I woke up to the steady beats of the introduction…
I’ve had a lot going through my head since I left home. I guess it’s to be expected considering I have just turned my life upside down. I’ve been writing down my impressions and my thoughts to help me sort through it all.
Alone in Transit
It’s 5am and I’m sitting in Changi Airport. I still have a few hours until my flight to KL and I’m not excited at all. I’m not sure why. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for so long and now that it’s here I don’t feel anything. I can’t help but wonder if I have made the wrong decision by uprooting my life like this. Can I really do this alone? Maybe a couple of years on the road is too ambitious.
This is my dream. So why doesn’t it feel like it?
I don’t think I expected leaving home to hurt as much as it did. I always thought that I would find myself itching to get on the plane. Instead I was torn. A part of me wanted to stay and choose the easy path. To go home and snuggle up in my bed like I normally would at that time. To message my friends and set up times to see them. To get a job again. In the end I got on the plane. But part of me is tempted to get on the next one back home.
This is the first time in my life that I am truly alone. And I’m really feeling it right now. Especially because of how long I am planning to be away. I’m already missing the people I love and I don’t know how to get my head around the idea of not seeing them for so long. Perhaps I should have gone for a short trip on my own first instead of diving into this massive adventure headfirst. I always have the option of buying a ticket back home any time I want and that’s comforting. But I have to at least give myself some time to see if I adjust. Right now my head is just full of the goodbyes I’ve had to say over the last few days and I don’t know how to process these feelings. I’ve gotten used to suppressing my emotions most of the time so I’m quite overwhelmed. The lack of sleep in the past 48 hours probably isn’t helping.
I hope that once I check in to the hostel this afternoon, get a decent sleep, and then meet a few people my outlook will change. This is an amazing opportunity and I have worked hard to make it to this point. I want to see the world. I know that I do. I spend hours every day dreaming of travel. If only it didn’t come at the cost of leaving people behind.
So this is Hostel Life
I’ve just checked in to my first hostel. It’s awkward to say the least. Right now there is only one other person in the common area. He’s on his laptop as well. We’re both avoiding eye contact and pretending the other isn’t there. Everyone else is presumably out enjoying the sights and having a blast. I’m not sure I really fit in this environment. I’m a bit too shy to go up and introduce myself to the few people that are here and it’s so easy to hide behind my laptop.
I’m just not sure what to do with myself. From what I’ve seen so far (a few others have joined him now) the other people staying here have already gotten to know each other and formed a bit of a clique. I don’t know whether to attempt integrating myself into their group or just keep my distance and have a very awkward four days. My gut instinct is going with the latter; you can tell I’m not a naturally social person (Which might have to be addressed if I’m going to make it as a long-term traveller). The only other option is to hope that someone else new shows up and we’ll become outcast buddies. Though my luck they’ll be welcomed with open arms into the present group and I won’t get a chance to sequester them for myself.
I suppose every solo backpacker goes through this at first. I just hope it doesn’t last. I’m worried to venture too far from my hostel on my own, especially if I’m carrying my phone or camera. Is that paranoia or common sense? But I’m not really feeling that happy, free spirit thing that I hear so much about in other traveller’s tales. I’m starting to wonder if solo travel is what is right for me. Though I didn’t have much choice; the options were go alone or not at all.
It got better, kind of
I managed to exchange a few words with one of my dorm mates. He was a nice fellow from Taiwan that had just finished a working holiday visa in Australia. We exchanged a few pleasantries as he packed up ready for his bus the next day. I left him to it and headed to the common area. The clique was chatting away in a corner so I sat with another girl that was on her own. I smiled and said hi and then we spent the next few hours chatting about our travels and our homes. We didn’t bother exchanging names; this was going to be one of those five-hour-friendships I had heard about.
But, for a little while, I didn’t feel quite so alone anymore.