A question that I have been asked repeatedly this week has sparked a discussion in my mind, and I am now asking myself if I have perhaps underestimated the journey I’m about to embark upon.
The question I’m being asked a lot is:
“Are you going on your own?”
I suppose it is not so much the question that sparks my inward curiosity, but the way that I feel when I receive the reaction to my answer…
Yes, I am going alone. No, I hadn’t thought it dangerous, weird or unusual!
Don’t get me wrong, I really am grateful that a lot of people care about my wellbeing, wishing me to stay safe and not do silly things like hang off the edge of the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building (don’t tell my Mum I plan on doing this) – but I had never really thought of it as being brave.
As a traveller who has an anxiety disorder, travelling solo actually puts me much more at ease than I would be if I were travelling with a companion. Here’s why…
I can plan my itinerary so that it reduces my anxiety, and I can change plans at the last minute without upsetting anybody else. I can remove myself quickly from situations that might make me feel on edge, and I can enjoy the solitude of my own company whenever I feel like it. And trust me, I feel like it – often.
I’m looking forward to learning some things about myself along the way, and I see it as an opportunity to help heal my recent bout of anxiety too.
However, I’m not a complete loner!
One of the things I’m looking forward to the most is seeing some friends that I haven’t seen in nearly 10 years, spending time with them, getting to know them again and enjoying their company. I am fortunate enough to have worked and lived in many different countries and cities, building friendships with people all over the world, and even more fortunate that despite 10 years and 10,567 miles of time and distance, we still keep in contact to this day. I am very grateful for this.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about tomorrow morning, starting my 30 hour journey to the other side of the world – but it’s a good kind of nervous. It’s the excited kind of nerves that leave you with a feeling of wonder. I wonder what will happen, I wonder what experiences I am going to have, I wonder if there’ll be any hot girls. (Only slightly kidding!).
So I’m leaving tomorrow with no expectations of the trip or of myself, with 4 weeks of blank pages to fill, and I look forward to sharing it with you along the way.