I think a part of me has always wanted to try solo traveling. It might have been due to my past experiences in Korea, or perhaps the solo travelers’ blogs I have been reading; whatever it was, my desire to travel on my own grew stronger by the day.
It was a sketchy idea at the beginning; just the thought of flying over somewhere and exploring it over a month or two. Then came the Googling of the attractions, the available mode of transports, and slowly, the research built up. A plan begun to take shape but yet, no matter how concrete the plan seemed to be, I never had the courage to hit purchase on the airplane tickets site. I knew, once the tickets were bought, there was no turning back. Everything becomes real, and I will actually have to do it. All till April, while I dreamt about doing a solo trip, I kept finding excuses not to. It was too big, too scary, too expensive; I will do it(buy the tickets) tomorrow, I will do it next week, I will do it once I have all my itinerary. The excuses came readily. It was so easy to say no rather than take the huge step out towards the world.
Everyday, without fail, I would do a search on the prices of the tickets. I saw it going down, then up, then down again. I knew exactly where to buy my plane tickets, I knew exactly the route I wanted to fly, and I even knew which airline I had in mind. Everything seemed to be in place, but I just couldn’t bring myself to book them. Not even after scouring through all the online resources to seek advice about someone in my situation. Something just felt amiss.
I remember it being a Monday. The last Monday of the month. I have spent the last 20 odd days lying around at home, occasionally heading to my part-time job, and in general, wasting the precious time I had till official graduation. It didn’t help that most of my friends had already flew off for their graduation trips, and were fervently posting photos on Instagram about the wonders of the world. What was I doing? I thought to myself. This was perhaps, the only time I have to make a huge trip and I was just letting it go to waste. And at that moment, I couldn’t stomach it down. I walked to my mum, and told her for the first time, that I was going to jet off solo. I told her the plan I had in mind, and asked if she was okay with it. Honestly, at that moment, I figured even if she said no, I would still go ahead with it. But it felt important to have her support, for something that to me, was a big decision to make. And right after she nodded her head, I logged onto the site and purchased the tickets, this time without stopping to hesitate. A pair of tickets that will take me away from home, a pair of tickets due to fly out in a week’s time.
When you are out traveling with a friend or two, everything seems easier. You have someone to rely on, someone to talk to, someone to plan your trip with. But this time, I was truly on my own. Every detail, every danger gets magnified, but along with it, I had the freedom to explore the country at whatever pace I wanted to. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. And I was truly terrified. I still am.
Now that I am sitting somewhere out the North Island of New Zealand, I am still afraid of what is coming ahead. But along with it, is a sense of anticipation, excitement, and a little bit of pride for being able to make it thus far on this trip. It is still too early to say that everything is going my way, and that everything will be fine. There is still a long way to go, but I think, I am going to enjoy it a lot.
I am glad that on that Monday, I went bonkers and booked my tickets. When I am back, I am going to have a lot of stories to tell.