It’s A Wild World!
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what are you running away from with your travels, I’d take it. All too often solo travelers are accused of running away, like it’s a negative thing (or worse pitied because you’re solo). Once on a sunrise catamaran along the awe-inspiring Amalfi Coast, I sat next to a married couple and the husband asked me if I was alone. When I enthusiastically replied, “Yes!” He said, “Aww, how sad!” His wife quickly chimed in (after smacking his leg) and let him know if she was unmarried, she would do the exact same thing. I’ve learned to adapt to the standard of other’s naive perceptions because that’s exactly why I travel: to break those societal misconceptions and conventions.
The only people who don’t ask what are you running from are other nomadic, free spirited types. Because we know if we are in fact “running,” we are running away from those outdated ideas, expectations and the strict path society has laid out as normal. We are running away from how others tell us life should be lived and slowly walking towards the life we want, towards the life we create and choose for ourselves. We walk towards the freedom to choose our own path, to embrace new experiences, new people, new cultures, customs, all of it.
I get not everyone can travel. It’s a privilege to be able to do so and the gratitude and appreciation to be able to do so is immense, but it doesn’t come without sacrifices in other areas of our lives, strict budgeting, enormous courage, sideways stares from strangers with stereotypes, thick skin and a whole lot of resolve, resilience and reverence for our own vulnerabilities in new places, there’s a lot of bad and you have to beware!
But we run away from the ordinary and towards the less ordinary, to unknown paths and towards encounters that make us feel most alive, engaged and enriched. To have wonderful and at times, not so wonderful experiences that help us learn, evolve , transform, connect to self, others and to this great big, wild world. To have the freedom to be the captain of our own ship and run towards life, not away from it. We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
Diana’s solo trip was planned by A Girl & A Bag Boutique Travel Designers