How to travel alone

Does it make sense to accept the challenge to “do something solo” while you are already traveling alone? I did exactly this today and here comes the story.

Doesn’t travel alone already mean that you are on your own? Usually not. Think about it: At your accommodation you are surrounded by people, at least by the owners or by neighbors. As soon as you go out into a restaurant there are people sitting around you – and usually after a few minutes you start chatting and you’ve made new friends. Even if you are sitting in a local bus without knowing anybody it just takes minutes and you will find yourself again chatting to a stranger…

On the one hand side this is pretty amazing. As long as you are not traveling the Antarctic there is little chance that you will be completely solo. It is like a reflex to look for contact to other people – which is usually a good thing. Finding new friends amongst other travelers and connecting to the local people is a huge part of traveling, if not the most important. On the other hand side: Don’t we all need sometimes a break from society to reconnect to ourself?

After splitting up two days ago with the three fellow from Germany, the Netherlands and Romania I felt the desperate need of doing something really on my own. Exactly in the right moment I received a message from www.amazers.co who asked me if I would like to take part in there “Do something solo” challenge.

The challenge looks like this:

  1. Go on a 30-minutes walk and enjoy some alone time.
  2. Get lost in your thoughts and admire your surroundings.
  3. Capture this special moment by taking an image of you or whatever is around you.
  4. Upload the image in the below Challenge Activity attaching a description of your experience.

So I did. I started this morning around 11am and found myself walking in no particular direction and with no specific goal in my mind. I don’t know the surrounding area of where I stay at the moment, I just arrived in Ubud, Bali two days ago. I followed the sun and after about half an hour I passed some barking dogs in the middle of nowhere, just one minute before I found this wonderful walking path, leading to springs with water lily, butterflies flying around me everywhere.

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I found a small temple, sat down for a while until the mosquitos told me to leave.

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I followed the small path again and found a spot where I could maybe leave the constructed way. This was when the adventure began.

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Only a few minutes later I found myself in the wildness. I somehow made my path down a slippery hill, using palm trees and roots to climb down. I already heard water flowing a few minutes ago and now I was standing in front of a small river, looking around for a possibility to cross.

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Following millions of ants I used some planks to go to the other side, walked carefully up again through coppice trying to not step on a snake and was rewarded with a beautiful view into a valley full of rice field, banana trees and palm trees surrounded by lush green gras. (click on the picture to enlarge)

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I walked down again, found a even bigger river which I could not cross and sat down at the waterside. Some people stopped by at the other side with a boat, waving at me. I found a small runlet with clean water to cool my face and arms, the sun was already pretty hot and I realized that I was out in the middle of nowhere without carrying any water.

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Not sure if I could drink from the river I started to walk on. Again there was a tiny temple, I stopped by and made some pictures from the statues surrounding the praying area.

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Except from the people on the boat I haven’t seen one person the whole day and I began wondering who is using the temple: Everywhere where fresh flowers, I found a incense stick and lighted it up.

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The ground was a little wet so I skipped the Idea of sitting there for meditation, also I was getting really thirsty. I made my way back to civilization, still surrounded by butterflies, still seeing geckos and lizards and big frogs running away every few steps I made.

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I finally found a “Warung” which is a small Indonesian restaurant and got some water and a very spicy soup. Pretty happy about the last hours I started a conversation with Aricadia, the only person in the place. It turned out that he is a painter from Java. He started to tell me about a lot of places around Ubud and the women from the restaurant joined our conversation. After a while he offered me a ride to a mask and puppet house, the women from the restaurant handed me a helmet and we left. He didn’t only showed me the puppet place, he went there together with me and guided me through the different buildings. I did a lot of pictures, just one example of one of the balinese masks:

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Also he explained everything he know about the different parts of Ubud, told me something about the history of Indonesia and so on. The story ends with us both going to a supermarket and buying a English dictionary for his daughter and he even dropped me off at the place where I started the 30 minute walk about six hours ago… Thank you Aricadia!

It was not only a very, very nice day, it also motivated me to write my first post in English because I want to share this experience with a bigger audience. From now on this blog will (hopefully) be written in (bad) english 😀

If this has made you interested and if you want to join the challenge, just go to www.amazers.co, log in with Facebook or create your account in one minute and accept the challenge. Have fun!

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One Comment

  1. July 29, 2014
    Reply

    Great post! 🙂

    Keep it up!

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