A trip on your own to a strange land can lead you straight to yourself – and answers to questions you didn’t know you were asking.
Professor, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author Steve Blank once said that the best parenting advice he ever received was that his job is “to teach his child how to leave.”
I think my parents excel in that. Other Asian parents would go ballistic if their daughter told them she was going trekking in a distant land on her own. Not mine. So, it was with their blessing that I embarked on my first solo traveling experience in Nepal – and learned something new at each turn.
Loneliness can be dispelled
I began my Nepal trip trekking with a big group of fellow travelers. For six days, we did everything together. The moment we had to part ways, my world was suddenly silent. I felt lonely and empty inside. Then I told myself: “You’ve gotta move.” Everything turned better the moment I did. Loneliness is just a mindset that can be changed by willpower.
Talking to strangers doesn’t kill
Chatting-up strangers can be awkward – but what if you start with a smile? I was amazed by the power of smiling while travelling. It breaks down barriers between people instantly. And I love communicating – everyone has a story, and speaking to strangers taught me subtle things about human behaviour that I’d never find in a travel guidebook.
You learn to trust in others
I needed help with things like looking for authentic local food and navigating my way around. So I decided to lower my guard (which had been up all my life) and believe in the goodness in people in order to ask for favours. Maybe I was lucky, or maybe it’s the people of Nepal; but everything turned out fine, even when I was told not to trust so easily.
You can be whoever you want to be
In a place where nobody knew me, I could do things that were out of character. I wasn’t planning on doing anything bad – just to step out of my comfort zone, make different choices and see where they brought me. A lot of awesome things happened because I was willing to let myself go and simply ‘be’.
Your perspective is forever changed
I took stock of things when my trip ended. I had survived alone in a foreign land. It felt great. After seeing new people and other ways of living, the map in my heart had expanded. I see things differently now, and it affects my life decisions. I appreciate every single moment in life because I know how big the world is, and how small my problems are in comparison.
From an article published by coffeepreneur and traveler Isabelle Thye in http://www.theartsycraftsy.com/
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