“If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Growing up, my family traveled to various parts of the US. From coast to coast, and the remote north woods to the gulf of Mexico. However, my serious affair with travel began when I was 24. Like many others, the majority of my college career was “normal”. Consequently, my identity was a muddled composition consisting mainly of college parties, limited study sessions, work and happy hour. It didn’t quite seem to “fit”. After a series of mundane friendships, failed relationships and an uncomfortable uncertainty of what my future would hold, I went against what I had known, and turned to the solitude of the open road in search of something I didn’t know I was looking for.
“It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others…Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companion’s questions and remarks, or feel the need to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.”
― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel
Solo travel has opened my eyes in ways only who have ventured down similar paths can understand. Travel is subject to persecution by the vast majority of those who choose to live in a small corner of it, and for that reason alone, I am an advocator for solo travel, or travel in general. My hope is that we might one day find the courage to leave the security and comfort of our homes, perhaps for just a weekend, to venture out to various locations in the world, allowing our minds to be as a blank canvas, to return colorful, renewed, and humbled.