What to do when solo travel stops being solo travel? When it becomes group travel? Or couple travel? Maybe the adventures are enriched by shared experiences, maybe the chatter and laughter rolls on late into the night, maybe great plans for the next day are derived around a camp fire or hostel kitchen table.
But maybe something inside of you yearns to sail your own ship again, to break free of noise, to just be yourself by yourself.
It happened to me.
A little over a year ago I was bussing from Brazil to Bolivia, practising Spanish with people in the street, dancing with crowds at random festivals, eating birthday cake with local families and following Che Guevara’s final footsteps. Sure, at times I was mingling with others, but so much of my days were spent and decisions made on a solo basis.
Sometimes I was lonely but mostly I was open to meeting whatever people and adventures presented themselves. My heart and mind were open to the world, to life.
Fast forward to March 2013 and I was employed, in a relationship and had signed a 12 month lease on a town house. A desire to be part of something and to belong took over. And whilst my heart felt other joys, my world closed in. Just a little bit.
And so when all sorts of things built up into a crazy head spin, I followed the scent of my traveller blood and did what made me feel real and alive, and I walked out of my share house, into the houses and onto the couches of friends and soon to be friends.
But what about the solo stuff? Not being on anyone else’s schedule? Not having to be considerate of anyone else for a moment? If I was to get back to a place of generosity and warm spirit, I needed a moment of quiet and a moment of selfishness.
The instant that I booked a tipi nearby one of my favourite beaches within a National Park barely an hour away from my Aussie life, I felt my spirits lift. Adventure. Nature. The ocean. My tick tock.
And now I find myself at the end of a week of small time adventuring feeling almost ready to return to the cosiness and rhythm of settled life.
Just one more night, alone, before I rejoin the party.
Travel, I realise, doesn’t have to be about far away places and exotic appeal. It’s about tapping into that feeling of exploration and freedom, and keeping it local can work just as well.