I’m a few hours shy to my first extended solo trip in a long while and I’m still trying to not freak out.
I’ve gone from heading out to get nasi lemak and banana fritters for breakfast, to watching an episode of Suits, to crafting some of the information for my trip into my travel notebook.
Crafting, y’guys. I don’t even like crafting.
But you’ve done this so many times!
I know, but I don’t think it ever gets any easier, this whole business of leaving on solo trips. I’m more than 2 years in, with multiple trips from Europe to Asia to Africa, and I still get anxious and fidgety before a trip. No, scratch that. I’m always scared out of my wits before trips.
I guess it’s because every single trip is a new leap of faith. It lends itself new challenges and circumstances, and you’re never quite totally prepared for what is to happen. Each time is a purposeful step outside of one’s comfort zone, and a surrender to whatever is meant to happen.
Every trip, I learn to let go of control and open myself up to His plans.
So I keep looking at fear in the eye, go ahead and embark on my trip anyway.
Feel the fear but still do it anyway.
Through time, I have also embraced the understanding that anxiety and fear are fully normal responses to such situations. It’s normal because it matters to me. I have a stake in this. This isn’t something I can detach myself from because this is how I grow. This is how I process the lessons of life. This is how I live the blessings that have been bestowed upon me.
“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.” – John Green
This is going to be the first trip I’m making as a working professional. The experience of the past few months of facing a steep learning curve and adapting to new expectations, environments and challenges, had begun to mould me, or some would say, reveal the kind of person I am capable of being, and I believed it was high time for me to take a stop and check measure before proceeding further. I wasn’t sure if that was the kind of person I would like to be.
The past few months have also seen me struggle to grow through countless curveballs life decided to throw me in the private realms of my personal life. I had to learn very quickly which battles were worth fighting for, and which to let slide.
Ah, I’ve realised how much I have missed sitting down to write about my lessons through travel. I’ve been so tardy about it! I should really probably be more consistent, especially if I wish to keep my sanity.
But that will be a work in progress. I really do hope to get back to writing soon. Right now, I have a backpack to finish packing and a flight to catch tonight. I have to say what needs to be said, forgive what needs to pass, and build what needs to exist between the living. All of these, before I take the leap of faith.
I remember the prayer I’d made on my maiden solo backpacking trip, back when I‘d just landed in Malaga airport one chilly night.
“Here I am, entirely alone and under Your mercy. Guide me as You will and protect me as only You can. I am open to whatever You have planned for me so lead me. Verily, You are the best mender of broken hearts and souls, and You are the best of planners.”
I guess it cannot be any more apt for this journey that I’m about to take.
You may follow my journey on Instagram at @thetudungtraveller !
May each and every one of you be blessed endlessly with grace and kindness.
I’ll catch you soon.