Unless, you travel alone

Florence. April 22, 9:30 pm.
They've seated me at a table for four, opposite an empty chair and directly next to a young couple. He tops her glass of red wine as he speaks to her gently, a trace of a British accent amid the deepness of his voice. I feel their gaze, as they turn to stare at me, aware that my presence adds an unwelcome touch to their romantic date night out.

A year and a half ago, I believed I wanted to travel to
 see- to see the reality of what I knew in a photo, to soak in culture and life away from my own.

But you pass through as a traveler, merely taking bites of the newness around you. And no matter the length of your travels, you remain an observer, if you understand the culture or language. An onlooker, if you don't.

It’s taken me a year and a half, but I finally understand that the purpose of traveling isn’t just seeing; the observations are not the limit to the experience. Rather, they form the basis to expand from, one to share with another as a way of creating that personal connection.

Unless you travel alone. Because alone, you observe without the ability to share. Alone, you experience a new, with no partner to remind you of the old. Alone, you loose yourself deep in your thoughts as you travel in the company of the fire swirl of your mind.

Alone, you travel to think. You pick up on thoughts you many not have known you had, thoughts you may not understand, but thoughts, by the end of it all, that finally, will make sense.

I left Australia, last summer, after a period of deep self- reflection. I came out of it sure of where I wanted my career to take me and more aware of what I wanted out of future relationships. And so I left last summer, convinced that would be the end of that.

But our self-discoveries never end; we constantly change. It forces us to get in touch
 with ourselves-- to understand what the change means and how it effects our sense of being. It’s this way that we make the most of our lives, our relationships and our choices that have the potential of shaping the happiness we know and the fulfillment we seek.

I’m on day three of solo travel. I’ve sort of grown used to going to dinner alone, seated at a table for one. I bring my book, and when not reading, I observe those around me. I miss sharing these experiences with another, yet, in some ways, I’m grateful that my time alone has given me a sense of understanding that it’s not
 seeing I seek out of travel. When alone, thinking consumes. But when together, experiencing in the form of sharing takes shape. And it’s safe to say, that experiencing together is my favorite of all.  

2 Response to Unless, you travel alone

August 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM


Interesting thoughts on solo travel. It really is a different experience. Fun & fulfilling but in a unique way.

Thanks so much for contributing to the Traveler's Show & Tell blog carnival.

I hope to see you there again.

Happy travels! ~Tui

August 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Thank you Tui! So wonderful to be linked to on Traveler's Show & Tell!!!

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