Hmmm… I just realized it’s been 10.5 years since I got infected by the wanderlust virus.a bit young you might say, but in my country that’s just the time when international trips became affordable, thanks to the budget airlines that started to ply our skies. Since then, there was no curing this disease…
Looking back at it, there seemed to be a change in my priorities when traveling.
At the infancy stage, when all the excitement and thrill of being abroad for the first time stimulated my senses, I wanted to see them all. Yes, “everywhere was on my list” back then. I remembered leaving our group in Singapore with another friend to travel to Kuala Lumpur for a day just to see Petronas Tower and travel to Malacca for a day (again, I think) for a Dutch feel, then rejoined our friends in Singapore.
Could be the happiness of having more stamps in my passport… Or the”we’re here then why dont we explore it already?” mentality.
It was a good phase of my wanderlust life. How I wish I still have that youth and energy to be out and about, running around, chasing all of it…
Then as I traveled more, I found myself confident traveling alone, that in some instances, I did. Was it awkward? Was it scary? Probably the first time. But there was something about traveling alone that makes it as worthwhile as being with a group. Sure, there’s nobody to share your thoughts instantly with. A few years back, it could be a bit lonely, but this time when internet and wifi is cheap and accessible, you can send your photos and videocall to show where you are. Realtime.
I think traveling alone helps you develop yourself a little bit faster and better. I traveled to Mexico City by myself, and all worked out pretty well. Amid the impression of the place, I should say I’m glad I didn’t listen.
10.5 years and 37 countries later, I find myself in another stage. I didn’t realize it myself, somebody had to teach me how, and when I did I liked this approach much better.
My latter travels are no longer as rigid and as regimented as they were when I was a newbie. When I traveled to Armenia, I only booked a room for a few nights and decided to decide there how my schedule would go afterwards.
I no longer keep a spreadsheet of my daily schedule, where I should be at a particular time, what bus timing will I catch, etc. I slow down when I need to, and move on when the planned activity doesnt seem to be worth it.
I would obsess over the must-do’s and must-see’s and cramp my days so much that I would even try to squeeze in some day trips. I let go of those and allow myself to be where I am at that moment. In my trip to Russia, you may not believe me when I say I didnt cover the whole Kremlin Wall Complex. I didn’t even try. It wouldn’t have been that way if I did Russia 7 years ago.
Do I like my travel personality now? I think I am pleased with how I have evolved travel-wise. I feel more human than a robot that has to be here or there and everywhere. I am able to digest and appreciate the place and the people much more. I am less tired…
Probably it comes with the acceptance that I will not get to see it all. Not saying I am not wishing for it, but…
Different folks, different strokes. But I guess 1 found my style and I’d like to keep it this way. Slowly… But surely.