domingo, 17 de janeiro de 2010

Traveling alone

I mentioned in the previous post that the first time I went to São Luís do Paraitinga I went by myself, and this was one of my first trips alone. That's curious when I tell people that I like traveling alone, most of them find it weird, boring or they say they wouldn't have courage to do that, especially women.

To me, traveling alone is just "normal", I enjoy traveling with friends and family as well, but I won't stay home just because I don't have company, for example. Besides, when traveling alone you can do whatever you want, any time you want without having to ask anybody's opinion or permission. That's when I feel really "independent".

Obviously, it was not that easy to convince my parents of that, and even myself in the beginning, so I started with "homeopathic" doses, just going to the beach for a weekend on my own, in my family' apartment. Then I chose cities close to SP, and SLP was the first one, if I'm not mistaken.

Actually, before that, I had the chance to travel abroad for the first time, to New York, in 2001. Although I stayed with some relatives there, I traveled alone from SP to NY and I went out by myself most of the time there, so it was the first "big" experience of traveling alone. After that, things got easier. If I survived abroad for 10 days, I would probably be ready for new trips on my own. I also have a friend who loves traveling alone and motivates me to do so.

Well, sometimes not totally alone, I go on package tours as well, where you meet a group and spend most of the time with people you didn't know before. These friendships, however, don't last much, unfortunately. When you come back from these trips, you always have a list of new contacts and you often exhange a few emails in the first months, maybe even meet again once or twice. After some months, nevertheless, the emails are rare until they are not sent or received anymore.

There are disadvantages of traveling alone, for sure, you have nobody to comment on the beautiful things you see, you have to take your own pictures or ask strangers to do that, your conversations are usually only to ask information, check-in and out of hotels or buy something, although you can always meet new people to talk to. When traveling alone I talk to strangers much more than I do in SP, for example, and I guess that's an experience everyone should try, at least one in their lives.