I travel alone because I travel slow and social.
Because I love to be able to decide to join the guys met in the hostel, who are going out, at the very last second or to stay for a week in a city without ticking off any box in the perfect tourist’s checklist, because I met someone special or just because I need to rest. Because when you are alone there is no filter between you and the outside world and everything, for better or for worse, is deep.
Because I learn much more if nobody helps me. For example, determined to spend more than one month in Thailand, I learned how to enter into a travel insurance and apply for a visa and that, before booking a flight, I should take information about the residence times in a Country.
Because when you are alone, you strike up friendships that, in some way and at a long distance, you are very likely to bring with you .
In Bangkok, I met Giulia, Italian, many years of difference, but the same trip. Since when you are travelling everything is deeper and faster, I already call her friend because, if you experience the same things and you cry for the same reasons, you feel immediately close each other. Because sometimes you meet a stranger and call him home: in Chiang Mai I have had company for a week, home-made dinners, a night to the cinema, a night at the highest floor of the shopping centre to admire the city from above, another one to look at planes’ take-off, chats, laughs, and some sad day after the departure.
Because I face my fears. In Koh Tao I did an important thing, the most important of all the trip. I took something that scared me to death, something that I had never believed to be able to do, and I said to myself: “now I am going to do it, because the worst thing that can happen to me is to get very frightened”. And I went to enrol me with a diving course. I enjoyed it. I thought “I am making it”, which is a very cool sensation. It was something unscheduled, so probably I would have not done it, if I had been with someone, with a set itinerary and others’ needs to take into consideration.
I travel alone also because my needs are the priority and every now and then (if not quite always) it is just as well! When I came back, I arrived again in Bangkok, where I simply took a rest. Where I saw Giulia again, where I met other people. Where, instead of going around visiting temples, I watched movies again and again with the other guests of the hostel, I ate in company, chatted, laughed, cried, and slept. Where I listened to others’ travel tales, coming back home with my head full of ideas. Where I appreciated the empathy and the ability to listen of an half-stranger. Where I had dinner with a retired teacher, who still teaches at home and greets you as if you were her daughter.
I do not think that I would have managed to do and feel so much with a travel companion and a schedule.