Recently, I have been receiving a lot of comments from friends and colleagues at work whenever I return from a trip. Be it a short or long trip. And most of the comments are really not favorable. Why am I not surprised? At the very moment I returned from my first backpacking adventure last year I heard almost all of them.
What are the common comments/statements/questions I got?
“Why are you traveling solo?”
“You are such a loner!”
“Are you soul-searching?”
“Aren’t you afraid you might get lost?
“Are you going through some mid-life crisis?”
Some were even morbid…
“What if you get killed while you’re inside your tent sleeping at night in a remote area?”
Even before I started wandering off, I have read them all from other backpackers. Every single solo traveler who writes their own experiences have their fair-share of this questioning from people who don’t understand.
This is just troubling me lately as to whenever I post a picture or status about my upcoming or recent activity, left and right people would have their own piece and talk as if they know me better and what is really going through my head as I post it. One time, I was asked and caught unprepared. I was not able to answer back instead I just shrug my shoulder
I never get tired of telling people how I love to travel and to try out new adventures. I often recommend to friends to try it themselves and give them a little travel tip. I always tell them to browse through some good articles online about solo backpacking as that’s where I started.
Never Say “Ang Yaman Mo!”
So let me defend myself here. This is what really runs through my brain whenever I plan for a trip.
At first, this disease called “Wanderlust” would create a sense of need for me to go out on the road. The thought of going to a place I’ve never been to before causes a tingling sensation and excites me more. The fact that I don’t have enough money on my pocket adds up a little more excitement.(Don’t ask, I don’t know either). So when people gives the statement “Ang yaman mo naman!”, at the back of my head, I am telling them “Only if you know the amount of money I have on my savings you would beg on your knees and feel sorry you have said those words and would treat me for a lunch.”
Secondly, when I travel, especially when I am solo, that’s the only time I get to enjoy the more as I care less about my activities. I could be lazy and just beach bum or swim the whole day instead of running all over the town to see the other landmarks of the area. I hate it when I have to think of what my company wants to do while traveling. Maybe I am selfish in this manner. But deciding for others are really painstaking and could get you into trouble. That’s why I always rely on my companions when I am with my friends during a group trip. I hate arguments!
Thirdly, I travel because I love seeing new places. I want to discover and learn the way of lives of the locals (if possible). By any means, I try to connect to them. When I have the chance to talk to them I do. I am a shy-type of person and the only time I get to talk to a local is when I need a tour guide. Most of the times during the trek or tour, I talk to them. I ask them maybe a hundred of questions. Even the smallest fact about the place, how they survive with the income they get from their job, etc.
Lastly, I travel because I get to meet a lot of people and eventually became my friends. Since last year when I started backpacking, I met people during my solo trips. I even had a trip to Mt. Pinatubo this year with the ones I met last year in Pagbilao, Quezon. Everytime I’m traveling alone, this is one of the things I look forward to—meeting new friends!
What’s important is you enjoy your vacation and you make the most out of it. When you’re back home you have something to tell your friends and inspire them and make them excited to try it themselves. What I can say is try something where you are comfortable doing and you are enjoying minus the spoilers and negativities!
Have a safe trip!
My mantra: “You don’t need to be rich to travel the world.”