But in an extroverted world, I feel ashamed to admit that in real life. When I tell people that I prefer to be alone when travelling, they usually give me strange looks.
Once, someone asked, “What do you do to have fun? How do you share the moment that you were having?”
Luckily, smartphones and social networks take care of this part about sharing the fun.
Once in a while, I would make one or two friends on the road. These people usually end up being more than just the regular hi-bye friends that you add on Facebook and promptly forget.
It’s important to travel the way you are comfortable with. While I was in Peru, I forgot how awkward being in a homestay is. When I switched to a private room in the hostel, I was the happiest person on that part of the world.
Don’t let other people discourage you from travelling the way you want.
Prompt #2: When, where, what, and with who is the story of your travel origin?
I used to hate travelling when I was a kid. I didn’t like that I couldn’t sleep in my bed. I didn’t like having to meet strange new adults whom my mother seem to know.
I rarely went for any sleepovers while I grew up so I ended up terribly homesick in the first year in university. Almost every evening, I would secretly cry in my room.
It was a tough time. Then I decided to end it. Enough was enough. Crying is a tiring business and I really need to stop.
So I did. I stopped crying for home and decided to enjoy life.
My very first solo trip was when I was on student exchange in the second half of my second year at university. I was studying in the south of China in Xiamen, Fujian. I really wanted to visit Shanghai so I made it a goal.
I did my research and memorized Shanghai’s map. I booked one night’s stay in a hostel and stayed with a friend for the other nights.
Since I was still a beginning solo traveller so I signed up for a local tour around east China, covering Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou. I had the chance to walk around alone during our free time. I discovered that walking around alone in a new city is very pleasant.
In Shanghai, my friend had school so I visited the sights on my own. One of them was the Dream of Red Mansion theme park. The park was built for filming and left for tourists to visit.
I wasn’t as familiar of the story as I would like but I recognized some of the crude models of the characters from the novel.
I was also during this period that I discovered ways to take selfies when travelling alone.
I think they expect some profound answer that links back to the creation of the universe. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that sort of answer for them.
I usually reply, “I discovered that we are the same all over the world.” Then the person who asked the question would give me a weird look which said, “You spent 130 days travelling and that’s all you have?”
The more places I go, the more I realize that we are the same. Every human being faces the same sort of problems no matter where they are.
Are you stressed about making a living? Well, the people in South America do too.