One of the greatest fears people encounter when traveling, especially solo, is the fear of being alone. There is a certain discomfort that comes with being without those who we generally surround ourselves with. We are suddenly “alone.” However ,over the past three years, I have come to realize that this fear is largely unfounded. Somehow , you are never really alone. A lot of the time you are caught by people’s humanity.
You will find that even though you do not have your loved ones by your side ; help will be there if you need it. There is a greater force out there looking out for you.I traveled to Tanzania two years ago, completely alone, and not really knowing anyone in the country. Yet over a span of a few months, the people in Tanzania became my family and to this day, I still consider them my family.I joined up with a travel group last year in April where most of them came from the UK and now some of them are now my closest friends.
More often than not, friendship and kindness will come from those you never expected it from and it WILL amaze you …if you take the time to reflect. Sometimes they will simply enter your life and leave – in a random act of kindness and sometimes they’ll stay to go on to be your friends. It reminds me of something that happened to me in Toronto at a bus stop. I was about two minutes early for my bus..so I inserted my debit card into the machine only to realize that machine was broken. So I ran over to the next machine ..almost tripping over myself and had that machine reject my card. I scavenged into my wallet for some change but didn’t have the $3.50 I needed..my bus had come in by now and looked like it was about to leave. I ran towards the first machine again hoping I had misread something or inserted my card wrong and then a random man came up to me before I inserted my card and asked if I needed a ticket because he had caught a ride with someone. I was speechless. I thanked him and somehow caught my bus. I don’t know if he saw me running around like a headless chicken or if it was just some awesome stroke of fate. I didn’t put too much thought into it but sat amazed for the entire day at how there is a force out there taking care of us.
I’ve been really blessed, to be honest. On Every trip I’ve made over the last two years ; I’ve made amazing friends who I believe could be life-long friends. People that you meet in different countries are , at the end of the day, people. When you do not have your friends or family close by ; you will, more often than not, find similar kindness in strangers who may then go on to become your friends.
Obviously, one needs to also keep ones wits about them and be alert when in a new country. It is really important to be cautious when traveling alone yet what I am trying to say is that there is goodness out there. There are people who will smile and be kind. I won’t deny that it a bit difficult being in a new place sometimes. Generally the first few nights are sometimes challenging as you are getting accustomed to a new place. But in good time: you will be amazed by the strength of your own human spirit ( it is not easy to throw yourself into the unknown); empathize with those who are in a similar situation ; have overcome one more fear; made new friends hopefully and you will be enriched by yet another life experience.
I am a believer in Karma so do some good and hopefully you will receive good. Be a friend and you will gain a friend.