Why ask Why? Just be ……

 The question I get most often is: “Why would you even think of traveling alone?” …. It’s an interesting question and one that I hadn’t actually thought about until someone expected an answer out of me. Honestly, it usually doesn’t occur to me to ask anyone to go with me because 99% of the time that I have asked someone to go, there is always a reason/excuse for them not being able to go whether it be time, money, they don’t feel the destination is a safe place to visit, etc. I just know that I want to travel even if it is to destinations that I do not speak the language, or I don’t have a lot of money….. I can’t sit around waiting on everyone else. I need to do what I can while I can.I enjoy the freedom of traveling alone, without a plan….I can do what I want and experience new people, new places, new foods, new cultures. Sometimes people come with me, sometimes they don’t. Both can be good. Sometimes it can be boring, sometimes there are too many options. There are rare moments that you meet someone who is on the same page as you and you feel like you’ve lived a lifetime together. Sometimes, you find a soul mate and it doesn’t matter if you never see them again, the experiences that you shared together are unforgettable. I’ve found myself in wonderful and unexpected company.Then there are those moments alone….. Skipping stones into the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Italy listening to the waves crash, or being stung by an unknown insect in the jungle and wondering if I was allergic and thinking to myself “if I die out here no one would ever know what had happened to me because I never told anyone that I was setting off hiking today.” Or getting into town and realizing all I want is to sit down with a cold popsicle to cool down and write in my journal! Laughing to myself as I reminisced, ignoring everyone else around me. Sleeping on the sidewalk thinking “I should’ve packed a small tent”, walking barefoot in the rain staring at open tombs with animals scavenging around them, thinking “I’m probably sloshing around in the ashes of dead people right now… I wonder if I could catch some kind of disease from this.”

One of the things I appreciate about traveling is the immediacy in which decisions and consequences play out. Also, the fact that these happen among strangers who don’t have any responsibility towards each other. What if I follow a stranger to the top of the viewpoint in Koh Phang Na, Thailand? Or hop on the back of someone’s motorcycle just to feel the wind blow through my hair, or twirl fire on the beach because it makes me feel free. What if I leave this town just because I don’t like the feel of it after having been here for 5 minutes? What if I create a completely new identity? No expectations, no apologies, no shame…

So why do I travel alone? Because it makes me feel alive and vulnerable all at the same time. Because the experiences become my own and it’s up to me if anyone ever finds out about them. Because strangers can (for the most part) be wonderful to each other. And maybe most of all, because it’s a chance just to be. To live, love and die in a condensed version then come home and wonder why I even bother coming back “home” when all I really want to do is start on my next adventure…..

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. EL
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 06:16:06

    So beautiful! I love the way you write & live… honest, pure, raw & free : )

    love & light



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