“Where do you find the courage to travel solo?”, asked a lady beyond 30 years my senior.
“I’m not entirely sure” I answered with complete honesty.
But I had essentially just stated that I wasn’t really sure how I got here or why I was here at this point in my life, travelling around the world solo and sharing my journey with thousands of readers located all around the world. It was a scarey thought, not knowing why I was here in this moment, but I was here none the less. Solo, half way around the world, and no real answer to explain as to why.
I’m a firm believer that J. R. R. Tolkien’s quote that “not all those who wander are lost” has hit the nail on the head for not only me, but many solo women travellers in general. But if we are to be completely and utterly honest with ourselves, we’re not particularly ‘found’, either. We’re kind of in no man’s land. As you’ll come to see by the end of this post, there’s nothing wrong with that.
After the 2010 film release of Eat Pray Love, there has been this common misconception that solo girls travelling by themselves around the world are somehow “lost’, in need of “finding themselves”. I’m sure some of them are by the way, and as in the book, Julia Roberts has in the film just endured a painful divorce which one could only conclude would lead to a need to find answers about herself and the purpose of live in general (I loved the film by the way).
But of course not everyone travels the world to find themselves, be it through a solo adventure or otherwise. However after not being able to conclusively answer the initial question asked of me and state that I was somehow courageous, bold, noble even, I can’t conclude that I am entirely on the other end of the spectrum, either.
If you don’t know where you’re going…
So what if I don’t know why I am here, how I got here, or precisely what it is that I am doing travelling the world as a full time travel blogger (an elusive concept in itself). Why must I have the answers? Why must we feel incompetent or indeed unsure of ourselves when we don’t have ALL the answers? What if we stopped searching for answers and instead chose to ask more questions?
…Any road will take you there
There’s something within us as humans that finds comfort in having concrete answers and knowledge. We are always on a need to know basis with others and ourselves, and for some reason become overwhelmed by the unknown should it cross our path. So if you find yourself here (as I did today), consider relishing in the fact that you don’t have all the answers, you don’t need to know where you’re going, and you just need to go in the right direction. After all, all roads will lead us somewhere.