Within only a month I once again took the plunge and went traveling from the South to the far North to attend the dreamy Scorpions concert and also employ the chance to wander around the city (Hanoi). Multitasking much? However, this time it was entirely different because I went there all alone and spent most of my time exploring the streets and corners all by myself. Surprise of the day: as being always afraid of being lonely, I actually enjoyed the whole trip and learned lots of valuable things as well as personal revelations along the way.
The newfound independence
I’m no way familiar with how traveling by air works, but I fortunately had no problems about checking in, getting to the plane and then taking bus to the city (the airport is about 35km away from the city) – back and forth. During my stay, with the precious help of Google Maps and the locals, I was able to go to everywhere I wanted, mostly by walking. I used to feel only safe in strange places when I’m with someone – anyone – but this time I took charge of my life and decided to do what I wanted, where to visit and when – no need to be dependent on my companion(s)’s plan. It’s not at all easy, that’s for sure, and it takes lots of research before hand. The only thing is not to let myself be lazy and lounging around the hotel room all day. Instead, stand up, put a little bright lipstick on and ready to hit the roads.
Let negativities and annoyances slip
Along the way, apart from the very wonderful and friendly people I met, there were definitely some I had such a strong negative thought towards i.e the woman who kept pushing me out of her way so she (and then 2 of her companions) could reach the front row in the concert, the man seating next to me in the plane taking all the armrest and loads of people refusing to queue, etc. I normally would frown and take those gestures personally, but this time I forced myself to not care and let them slip off my mind. Of course I still remember what they did that bothered me so much, but I somewhat trained myself to not let them (especially the woman and her “squad” at the concert) take the fun of out my experiences.
Being alone is not always a curse
In all honesty, before the trip I had the unreasonable fear of sleeping in the hotel room alone. That didn’t really leave me since I still had the bathroom light on all night and avoided watching any fear-introducing program on TV; but I wasn’t as afraid as I thought I would. Instead, I got myself an icy cup of tea from the nearby coffee shop, snuggled up with my blanket and my phone and watch a few videos (and also to rest my sore legs after hours of walking all day). I enjoyed the independence and the peacefulness of sipping a good cup of tea, eating some crepes while listening to music and scrolling through my social media feeds. I sure attracted a few side eyes since I was alone (most of them was with someone else) but fuck it, I had my own way of going out this time. There’s no denying that having a friend with you to laugh about silly things and basically everything is always a good addition (especially when it comes to taking pictures), going places alone makes me feel strangely “attractive” and cool, like “Oh that girl goes around all by herself not needing anyone else, how cool is that!”. I know I’m self-delusional sometimes.
Take care of yourself no matter what
It’s easy to skip meals and push yourself to the deadly limits while traveling. I tried to keep my daily dose of nutrients with minimally 2 good meals a day, loads of water and some snack in between. The thing here is that within a region there are usually lots of delicacies but not all of them can be taken as a main course. I used the Foody app to explore what to eat where I go: if there are places that can fill me up with quality nutrients then that’s where I take my main meals, wherever else is for snacking options. If I can’t find any good places, I will take all the snacks (but in moderation quantity) and then take my main course with even not the region’s delicacies. Also, even though it seems like hard work to bring along water and some snacks, I always find it a good thing to keep myself from dehydration and hunger (in case there’s no place to eat when I desperately need it).
I absolutely had a blast during this very special travel time, and honestly though, it partly was contributed by the excitement of doing all the things by myself. As soon as my friends heard that I would go alone, they thought I was crazy since nobody should travel alone: talk about loneliness, isolation, boredom and even safety issues but I decided to let it go off my mind and instead got an unforgettable time. I’m now officially a convert about traveling alone (well, I’m not entirely boycotting traveling in groups in any means) and cannot wait what the future can offer. Until next journey!