I guess I’m a ‘seasoned traveller.’ I don’t even know exactly what that means but I hear it sometimes, and I think that’s probably the way people would describe me.
But whenever I land in a new place I feel lost and nervous. Going through immigration to get on a plane I’m excited. The way I travel it’s normally early in the morning, a little hungover, on little sleep, dazed, but excited. When I arrive? Nervous, anxious, wondering ‘what the fuck am I doing, I want to be at home in bed.’ I wish I wasn’t there. I know no one. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t want to do anything. This is massively multiplied when I’m travelling solo.
I think about this because people always tell me they couldn’t travel alone. I often feel like I can’t, but I just do. I’ve booked quite a few trips at 3am, unable to sleep, thinking ‘screw it, why not?’ and just ignoring the trip until it’s time to pack. I tell myself it’s okay and if I want to just spend the next three days in the hostel bed I can do. But I never do. I love the human minds capacity to compartmentalise. I wash at hostels. That’s pretty much it. Even if it’s a wonderful hostel with great people – that’s not why I go to another country. It’s all outside there. Deep down I know when I want to hide the only remedy is to get out. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going… Whether exploring and walking, or just sitting and watching people going about their daily lives. I end up happily sitting alone, but more often than not end up talking to locals, or other tourists, from places I don’t know; it’s all part of it.
I woke up this morning (first morning in Bucharest), after a fabulous evening, meeting wonderful people, with ‘the fear.’ I made myself get washed and get out. Got some food, and then started walking… I did not want to be there. I can understand why, sitting in an office, wanting a holiday, people may not understand. But, it’s not as easy and carefree as it seems… But at some point it clicks… And during the whole afternoon and evening I started doing that smiling at nothing and everything thing… The best things in life are normally hard at times. I’m not saying everyone should travel alone. I’ve done months alone, but just saying, even for a few days, it can be tough. But I also know the times it IS tough tends to be the times when I need and love it the most.
The world is full of all types of beautiful places, and all types of incredible, friendly people. And the feeling of being somewhere, you don’t know, alone, only doing what you WANT to do, with no time boundaries, no apologies, no considerations for anyone else, is truly the most liberating feeling.
Sadly, I’ll never know this. I’ve always got Humps by my side 😉