Traveling solo is an amazing experience. I am privileged enough to meet new people every day as well as practice what I absolutely love to do while getting paid for it and seeing the world. I am incredibly lucky.
But there is something that us solo travelers choose to leave out of our quirky stories, late night party sessions and adventurous tales…
We have to say goodbye. A lot.
It’s common that while on the road we don’t run into people just like us. More often than not, we meet vacationers, retirees, and gap-year students. All of these people have a home to return to – a routine, family, loved ones, an address, bed, dog, car, job, etc. They are looking for an escape from it all, a temporary getaway that will reset their minds, clear their heads or possibly teach them something new. But then they return while we stay out on the road chasing our insatiable wanderlust.
I can’t begin to count how many times people have said, “Oh, I wish I could do what you’re doing,” or “Good for you, doing all of this while you’re young.” Well, thanks, yes, I am glad that I pursued my dreams and have figured out a way to make a living by traveling the world. Yay! But what many of these people don’t know is that while I absolutely adore the life that I am currently living, I can’t help but feel a physical pain in my stomach when they say, “I’m excited to go back home… get back into a routine.”
What once sounded like death to me now has instead stirred a slight sense of longing for the stability. See, I literally am a nomad. I rent a room here and there, usually not extending my stay for longer than a month. I make my living by working as a performer around the country and Canada and I make an effort to travel to new places in between gigs in order to avoid looking for an apartment or place to call home. I have done this for 18 months and only now am I starting to wonder… What the hell am I doing?
I have to say goodbye to people ALL THE TIME. I make these amazing connections, fall in and out of love, call strangers family and bond immediately with fellow participants on a zip line tour. These people leave a small imprint as I hopefully do for them as well. I am passionate about making genuine human connections and leaving people with a different perspective, be it looking at the world a little differently or trying something new. But my love for people has been both a blessing and a curse. See, as I often try and make a genuine connection, I can sometimes turn into an escape or even a dream.
I am a passerby, a traveler out in a really big world. Highly insignificant in the scheme of things, I have a hard time placing high value on family, stability, security, routine, and more simply because everything I do is incredibly temporary.
But what if I want to remove some of the temporary from my life? How do I introduce some stability yet still live this nomadic adventure? Someone recently said to me, “I wish my life was as simple as yours.” The solo travelers of the world are continually questioned on our longevity as well as challenged as to find what we really want. At almost 28 years old, I am beginning to grow concerned. Will I ever find that person who is adventurous like me? Who loves passionately, jumps off waterfalls, goes on midnight adventures and who wants to find true meaning and happiness in this world? They say we can’t have our cake and eat it too – maybe the truth is that I am asking for too much. But as one of my favorite songs states: “I don’t care what they all say/I don’t care if my heart breaks/All I want is love/I don’t care what they all say/Let me find my own way home.”
I want to find my own way home one day. I want to find love that is big, supportive, passionate, and adventurous. But until that day comes, I suppose I’ll blame my gypsy soul and continue with the fact that I was made for leaving.
Here’s to all those solo travelers out there searching for love within ourselves, within others and within the world. Be fierce and fearless in your paths and always have courage and be kind.