Scouring through Netflix last weekend in search of a good soulful movie, I came across “The Holiday” from the year 2006. Starring some of the finest actors such as Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black. The movie was a treat to the eyes and soul. After a long week of hustle and fighting a war with myself, this movie was exactly what I needed. It’s about two women falling out of relationships and wanting to take a break from their daily life. Both stay in two different parts of the world and agree for a home exchange program wherein they swap their homes with eachother. one will move to London and the other to Los Angeles for a few weeks. The idea of going away all the way to far off places just to get some fresh air for their soul seemed so fascinating and adventurous. Those few weeks changes their life and they realize that they are missing out on so many little things in search for big things. The idea of going away somewhere solo is so frightening as well as exciting in a good way that once it is done, there’s no looking back. New people, new culture, new food etc. change our mind little by little. But when we look back, the change is done.
The movie also made me realize a very big thing that many people fail to realize, including me. Self-Reliance. Yes, you heard it right. These two ladies in the movie knew nothing except their relationships and how to make it right. It’s like basing their life on someone else. I mean, how terrible is that? Well, at least with a few weeks of being away, they knew what they exactly want is themselves. And that is so powerful. It’s so lovely to see them with beaming smiles at the end of the movie when they travel back to their homes.
Some of my friends have traveled solo and the one thing I always hear from their experience is having new company. New people come with their own set of stories and experiences. It’s like a breath of fresh air. We start realizing that not all people are bad. Some people come in search of oneself and some come to get away from their usual self and that’s the beauty everyone must experience. We learn to discover ourselves in the strangest ways possible and that is what makes us, us.
I have always wanted to solo travel since long. But, honestly, I am scared. I get anxious easily while thinking about anything going wrong on the trip. It might be me not getting out of my room at all or not finding a place to eat or not meeting people who would be hospitable. It’s foolish, I know. And therefore I start making excuses for myself like ‘no-money’, ‘no-time’ etc. But from all the experiences I see and hear, I know that it is worth trying at least once in a lifetime. It might not be very far across countries. Solo travel can be anything from your own city darshan all by yourself to spending some time alone in the countryside overlooking the greens and clouds.
So, open up that link in your browser that has been in the bookmarks folder since ages because that form of detoxification is the best. Everyone needs to run away once in a while, take a deep breath, and come back with craziest memories and beautiful pictures in the camera roll. I should too, be looking for a good place to hide away as soon as I stop getting anxious and making excuses. But that is all a part of the experience, I suppose.
As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.
–Robin S. Sharma