Travelling alone is something that I believe that every person should do at least once in their life, in order to be in contact with their own being, to lose fear of their own emotions and feelings, and to know themselves better.
Many people tell me they do not know how to handle themselves or what to do with their time, how to entertain themselves without the company of others. I believe that it is when we are alone that we learn the most and discover that we are the best company: we lose fear of our own being, our essence, and we do it at our own pace. In effect, we can pay more attention to our own rhythm, to our own learning process, and let everything flow as it comes out.
About how to travel alone in a place whose language we do not know, there are many apps on the mobile that help us. Personally, when I went to Japan and South Korea, I used the Google translator, which also has the audio tool, to listen to the pronunciation, and which reads aloud the message we want to express. There are other very useful ones that do the same thing simultaneously and translate the message while we or others speak. I have had interesting conversations and made beautiful friendships with local foreigners thanks to these technology resources.
In this way, we discover our autonomy and develop our internal resources since, on occasions, we are forced to do so. And when we get it right, we feel motivated and continue doing so by our own will. This, undoubtedly, improves our life quality and makes us see our strengths and weaknesses, which helps us to work on them.
Having a journal or a travel blog allows us to collect our feelings and thoughts, which can then be translated into a future book with our adventures. And at the same time it helps us to dive in our inner world: great things and sublime discoveries can happen! Writing is another tool for self-knowledge, and writing about our events and feelings can help us sort out everything that happens to us, our emotions, and give them meaning. It can even help us to close or open life periods. That’s why I think writing combines very well with travel, because both activities have an end in common – or they can have it.
Taking pictures, thinking during a trip by train, car or some means of transport, spontaneously planning a trip alone by looking at a map, with our sole company, and even packing the suitcase, are ways to make the most of our time with ourselves, pamper ourselves and improve our self-esteem. They are all activities that involve decision-making, prioritizing certain things, giving up others, and discovering what we want, what we like and what we don’t. In short, we discover what makes us happy.
Knowing oneself is, in my opinion, one of the wisest human acts, as proclaimed by the Greek aphorism inscribed in the pronaos of the temple of Apollo at Delphi: “Know thyself”. And a solo trip is, I feel, the best way to achieve that.
Because a world full of people who know themselves better is a more harmonious world with happier people. And that benefits us all 🙂