Confessions of a Solo Traveller!

The average Solo Traveller has much wisdom to impart to first timers...
Photo by CC user ktoine on Flickr

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.

To the ones that arrive at it, travelling is contagious! Once you’ve made friends with your inner globe trotter, there’s no saying “No” to travel – which even includes discovering a lost structure in your own city! I have often seen people that don’t travel or travel less wonder what’s the fuel that keeps every traveller moving? There are great travel offers that tempt one to travel a little more now a days. We seem not to stop. At all. I say, it’s “Curiosity” – The curiosity to stretch the vision and discover what lies beyond that big old oak tree that is stationed at the backyard. Not many would be interested, but the traveller. I love travelling and exploring!

So when did I touch base with my inner voyageur? Back during my school days when I used to come back home alone! My school bus used to drop me to a nearby by juncture. From there to my house, it was a solo walk that I had. And on my way sometimes I would traverse to the narrow lanes of my locality and sit beside a rivulet. And on other times I would wander about in a temple shrine, tea stall and even an old English watch shop that was located in an extreme corner of a lane. In retrospect I realize, that was the time when I had made a secret pact with the Universe that someday I would travel alone.

On My Travelling Alone

Sometimes I see people coming up with an eyebrow raising reaction on the aspect of travelling alone! Most are scared or I should say inhibited to take that leap! But when you travel alone an entire new world opens up for you. I can say this with confidence today, because I have been on a solo tour to Istanbul and explored places like Marrakesh and Morocco. That first trip as a solo traveller was one to remember.

There’s no denying that I love to travel and experience new cultures! That’s the reason I chose Istanbul. The oriental world that throws images of “Arabian Nights” with its streets selling the Moroccan lamps, Turkish rugs and jewelleries and other accessories stirs the soul. I always felt that maybe walking into a vast ancient building or monument whilst travelling alone might make me feel really isolated and lonely. To my surprise it was quite the opposite. On my solo tour to Istanbul and Turkey as I walked into the great, grand hall of Hagia Sophia, I felt connected to the whole space around me. I recalled a quote by my favourite poet Rumi that says “Wherever you stand, be the soul of the place”. It was here in Hagia Sophia that I could feel the real essence of the line. The overwhelming ceiling and golden vault of this basilica, mosque and museum atop me made feel that I am not alone. I never was, even when I used to wander on the streets of my locality.

To travel alone means to travel with freedom! You seem to break free from your inner confinements of letting society judge you. Travelling gives perspective, pleasure and confidence to finally become the real version of who you are! It made me carefree and a wanderer – that’s what I am.

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