It’s my anniversary – it was 4 days ago 🙂 So, it’s been 1 year since I decided that I had been answering the question of what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up all wrong. A traveler would have been the most ideal response! Taking that first step happens to be one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Things move fast: from googling “solo travel destinations” and “places to volunteer” to now where a great chunk of my time goes to finding cheap flights.
1 year and several countries later, I have encountered hundreds of amazing people, eaten weird foods, seen very strange animals, and got bitten by an insect. The bite happened just recently, and it is easily one of my scariest experiences on the road since I got very sick. I’m well now, and it’s interesting to look back and reflect on the extent to which such events shape our lives.
I will recount some of my experiences, even as I look forward to much more in coming days. There are very many good people out there – that tops the list of what traveling has taught me. It is tempting to generalize an entire human race based on a few (or many) characters we see on television, but that would be unjust to the many others who are incredibly good. Our similarities as human beings regardless of origin, creed and all other factors are outstanding.
On many instances, I have communicated with individuals who did not speak any of the languages I understand and somehow I figured it out. This is exactly why you should not be scared to consider countries with a different national language as you filter across the incredibly long list of solo travel destinations. English, French, and all those others are way overrated – the universal language is called human. As one come’s to such a realization, you understand how mediocre it is to judge people based on very petty standards.
From the diary of an introvert
I’ve mentioned in previous posts just how much of an introvert I am. I’ve always loved and appreciated my own space and company. I would choose me over a crowd any day. However, I have learned to draw a line lest I miss out on what others have to offer. Months later after I left Nepal, my greatest regret is not adapting faster to an environment that was unfamiliar to me in all terms possible. Being my first (real) experience abroad, I’m careful not to be hard on myself since I know better now. That said, I wouldn’t trade that month for anything. If you’re thinking of traveling btw, Nepal is one of the best solo travel destinations.
SOME of the people and events that stood out for me
As I have mentioned above, I have interacted with very many people from around the world within the last 12 months. Guess there wouldn’t be a better time to say I’d love to have a friend from Iceland 🙂 I talk with some of those I’ve met on a daily basis, others never, and others an acceptable number of times. I recently lost the contacts of some guys I met on a hike to the Akchour waterfalls in Morocco. Hopefully, nature will connect us!
In no particular order, here are some of the people that opened my life to a different level of humanity. If I were to recount every experience, I would need a blog dedicated to that and nothing else. A Maltese guy who took care of me when I was sick in Nepal. Again, Nepal. Wow. It really helped to have someone who genuinely cared given that was a very helpless and unfamiliar experience to me .
Still on Nepal, an Israeli taught me how to dig. This is something that baffles my mom to date. Normally, I am not very choosy when it comes to activities to get involved in, but the farm was never my forte unless I was selling stuff that others had planted :P. We planted vegetables and other stuff like garlic, and it was very fulfilling to see guys harvest and prepare them for the kids. Garlic and turmeric from our farm were way sweeter than anything I’ve used in the past! Fruits of our labor? It was also interesting to get an insider’s view of the Israel-Palestine war – a break from the biased TV reports. War never solved anything; I look forward to a day the world will understand this.
Of solo travel destinations
Iceland is top on my bucket list, thanks to a lovely Italian friend who painted this incredible mental picture in my mind. It is one of the solo travel destinations that are certain to awe anyone. Glory should be the name of that country. She is an incredible human, and certainly one I’d love to spend more time with. After all, it’s not every time you find someone willing to help you shop for your friends nor is it common to have people who push you to become a better person 😉
Just recently I forgot the password to my phone. Yes, that’s how silly I can become. This is the second time this is happening, and it always gets me very excited because it is strange. It was convenient because I was feeling lazy to take pictures – so characteristic of me! You should be scared that you witnessed that! Haha slight exxageration.
I keep reiterating the need to be a better person in whatever one does. It is easy to achieve that when you have someone to be accountable to. We made a pact, me and an Austrian friend, where he was to start yoga and I was to start working out. It’s still on, and it makes my day any time we discuss our progress.
I could go on and on about this but I know you get the point. Previous posts also have some accounts of my encounters.
It’s the little things
If there is anything to take home from all this, at least for me, is the extent to which little things count. It’s perfectly okay to desire big and uncommon stuff like having someone propose under water next to the dolphins, but let that not cloud your thoughts on how important little things are. Choose to be more alert to what is happening around you; it will be well worth it.
Thanks to all the awesome people I have met. It is true that a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet. I truly appreciate the seemingly small gestures. I’m the worst when it comes to showing how excited I am, but here’s to letting you know how much you all mean to me.
New adventures await, for me and for you too I know. Thanks for reading and for your support throughout the year. I am not the best blogger that’s for sure. I am very lazy when it comes to posting but we’re here now and I have so much to write about. Keep searching for the ideal solo travel destinations – there is always a first time for everything. What would you like me to post about? It would excite me if you let me know 😛
Cheers to another fun-filled year!