Solo travel can cost us our comfort zone.
I thought about this while reading “Love of Life,” by Albert Camus.
In it he writes about travel in general, but he wrote it while traveling alone in Palma, Spain.
“Travel robs us of such refuge. Far from our own people, our own language, stripped of all our props, deprived of our masks (one doesn't know the fare on the streetcars, or anything else ) … we restore to every being and every object its miraculous value.”
Robbed of our everyday comfort zone, we gain a renewed recognition of our personal riches.
He continues: travel “breaks down a kind of inner structure we have. One can no longer cheat — hide behind the hours spent at the office or at the plant (those hours we protest so loudly, which protect us so well…”
Robbed of the nooks and crannies, the routines and distractions in which we sometimes hide from the meaningful but difficult aspects of life, we are enriched by facing life head on.
Trips that Change
What are the more difficult aspects of life that solo travel encourages us to face? Away from the distractions we come up against our personal beliefs and values and whether we are truly living them, the stereotypes and prejudices we hold, the reality of inequity in the world, the nature of personal loss, decisions about our own happiness and how to find it. And yes, so much more.
As solo travel robs us it also give us the space to:
- Get closer to who we really are.
- Understand the immense privilege we enjoy at home and as travelers.
- Clarify what kind of person we want to be and how we want to live.
All of which is incredibly enriching.
As I travel solo I meet more people than when I'm with a companion and I have more time to sit back and watch. Yes, I've met people and observed cultures that have given me time and cause for reflection. Here are just a few posts written about trips that have changed me.
Positive Thinking and Solo Travel
I have always considered myself a positive person but I learned a lot about positive thinking from Ron who I met at Mallory Square in Key West.
Solo Travel to Yangon: A Warm Welcome and the Circular Train
A train journey into the suburbs Yangon reveals resourceful paths to survival and, yes, laughter.
Top Tips for Prince Rupert: The Best of Small Town Travel
In Prince Rupert, British Columbia, I learned about living a rich life in a tough economy. It was also the first time I learned how little a cruise ship does for a local economy.
Meetup.com Got me Hiking in Hong Kong: And it was #$@&%*! hard!
I learned a lot about my physical limitations on this trip and was motivated to change my activity level at home.
British Columbia by Train: Budget or Luxury. It’s Your Choice.
I learned that my preference was the budget trip through the Rockies saving $1,561 and meeting many more interesting people.
I was a Guest of the Chinese Healthcare System
A blow by blow account of an injury and recovery thanks to my fellow travelers, traditional Chinese medicine, and the Chinese healthcare system. Lessons in gratitude.