Sunday, September 20, 2015

How am I able to Travel Alone?

Yangon, Myanmar
My recent solo travel was in Myanmar last August.

Sure I get asked with this question a few times now, especially that I have been traveling alone more recently. I understand that there is that set of people in the opposite side of the spectrum, who don't exactly get solo travel. One good example is my boyfriend. When I asked him one time if he could travel alone, I immediately got a resounding "NO" as an answer. "What's the point?" he retorted like it was the most ridiculous idea in the world.

Of course, I don't hold judgment against these people because to each his own and I hope that they also reserve their judgment to those people, like me. Walang basagan ng trip. Yun lang. haha

So how am I able to travel alone?

1. I grew up in a small town.

I spent my first 11 years of my life in a rural area, where everyone knows each other albeit sometimes, all too well. However, it didn't hinder me to dream and to be eager in exploring what is out there, outside my familiar and comforting bubble.

I remember one time that conversation I had with my classmates back in primary school about a certain older girl who was able to go to the city alone. Our town is about 3-hour travel by bus to the city so, that was already a major feat for the little boys and girls. With big confidence, I told them "Hey, I can do that too!" I never had any inkling that time, I could go beyond other cities, let alone other countries.

2. I am making most out of my present circumstance.

Tokyo, Japan
Exploring the Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo

Back in 2009, I was in Japan for training in my previous company. I was there for almost 6 months and almost always, I had weekend plans even it meant getting tan lines in the process. I am talking about wristwatch-kind-of tan line and I blame you Japanese summer. But when I think about those times now, I am happy that I couldn't think of regrets. It was just epic.

Presently, I live in a different country for almost 4 years now, and like in Japan, I am definitely making most of my time while I am here. Singapore has been a good base for travel for me. It has one of the best connections to Asia and the rest of the world. Getting tourist visas is also much easier for me since all countries that I want to visit, have their embassies or consulates here and they are all a taxi away. Back in Cebu however, I may likely fly to Manila or use travel agencies and for an ordinary person like me, it might be an arduous process.

3. I decide on impulse, most of the time.

Penang, Malaysia
Felt stuck for far too long, booking a weekend flight to Penang, Malaysia resolved the uneasiness.

My impulse is a dominant influence in my decisions, perhaps because I don't have that much bigger responsibilities in my life now. I understand that people in my age, are now in a different stage in their lives, like my friends having their own families, with some have even two kids in their brood. In other words, we all now have different responsibilities and everyone of us has our own choice in life. That goes to say, I have already accepted the fact that I can't drag people that easily to follow my impulse, except maybe my boyfriend who lives far away from me. So in the end at times, it's just me, myself, and I.

4. I am comfortable being with myself.

London, England
I have no idea what I was trying to do here in the Tower of London.

I am that type of person who only keeps a small circle of dear friends so, I am never the extrovert one. Yes, I can be easy going to those people I get the drift and I am comfortable with. But at the same time, I can be alone just fine. And you know, some people can all have the issues in the world and sometimes, these people are hard to please. While for me, I can be just as content prancing to my own beat (see above photo) and just sit, observing people.

5. I am not good in dealing other people's issues.

Bagan, Myanmar
Because I could just easily put my camera on top of almost anything in a temple in Bagan.

When I travel, it is a conscious decision for me not to compare and not to complain. Sure there are hiccups along the way and difficult situations that are unavoidable but it is another thing to act as if it's already the end of the world because of such circumstance.

Like my recent exploration of the temples in Bagan, Myanmar, it was very challenging to say the least. I biked on dirt roads with potholes and puddles and to top it all off, it was scorching hot! I was even afraid to get close to other people because I could already smell myself and it was that bad. Ewww Good thing, it won't come through the photos. haha Thinking about it now, I only have a handful of people in my mind, who could go through that situation with me. Yes, it includes my boyfriend but I can also imagine his grumbles for sure. However at the end of the day, I know both of us can just laugh it off and charge it to experience to never do it again. haha

6. I can arrange my travel plans by myself.

One of the only three references for Myanmar, in a public library in Singapore.
As the country begins to open to the world, I am hoping for more references in the near future.

I work in an office, which involves staring at my computer monitor throughout the day. It might be a distressing daily routine to other people but I can easily get by, by daydreaming of what's out there. The excitement in planning a future travel, then comes naturally.

7. It's not lonely, trust me. You'll meet new friends!

Seoul, South Korea
My young guides in exploring the Korean palaces.

When I travel alone, I notice that it's easier to talk to the locals and strike a conversation with other people, who may be in the same tour as me. I used to be very shy as a child and having able to do this now, is something that I am proud of growing up.


Traveling alone is not something I suggest to people because we all have our own thing. But if you can try it, it will be a different experience (Whether good or bad, it's really on you.) and I hope you can also feel that it's rewarding in a whole new different level. 

No comments:

Post a Comment