny part of this magnetos universe. And that is one of the lessons I have learned while traveling alone. We often tend to think that we have seen a lot of things. But only traveling alone will enable us to quietly observe what the world outside has to offer. Some places strangely beautiful, and some sunsets unforgettable will be etched in our minds only when we observe the nature around us in peace.
Humans often forget the importance of retrospection in their busy schedule. Only when we travel alone, our solitude gives in to the desire to retrospect. We learn to look at life with a lot of gratitude and we recognize ourselves. A lot is to be gained from retrospection including self-appreciation, confidence, and humility when accepting our faults. To be honest, traveling alone has helped me discover myself.