Why You Should Travel Alone To Discover Yourself
Shipra Arora is a 34-year-old scriptwriter, based in Mumbai. Travelling is her passion and she has just returned from a 3-month-long backpacking trip from the US after quitting her last job, only to share her experiences here! #HauteStories
‘Who am I?’ Isn’t this a question we all ask ourselves, every now and then? Time to time; again and again! To add to the confusion, we tend to perceive ourselves how other people perceive us. And worse still, sometimes we become what other people want us to become. Sometimes, we volunteer unknowingly to forget ourselves. Yes, reality can be a b***h! So if you’re truly itching to know a little bit about yourself, travel alone.
To begin with, you will learn how to take a stand when it’s time to take a stand! Bid goodbye to the phrase, ‘What do you think I should do?’ It’s just YOU out there! You have to decide if you want to continue in the same motel or move to another city. Do you need to book a plane or is the train just fine? Would you like to try driving a car on the left side of the vehicle or the road for the first time, or would you prefer a hitchhike? It’s all you out there and it’s only your decision. It surely teaches you to be decisive (whether you like it or not)!
While we are trying to become fair and white in India, in the US, people’d stop by to compliment me on my brown skin. In the 3 months I spent alone in the US, I was often stopped by complete strangers to tell me how beautiful I am (*starry eyed*). One of them actually compared his white skin next to mine and said, ‘What a beautiful colour you have, while I am so pale?’ He fussed about the fact that he becomes red under the sun. While I thanked my universe that we, Indians, tan so beautifully.
To all those beautiful ladies out there who have been called names like ‘black’, ‘kaali‘ ‘saawli’, I sincerely suggest you travel more and alone! You’ll know how beautiful you truly are.
Oh yeah! We all say, hear, and talk about how time flies. But most often we forget about it. We often start believing that we have all the time in this world. So not true! A lot of my friends made a big deal about my long trip. Most of them couldn’t comprehend the 3-month period. It seemed too long to everyone, and to be honest, even I believed I was going for a really long sojourn. Only to learn that time freaking flies. Trust me on this one!
Bizarre Little Things!
You end up knowing these bizarre little things about yourself that you probably never noticed. You get to know how spoiled you are! You learn how you react when the going gets tough. You find out when in trouble, how calm you actually stay. You figure whether you prefer to walk or just cabbing it makes you happy.
And you know how beautiful your accent is! (PS: No friend in India will ever tell you that, only strangers from an unknown country)
Learn To Learn
Yes! While you learn so many things, you also learn to learn. And you really learn a lot — irrespective of how different we are from each other, deep down, we are all the same. You learn that the sun falls on them in the same way it falls on you. You learn that we all share similar problems. You learn how similar we are.
Besides learning these things, you come back with something more special. You come back with ‘your own secret stories!’ The ones you wouldn’t or couldn’t, or are unable to explain to any of your friends/dear ones. Some of which are only there to make you smile or cry or laugh or despise. Some that you will keep just for yourself.
There are hundreds and thousands of things you learn while you travel alone. But how will you ever know if you don’t try it yourself? Are you already packing?