I think there is something to be said for traveling on your own. I am super excited to have my daddy join me here in India and I practically pee my pants when I think about the Eurotrip that one of my besties and I are planning for next summer but traveling alone is exciting in its own respect.
First off, it allows me to conquer my fears. I cried before I left I was so fearful about leaving for India for 5 months. Yep, right in line for the security check (and you don’t understand, I NEVER cry in public or in front of people) I started crying into my dad’s arms because I felt scared. It all hit me right in that moment and I just had to stop and think, “God…what the heck am I doing? Am I out of my mind?” And maybe I am a bit crazy but as I walked closer to that security scanner and farther from my dad, I could feel my confidence growing. I could accept that I was about to make a huge journey, and I was going to make it all alone.
There certainly are benefits to traveling with someone but it is freeing knowing you are alone. First off, you can do whatever you want. If you want to eat Chinese food for dinner, cool because there is no one who wants pizza instead. You need to run to the next flight? Great you can book it without the fear leaving someone behind. Let’s say you need to pee. Well there is no need to make a huge deal out of it and organize a party just to go to the bathroom.
Plus I have a feeling of total responsibility that I really like. I have to make sure I get up and go where I need to be. I don’t have someone to get on my ass to tell me to hurry up or I am going to miss my train to work. I have the ability to plan my days with the things I want to do and if I don’t end up with any plans then it’s all on me. I wish I had taken time off before I went to college to do time abroad. It is valuable to learn how to budget yourself and make rules for how you are going to live, and what better way to do it then while exploring something new that forces you to take charge?
Also, I feel like going to India alone has given me a great experience in learning about myself and what I want from life that I never would have been able to experience with others to distract me. Being here so apart from everything that I have ever known has stripped me down to my essentials. I think that a transformation took place when I finally decided to leave school and I feel like that change has been more pronounced each day. I have done a lot of things in life, some of which I can be a very happy about and others of which I am not proud of what so ever. But you know what? That’s life. Shit Happens. I am bound to make mistakes, unfortunately some of them affect other people in a really negative way but you know what the great thing about making mistakes is? That you can learn from them. I can’t say that I will never make another poor decision, take a wrong turn, have one too many drinks, spill milk, or make someone cry. What I can say is that I have learned a lot from my experiences so far and I continue to grow as a person because of it. Being alone has let me reflect a lot on what I have accomplished in life, good and bad, and I can honestly say that deciding to leave and change my direction has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. All of a sudden everything that was out of my control seems so far and I can finally let go and focus on what I can control: me. I have a lot to work on, but I also have several things that I can take pride in. Finally, for once in a long time I can feel totally positive about the future and be content. Not everything in my life is perfect, but I have the ability to control who I am, how I handle myself, and my happiness. I can finally love myself and the life I am living and that is all I can ask for.