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Manu | 5 March 2012 | 2 comments
A traveller's shadow

A traveller’s shadow

TRAVELING ALONE is one of the challenges of a lifetime.
There are people who will never be able to do it, people who constantly need to do everything with some company, and people who have done it once and they cannot stop thinking of repeating it, just to feel again the same amazing adrenaline of those times when they were on the road, alone.

For some others, traveling has a true meaning only if it’s a solo travel.


A solo travel is something that requires a little bit of courage, a lot of fantasy and a huge amount of curiosity!



Scotland Eilean Donan Castle

At the Eilean Donan castle in the rain of Scotland

What for? Well, for deciding to finally do it at least once in your life.
Doing a solo travel in a place where you don’t know anybody and being alone for some time may require some stubborn decisions. On the road you will discover you won’t be alone…but that’s another story. Leaving everything and facing a travel alone means you will be totally in control of what you do and of your choices, mistakes and loneliness as well. It means you are either strong enough to take some decisions or you are willing to learn how to.

Everytime I decide to go traveling alone, I am asked Why? and How? By many people. Why?
Has an answer in itself: Why not?, there is not a reason , it’s about discovering, you don’t really wonder why, but this is difficult to explain to people who come out with such a questions; and How? Is even worse…How? How everybody else…step by step!
I have mentioned the word decision few times in the last few lines, as I truly believe courage has to do with decisions. You must be ready to take some decisions when you travel alone, and sometimes this is the most courageous thing you have to do, on the road and in life.
It’s a process that helps you to grow as a person as well.
The first time I traveled alone I was 22 and I went traveling around Scotland for almost a month. I made it up to the Orkney’s Islands. I remember standing at John’s O’ Groat waiting for the ferry to Stromness, and talking to this Dutch traveler who told me his life story and the reasons why he was going to live to the Ornkeys, and asked me what I was doing there. When I told him I was traveling, he asked me my age, and when he heard I was only 22 he said: “ Wow, you must be very brave to come alone up here at your age!”. It was cool, in my young imagination, this helped me to get more and more enthusiasm in traveling the world.
When you come back this courage has transformed you in a traveler..it’s the step required to start to see the world not as a tourist anymore.


My 1st impressions of Patagonia

On top of Cerro Campanario, in the Blue of Patagonia

Fantasy is the main and secret weapon of a solo traveler.
Fantasy is what helps you to enjoy what you are doing, who you are meeting and the way you are traveling in life.
At times, fantasy can solve a lot of unexpected problems that can arise on the road.
I love the associate fantasy to the cases when something may go wrong and you need to project a Plan B. You are there alone, something is not in line with what you planned or expected, and you have only two choices: you either stand there frozen, scared of any possible movement that was not as planned, or you use your fantasy and make up a quick unexpected second option to solve the situation.
I always finish to create a last minute one when I travel, as my main plans get often changed by external factors that I cannot control.
I love the feeling of trying to do something, like when I had to catch a plane last winter to reach Isafjordur, and knowing that most probably it would be cancelled due to the snow storm up there, and planning already a possible alternative in order to avoid wasting a day in Reykjavik.
By the time I arrived at the airport, on the bus I had already made up the entire Plan B, that was running to the bus station and catch a bus to the South, where I would have stayed for a couple of days around Vik. Everything was done, and the flight to Isafjordur was indeed canceled again, but then the guy at the airport suggested me to wait until the afternoon as he felt the airport would reopen. The was a crucial moment of my Icelandic trip. For few moments I really didn’t know what to do: either risking and waiting for the afternoon, according to the feeling of an unknown guy who said it might stop snowing in the North of Iceland in December, or following directly my Plan B, that I had programmed in all the details in 15 minutes bus ride…and at the end I decided to risk it and listen to the guy, and that was the best decision ever…the snow storm indeed stopped and I reached the most amazing place ever seen in life.
Fantasy is this, is about using your senses to get the most and the best out of that unique adventure you are experiencing when traveling alone.


On the top of a mountain in the midnight light  on the Lofoten islands.Travel alone doesn't mean being alone

On the top of a mountain in the midnight light on the Lofoten islands.Travel alone doesn’t mean being alone

Curiosity is basically the reason why I, and maybe you, travel!
We are born naturally curios! Some people forget about their curiosity as too busy with their work and their daily life. Some people are happy not to be curious anymore, as they can better concentrate on their career and their money, convincing themselves they are happy and having fun with that.
Well, if you travel, you feel to be naturally different from this. You are curios yes, and you know that, and you know also you are too curios to stay still. You must go, and see and check and taste and discover!
When you travel alone curiosity is what wakes you up in the morning and makes you go. No matter what, no matter with whom, you just need to get out and leave and you know once you are on the road, heading to your beloved direction, you are the happiest person in the world.
Solo traveling is an eternal path towards discovery. Curiosity is the mean we use to reach our destinations, both geographical and human. Curiosity is what makes you come back with thousands stories to tell, it’s what makes you meet people on the way, sharing your and their travel impressions. Curiosity is the way your journey and you are.
Some people travel for business, some for shopping, some for tourism; you, I, we travel for curiosity!
Not bad, ehi!