Last year, I traveled solo to Scotland. It was my first trip alone that lasted more than a few days. I spent almost a week in Scotland. It was bloody cold but ruggedly beautiful.
The picture is of machair. It is something unique to Scotland, a grassy dune with flowers blooming. Beyond the machair, you could see the white sand and blue seas. Scotland is beautiful. And I was lucky I chose it for my first solo trip, the people were warm despite the chilly air.
Traveling solo is not for everyone. I felt even more alone than I normally would feel. I am essentially a lonely person but traveling brought that into stark contrast, i was more alone than ever. Sometimes, it feels like I am traveling in a bubble; sounds are muffled and the sights stand out clearly. But despite the feeling of loneliness that traveling solo can bring, I felt rejuvenated. I was independent. No one knows me, I was a stranger amongst strangers and I can be myself or I can lose myself among them. It is exhilarating!
Traveling solo also makes me think clearly. As if the fog has lifted and I do not have to worry about waking up on time to go to work. I do not have the stress that working brings. I am free.
There is also the magic of discovery. I promised myself I would not lose this childlike wonder. I have become more jaded and cynical, but I always remind myself to not forget where I come from. And remembering the past makes me appreciate my present.
I always try to remember the first stanza of Walt Whitman’s Song Of Myself:
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.