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How Solo Travel Changed me Permanently

Solo travel is a very peculiar thing.

It’s like the adventure doesn’t even lie in the activities that you engage in. It’s breakfast with strangers, or the time you went into a weird association club with a Portuguese Angolan guy and had to sign for secrecy while you watched 10 DJ’s that had never met make music in a room at the bottom of a spiral stairway while all you could think about was the blisters on your feet from walking the lumpy, narrow streets of Lisbon.

But the real adventure seems to lie in walking the fine line between freedom and loneliness.

You are constantly free to choose where to go, free to meander the streets or get lost in the distant sunset, yet you are constantly searching. Constantly searching for people to share fleeting slivers of time with. Constantly wanting to belong in a place you do not.

Solo travel is loneliness and freedom and never wanting it to be over while wishing you were home.

It’s meeting people with minds the same as yours, travelling to war torn cities with them, getting out of bed at four in the afternoon to smoke cigarettes over a flat roofed city and talk about ideas, to then say good bye and never see them again.

It's covering your hair with a scarf so people don't stare at you, or running into the wilderness with your locks un-brushed because no one can see you.

It’s leaving your heart behind while you push on, until your heart in its worn and weary state, cracked around the edges, catches up to you and carries you deep into the shadows of you innards. Forces you to smooth it out, and use it on yourself.

Solo travel taught me to be independent, survive, adapt and accommodate. It taught me to be resourceful and creative and capable of socializing in any situation. It taught me to be quiet and to enjoy my own company. It taught me selfishness, sadness, loneliness and coldheartedness. It taught me forgiveness, compassion and patience. It taught me how to break myself and fix myself over and over again.

Solo travel is ultimate happiness and ultimate sadness forcing themselves upon you simultaneously. It is ultimate thrills, ultimate fear and ultimate calm.

Solo travel makes you feel.

By golly it’s addictive.

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