Saturday, September 19, 2015

Flying Solo

When I was younger, I’ve always had this huge desire to explore

By myself.

Vicky Amin presents

I remember when my family and I went to Singapore 7 years ago. After we called it a day and headed back to the hotel, I asked for my parents’ permission to go out on my own –while my younger brothers decided to eat fried chicken and watch Smackdown at their room. Mom and dad agreed, and I went to Clark Quay. I can’t ever forget about that moment. When I rode the MRT, asked the staff where particular places were, asked strangers to take photos of me, damn, I felt like I was ready to take off of my home and rule the world.

Then I started my annual solo traveling habit. MalaysiaThailand, VietnamCambodia, Philippines, and finally Hong Kong–Macau. It was all crazy, really, like, if you ask me which one is the best, I literally can’t answer.

But if you force me to answer, with cold dagger lingering on my throat, and blood slowly bursts out of my Adam’s apple –shit man, I’ve seeped too much inside the Game of Thrones, I gotta say that, the best solo traveling moment actually came from inside this country.


From my “Conquering Indonesia” mission.

I met so many people during my international solo trips. Like, hundreds of them. Whether I knew their names or not, I literally met and talked with people from everywhere.

Knowing that I was traveling on my own, on such young stage of life, they were impressed, yes. But that’s all. After that, we kept on talking like nothing spectacular had happened to me, like travelers normally interacted. Because solo traveling is not a big deal for them. It’s common. Everybody from their country does that—even they have done that many times.

Then back in my country.
Where solo traveling is considered as, well, peculiar. Some say it’s crazy, some others say it’s desperate –oh what a narrow-minded, corny persons they are, and the rest of them say it’s… Mesmerizing.

Harapan was my first experience. I was grouped with originally twenty people, half of which was a bunch of stupid high school teenagers so I would only say that by that time, I was joined to a group of eleven. Aside of me, the other ten came literally in a couple. So basically they had a company. I, eventually, got called ‘Hachi’ by them. You know, that lonely honeybee hutch? Yea they called me that.

But that didn’t make me down. I was psyched instead. Those people saw me and looked after me like I was their youngest brother –well, I WAS, the youngest of all eleven. They talked to me, offered foods to me, make fun of me being so lean and lonely—after all, I went home bringing new friends more than anybody else in the group.

Care to guess which 10 people I did make friends with?

One month after, I went to Pahawang. This was even better. A bigger group, of 32, but since it was split into two boats, I only got to know half of them –which was good, because on the other boat there were these flamboyant boys I really wanted to punch and this fat girl whose mouth I would want to shut with a duct tape. So what made the trip better?

I personally knew these people even deeper than the ones I met in Harapan. They were originally a group of people knowing each other pretty well, and they welcomed me as if I was one of them. Talked to me, offered foods to me, make fun of how I slept like reclining Buddha—I swear at this stage, I fell in love with joining an open trip.

The rest of the group were drinking coconut somewhere on the beach.

Oh I was right. Because the best thing happened in my Krakatau trip. It's a whole bigger group, consisting of several different smaller groups, and all of us shared one same boat. So the rumor about me being the only one who came down there alone, spread like virus. Making everybody impressed, and curious about why on earth would I decide to hike Mount Krakatau with strangers.

And I literally talked to each small group. Groups that were not interacting with other groups, because they only wanted to hang inside their group. But since I wasn't a part of any group, they came to me. Talked to me, offered foods to me, make fun of THEMSELVES, for not being brave enough to do what I had done so many times—and I swear at that stage, I was so proud of myself.

I miss my strangers.

Oh well, Tricky Traveler.
You surely found where you belong.

I may have said this too many times but, I really like traveling solo. I really enjoy meeting new people. And how they will judge me about my self exploration. But nothing beats the joy of seeing their face in either amaze, wonder, or worry, when I start telling them my adventures.

Honestly, my mouth is getting tired of answering question "why do you like traveling solo?" and answer "because it's free, and I don't have to wait for anybody, and I can be mad to whoever I want if they're slowing me down because they're not my friends" has been spilled too often.

But I never got sick of that.

Because that question is where everything begins.
It's a cue that will lead me to a deeper conversation,
Stronger relationship and of course, eventually, a new friend.

And after all,
That's the beauty of
Flying Solo

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