Recently, I had the pleasure of going on my first trip all by myself. From this journey, I have learned that there’s something special about traveling alone. You learn things about the world and yourself that you may not have gained otherwise. From this journey, I can confidently say that I am coming back a changed individual.
As a first time solo traveler, I can’t deny the fact that there were times of uncertainty. Occasionally there would be moments where hesitation would mask my excitement; when worry would consume my happiness. Like any person trying something new for the first time, of course I had certain reservations, especially with my loved ones professing so much worry about me being alone. Regardless of this hurdle, I was willing to put my worries aside and face the world head on to better myself and grow as a unique individual. Overall I would define this experience as ‘invigorating.’
Having traveled with others in the past, I love the companionship and support from my family and peers. It is wonderful to have your closest loved ones to share your experiences with, but there is something great about solitude that is both relaxing and care-free. Not having to be subconsciously responsible for another person is freeing and unlike anything I have ever experienced. Every choice; every move I made was solely dependent on me and no one else.
At times, this independence was thrilling. As a whole I would say that I’ve loved this experience, and it’s something I would recommend to anyone, especially if you are seeking personal growth. On the other hand however, there were times when I felt empty. Not because I wasn’t competent enough to get around without help, or because I didn’t feel fulfilled. I felt empty because I have a special someone waiting for me somewhere else.
When you have a special someone, sometimes all you can do is wish that they are by your side to experience everything simultaneously. This doesn’t make one clingy or reliant. Some may see it this way, but sometimes you can’t help it when that person is constantly on your mind. Take my situation for example; we are apart for 15 months and are only seeing each other once. Clearly I have confidence in both myself and our relationship to go on with my life independently, but when I’m experiencing an amazing adventure for the first time, my mind always goes to them. How would they feel about this place? Would they like my new friend as much as I do? Would they like this food as much as me? Wow, they would’ve gotten this souvenir if they were here. *Buys souvenir*.
There were some things on my trip that I found myself doing only because it reminded me of them. I contemplated eating at an iron man themed restaurant just because I knew they would’ve died to if they were here. I wrote a love message in Insadong because I know we would’ve been cheesy and written them to each other. I tried an ice cream flavor that I knew I wouldn’t like, but gave it a try anyway because I knew they probably would. Everything I saw, smelt, and felt led back to them.
With all this being said, these feelings won’t necessarily stop me from traveling by myself or without them in the future. Traveling alone is a unique experience and this adventure was a significant milestone in my life that I have gained a lot from. I’m comfortable going out of my comfort zone and experiencing a new place in various circumstances, but this won’t change the fact that I will always wish that they were there with me. Regardless of how comfortable I am with myself, and regardless of how empowering it has been to take this step and and experience this journey alone, I could do it all again with that special someone.
This video is from my night in Insadong, South Korea. The end of the video includes the Wall of Love Ssamziegil!