“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling…what if you fly?”
It was the New Year’s eve of 2017. I made a bold declaration to my family — this year, I will do a solo trip! And then I found reasons (some real, some imaginary) to postpone the trip multiple times. With a lot of “encouragement” from the better half, I finally did it. And these were the thoughts I scribbled on the last night of the trip.[Part 3 of “A Solo trip to Ladakh]
As I sat there on the terrace of my homestay on that last night of my solo trip, I recollect thinking that if one is an atheist, she should just sit here and watch the night sky. The power that has created this must be supreme indeed. And trust me – there would be no doubt that something so splendid can be created by an extremely powerful force.
Finding the “why” for a solo trip?
In the months following my trip to Leh, I have met two kinds of people.
- Type 1 — Who are still wondering why anyone would go for a “vacation” alone.
- Type 2 — Who would really like to travel alone and are trying to find the nerve to take the plunge.
For Type 1, I have no answers. It is one of those “If you have to ask, then you are not ready to know” kind of things.
For Type 2, all I can say is do your preparations. And then just do it.
Getting out of your comfort zone
No matter what age group you belong to, the vast majority of us are conditioned to stay within our comfort zones. Because it is safe. And in many situations that makes sense.
But here is the problem. After years of staying within the “zone”, that becomes your default nature. It is not a conscious decision you make anymore.
If travelling alone is not something you do and you make a conscious decision to do it once a year, you are clearly stepping out of your comfort zone. While I cannot promise that everyone will enjoy it as much as I did, I can assure you that you will find something new — about yourself.
1. Taking back control
I have been going with the flow. So much so that I started feeling that I had no control over any aspect of life. I just had to put the brake and take back some measure of control. In my case the decision was simple. It was health. My health ( or the lack of it) was affecting everyone in my life. It was an easy decision. Let everything be on the back burner till I transform my health around.
If there was a land where people spent all their time regretting or over analyzing the past OR wondering (and freaking out) about the future, I was the queen of that land. I had no clue how to live in the moment. I am still struggling with this. There are days when I win, days when I lose. But at least I am aware of this cancerous trait.
3. Rediscovering the Closet-Introvert
I am a closet introvert. How I became one is a story for another day. But I had learned the art of faking to be an extrovert so well, that I had lost the joy of being an introvert somewhere along the way. I am re-discovering it now. Oh, and it is a GOOD place to be in 🙂
Before I sign off, I need to make a special mention of the man who made all this possible. Even after I had booked the tickets, I was nervous and in constant doubt. After hearing me recount “all-that-can-go-wrong” scenarios for the nth time, Chandu shared something with me :
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky
And you ask, “What if I fall?”,
oh but my darling,
What if you fly? — Erin Hanson
If you have any thoughts on Solo travels, I would love to hear from you 🙂