“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” — Robin S. Sharma, author and inspirational speaker
I was never a traveler. I often stayed at home and enjoyed watching TV. One day, a friend said that he wants to travel. I was hesitant. I had two things I was worried about:
- I do not have enough money.
- It is far.
At the time, I was clueless about the word and concept of backpacking.
Despite the fears I have, I eventually agreed to go with him. I saved for a long time and went.
After our trips to the first two countries in our plan, he had to leave.
It was terrifying.
But I had to be strong.
So I walked my way to the bus terminal, bought a ticket and traveled for 5 hours to the next city. My mind is filled with Random thoughts about people around me and what-if’s that are totally not helpful.
I was scared to take a nap, let alone relax and sleep. The longer the trip goes, the more negative thoughts arise.
But throughout the trip, I was asking random strangers about almost every confusing thing I see–which is basically, everything. But believe it or not, I actually avoided asking as much as possible. I was scared to ask because i did not want them to realize that I am a foreigner in their country (I look like Malay anyway).
This solo trip allowed me to meet strangers who were kind enough to tour me around the city. Mind you, they were also tourists.
After going around Kuala Lumpur for a day, and walking around the streets of Singapore, I never traveled again–at least until 2017.
Solo traveling as a backpacker allowed me to experience things in a different way. I met plenty of people along the way.
Now, I can say that despite my fears, I continuously seek discomfort. That trip in 2015 is my source of strength whenever I start feeling frightened.
Now, in 2018, I just got back home for another Solo Trip. And I am happy to be back!