I can’t travel. I can’t travel as I have the urge to settle in every place I visit. A need to blend in the local life, adopt the locals’ habits of eating, talking and getting on with the day.
I refuse to visit tourist places if I don’t know their historical background, or I am a not going with someone knowledgeable. It can take time but it is maybe the only discipline I eagerly apply.
More than living in the region, more than exchanging on a daily basis with locals, I need to soak into its own atmosphere. I need to make every minute detail of it a conscious part of my environment: the number of stars, the smell of the streets, the intonation when answering the phone, the direction of the wind, the taste of silence.
Being a slow solo traveller might appear to be a waste of time and money. I could spend doing more stuff but it is a wonderful door to the unexpected, the magical, and the extraordinary. I probably have three times fewer countries explored on my record than other of my fellow travellers but I don’t regret any single of my time spent in those few places. I can’t join this appealing competition of covering the world with my footprints. Not that I don’t want to explore a variety of places, I just don’t know any other way.
Of course being a young white girl in the wild can be scary, of course shit happened, of course sometimes I feel lonely and would rather spend a day with a loved one and obviously, it is not all everyday Instagram but what I get from being daring is worth all those moments, even the worse ones.
Having no burden and being not being someone’s burden gives me the flexibility to move or to stay whenever I feel like it. I can change my mind, change my route if something more thrilling crosses my path. I can pick the people I stay with may they be disregarded by others.
This ultimate freedom that I am so grateful to feel has its pros and cons. Solitude is your best strength one day and your worse enemy the day after. She makes you feel like nothing can stop you but also that you’re not really going anywhere. Solitude brings confidence because you slowly learn that you are way stronger and resourceful than you thought you were.
Being solo, flexible and not having definite plans forces you to live in the NOW. You take events as they come through your day, one by one.
Be your own hero
My idols are the fierce women of this century and the previous ones who never compromised on their destiny because of social expectations, family or physical limitations. May it be Alexandra David-Néel, to whom it took 12 years and a terrible character to reach the forbidden city of Lhasa or Robyn Davidson who proved everyone wrong by crossing Australia with camels she tamed herself.
I take my inspiration from the ones who have succeeded in their mission and the ones who have failed but never given up. The ones who still believe in the deep meaning of adventure in our globalised, interconnected world like Elliot Schonfeld, the young French Mike Horn.
I am now on the quest to becoming my own hero, proving to nobody but myself that no place is too exotic, no challenge too crazy and that no one is more able to fulfil my dreams than myself.
What is your travel style?
Tell me about how you roam the world in comments!