This kind of freedom is incredibly giving. You learn so much about what you really want, when you can go and do whatever you want. It's the kind of freedom I've never really had before. Learning you can do whatever you want in the country you’re in is an amazing feeling.
Until, that is, you realise that you are indeed alone.
I’ve been sick for about two weeks now with a bad virus. Originally just giving me a sore throat, it ended up rendering me completely immobile in bed for about four days. One of those days I unfortunately had to catch a flight, which wasn’t a pretty experience for the two poor people who ended up sitting next to me. If by some miracle I ever see you both again, I'll apologise for the sheer amount of coughing and spluttering that kept you both awake for the whole time.
While I saw people move in and out of the hostel everyday, coming back with their stories of: ‘Oh we did 'x' today and it was really great, what did you do?’, it really made me feel like I would have wanted someone around. That was probably one of the hardest realisations I’ve had when you’re travelling alone. You really only have you, yourself and your own thoughts accompanying you through the good, and the bad.
Other travellers might ask about how you’re feeling, but it’s really only a courtesy if they haven’t got to know you. Some sick traveller is the least of their issues. The more they avoid you, the less chance they have of getting sick!
By pushing through and getting up even if you are alone to go grab medicine, or get to a doctor, or even something as simple as getting bread so you can eat something, can show you how much you rely on others to do the littlest things for you and to be there as a comfort when you’re unwell or unhappy. By doing them yourself, you learn to be so much more self-reliant, and so much more thankful when others go out of their way to help you.
What’s some of the hardest things you’ve had to go through when you’ve been riding solo? Let me know in the comments below…
~ Olivia (WM)