Have you ever traveled alone? Did you like it? Where did you go? What did you see? Why did you decide to travel alone?
I love traveling alone. I love freedom and independence. I enjoy being my boss and deciding when I want to do what. I enjoy looking at the waves as long as I want to. I enjoy walking as far as I want to. I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends on my trips.
I love knowing about other cultures and having a chat with passers-by. On the other hand, at home, I hate small talk. I try to avoid it by all means. But on vacation, I love to go to places to eat, to experience things, and meet new people. Maybe because mostly all people on vacations are happy. And I enjoy being surrounded by happy people.
I traveled alone to many destinations: Australia, Gran Canaria, California. My last trip alone was to Bali. Oh, Bali… I went there because everyone told me it is a must-visit. And of course, because I saw “Eat. Pray. Love”. I am so easily convinced. I went to California, Asilomar, after seeing the movie “The Shift”. By the way, I strongly recommend it to everyone on a spiritual journey. The movie is based on W. Dyer’s book “The Shift”.
Okay, let´s go back to Bali.
I went to Bali because I wanted. As simple as that. And because I was waiting for cancer test results. It is funny how difficult experiences bring joy to our lives as well. So I was waiting for the results and decided I want to go, no matter what the answer will be while I am there. Maybe because of my situation at that time, the place looked and felt magical. I landed in a new world. Everything was different: people, food, smells, architecture, nature. I fell in love with Bali (after I got out of the airport because the airport is crazy).
I loved getting lost in small streets and endless beaches. I loved waking up and deciding where I want to go today, what I want to see, and what I want to experience. There is something so magical about the temples there, about the little offerings in the streets, about rice fields, and bike roads through them.
I went to Tirta Empul Temple for a holy water ceremony. We hired a local guide so we could do a ceremony as we have to. During the ceremony, you are in the water and you have to wash your face and your mouth with the water coming from the spring. And in the water, there is a lot of fish. If while you are in the water the fish bites you, it means you will heal whatever sickness you might have. When I went in, my guide told me that all fish just swam to me and stayed around me all the time. She said it was magical and she had goosebumps all over her body. I did not notice any fish as I was so concentrated on what I am doing. I would love you to have this experience if you ever go to Bali. And the next day I got my results and I was all healthy. What a relief.
Did you notice, I wrote, “we hired”. Yes, I met two wonderful guys halfway through my vacation and then we became very good friends and have spent every day traveling together. After two years I am still in touch with them. That is why I love traveling alone, you meet people from all over the world and you learn so much. Now I have two friends in South Africa, that I met in Bali.
The other thing that I will never forget was that I went for a walk one evening and stumbled by one temple. There was this tiny older man, his name was Ketut. Like many in Bali. But he was working in this temple as a cleaner and caretaker. And he was so happy. You had to see his smile… He was eager to talk to me and the vibe from this man was contagious. And he only had one healthy leg… The other leg was damaged when he was a little boy… But he was working every day. Hard work, cleaning, and taking care of the temple with a smile on his face. I love remembering these moments of my life. And just writing about it touches my heart and I want to go back to that magical place…
I also took a bike trip through the rice valleys. The road passes by the tiniest villages and the poverty you see is extraordinary. But everyone I saw on that road was smiling. From little kid to his older grandmother. Some of the other travelers took toys and candy and gave them to these kids. It was like seeing myself in that child when I was a little girl. We did not have a lot of money, so every time someone brought us something we felt so happy and thankful. Not like today. I can buy almost anything I want, and that joy of having that new thing is not the same at all, as it was 25 years ago…
I love traveling alone. I have time to feel. To feel me, to feel the air, the people, the places. I have time to listen to my mind and heart. I have time for new connections, new friendships, new experiences. It also gives me confidence that I can manage in any corner of the world, where once I was scared to travel thirty kilometers away from my village, now I can cross the world.
I get energy from being alone, from overcoming my limitations. I can´t wait for the pandemic to end. I will travel again. Will you?