Travel Alone // Where Your Heart Takes You

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
— Elizabeth Gilbert


a solitary wanderer

Since our last blog revolved around self love, it seemed fitting to finish with this.

Wandering alone, surrendering to a journey with just you and you alone. I can't say I've made a conscious choice to book myself a trip and head out with just me, myself and I. It seems thrilling, yet for some reason I have a block. I've traveled on my own from airport to airport. I also spent most of time in Los Angeles by myself, exploring, trying to battle the crazy streets of Hollywood (huge undertaking.) Lately, I've had the urge to grow beyond my comfort zone - an itch to pursue something more than my own backyard. Funny thing is, I remember watching Eat, Pray, Love (haven't read it) wondering what it would be like to to embark on a self seeking journey with just one ticket in hand, to a new state. Maybe even more out of my comfort zone - out of the United States. I'll admit, it does scare me just a tad, more because of the logistics and having the safety of a travel buddy. But beyond the fear that comes rushing in to greet us, what happens beyond it, I bet you it'll be something ground breaking. Knowing ourself on a deeper level can be the most beautiful journey we can embark on. I think as humans, we get comfortable (same time, same place, same area.) I find myself not thriving to my full potential in these environments. 

One of the books I read in high school was called Into The Wild - based on a true story. It was about a man that ditched the confines of his home (money, family, and job) to embark on a journey with himself. I want tell you - it's a must read. Here's a quote from the book:

So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
— Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild

So imagine if - come Monday - you decided to start saving or planning the journey of a lifetime. Big or small. We can learn so much from ourselves in the silence of nature, away from society and the world, that so often influences our every move, thoughts, and decisions. We could learn to find comfort within ourselves and no longer hide from our own thoughts. I remember watching Super Soul Sunday as I do every Sunday, and Cherry Stray was on talking to Oprah regarding her one woman travel on the Pacific Crest Trail. How empowering! 

It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era, or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.
— Cheryl Strayed

Do you find yourself freaking out with the feeling of being alone with yourself? I feel you. As a fellow extrovert, I feed off of other peoples' energy. So when it's left up to me, I find that being alone needs to be part of a healthy balance. So I'm challenging myself this year to - again - practice self love and choose to enjoy the company of myself. Traveling alone will be one of these things.

I leave you with this thought.

Why the hell not?

We can be the hero to our own story. We hold the pen. Through these very experiences, we can see ourselves through a clear lens, see the world in its raw space, learn about different cultures with an open heart, new relationships, shake ourselves out of our comfort zone, move freely on our own terms, etc. You are the pilot of your life. Tomorrow can be different. It all starts with a choice to steer in a different direction. Open skies. 

Our intuition is our GPS. Listen closely. What is it telling you?

Let's get clear with ourselves. This vessel you've been granted. This breath you've been given. Use the hell out of it.

Walk miles. Seek more. Wander with no intention. No plan. Just be.