Traveling has a considerably different tone when you are solo. The traveler that ventures into the world alone is faced with immense and powerful opportunities to learn and grow.
If you ask a person what it would be like to travel solo, commonly the very first thing that spring to mind is the fear, simply the fear of the unknown that is beyond the comfort zone. It is created by our thoughts and self-limiting beliefs that have been constructed in our minds for many years and have a huge influence on how we live our lives.
Overcoming this fear requires us to find the courage to actually step into the unknown. All those deep-seated limiting beliefs will be resisting and fighting back because our actions will be challenging them. However, once we accept the fear over time, relate to it mindfully and replace it with a childlike curiosity, the discomfort subsides and riding that wave of fear becomes a lot easier. Yet, for whoever faces the fear, it’s no longer the unknown and we can open ourselves to an infinite stream of possibilities.
Besides to overcome our fear of the unknown is a personal journey that never really ends.
“What gives value to travel is fear. It is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our home we are seized by a vague fear and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits. This is the most obvious benefit of travel. At that moment we are anxious but also permeable, so that the slightest touch makes us vibrate to the depths of our being.” Albert Camus
Traveling solo is a practice of hightened awareness. It naturally awakens mindfulness in the here and now as we tend to pay attention more. It opens our hearts to what is around us and within us. With this hightened awareness we learn to decide mindfully between stillness (resting) and motion (going forth). We start to know our limitations so we decide between being resilient during the challenges or receiving help from others. By the acceptance of the unknown we maintain our flexibility, lower our expectations and enhance our tolerance of others or of anything that happens. Navigating the world on our own, broadening our abilities, pushing our boundaries gift us self reliance.
Quite the contrary to what is believed, traveling solo is not about alienation. But rather it is the more engaged experience with the ‘other’. It is the ground in which we learn the dance between ourselves and the environment in a mindful way. We start to realize the impermenant nature of all things so we relate in a more flexible way compared to the great attachments we tend to build upon in our relationships. We learn to relate with a freer love.
Traveling solo teaches us to let go and trust in the unknown. With each venture we take the leap, not knowing what the outcome will be. Just like falling in love! Most of the time the events and experiences that take place are completely different from what we have planned and often even better than what we expected. Without the need of control and by surrendering to what is with acceptance and trust we let everything unfold in its natural flow. This is freedom.
Solo travelers stylize their life with the willingness to see the meaning underneath every unfamiliar thing. Walking the uncommon roads in aloneness, the thoughts or habitual patterns become more visible, then we realize how our thoughts shape our identity. When we are into living our full potential, we direct the ego to go into a transformation process that comes with the removal of any mental constructions we had built upon ourselves and the world.
In our aloneness there are remarkably less things that we can hold on to so this starts to break down the ego. For centuries, Native Americans journeyed into the wilderness or many saints and sages in India went into solo pilgrimages in order to discover their place within it. This type of solo journey has been a necessary part of letting go of the old self in order to awaken the new self. We need to remind ourselves that the most uncomfortable moments are the times that we are learning the most. Then we attain a greater perspective on discovering a new way of being in the world.
As a solitary wanderer, I let myself into the great unknown potentiality of life. Breathing in, breathing out I open myself fully to my source. And I leave all the rest to the universe. Then the miracles start to unfold like as if the universe is whispering me that I’m on the right path. The reward is contentment, immense love, immeasurable peace and wisdom. I trust and continue on surrendering to what is with devotion and great love.