“You’re so lucky”, “I would have dreamed doing that”, “it’s courageous to leave alone”… claiming that you are leaving on a round-a-world trip inevitably gets some amusing – if not irritating – classical reactions, that you’d better know how to counter.
The luck, the dream
No, it’s not out of luck if I am leaving. I did not win the lotto, nor did anyone take my hand to show me the procedure to follow. No one forced me to quit my job or my flat, nor to get my vaccines. It is a long-time reflected project, prepared for a few months. A radical life-change. If you really dream of it as you say, why don’t you leave as well? Let’s not answer that it’s a question of money. There are some travelers like l’Aventurière Fauchée that leave without anything.
I appreciate those who recognize that this type of travel would not be for them. That they are simply happy for me but don’t envy me. That the simple thought of leaving without knowing where to sleep in the evening is so stressing for them that it would ruin their experience. At least they are honest and don’t project their fears or regrets on me. Some people need to build a family, invest in a flat or a house, some others need to give everything up and go far away. But why do we always have to compare and judge each of our needs?
About solitude when traveling
It is well known that you are never really alone when traveling. You even meet more people when being alone. Though, how many people did praise my courage to go on my own, even more as a woman? But how many did it before me and came back even stronger? Don’t we have even more risks in our own city?
I consider solitude as a necessary step to grow as an adult. Our identity cannot be forged depending on another person with who we share our daily-life, and for who we will have to make concessions. Simply know your inner-self and know how to be happy alone, before looking for happiness with someone else… and travel is definitely one of the best life-learning processes. What could be more enriching and powerful than learning how to cope with every situation, to develop your humility and courage, and to trust your own intuition?
“So what do you feel as departure is getting closer?”
Many people asked me about my feelings at the prospect of leaving soon.
Of course, excitement and joy have always been present at this simple idea, but above all, I was concentrated on leaving the present moment. On making the most of my remaining days in France.
A few days before taking off, I still don’t realize what’s waiting for me. But if I had ruined my last moments with my relatives by thinking too much about South Africa, does it mean that once there, I would have spent my whole time thinking about Argentina, and so on in each new country? I would then miss all those experiences…
Leaving many “last times” before such a departure is a very strong and thrilling experience. I have spent every single minute shared with my relatives, every place and every activity with a unique intensity, as I did not know when I would live such moments nor see those people again. This last-time – before long – feeling makes all those instants even more beautiful, stronger and memorable.
It is also the occasion to tell feelings, words and love/friendship declarations that we would never have shared otherwise.
These last weeks were then a life-size mindfulness experience. And a very enriching lesson: living like this every single day, always measuring the importance of our acts, words and feelings, is definitely a key leading to fulfillment. Enjoy every moment of happiness – especially the simplest ones – with the conscience that they are so precious…
My departure is not a dodge. I know what I am leaving and I will miss. I also know that many “first times” are waiting for me, and my curiosity is my main motivation. I love my relatives, I love France and especially Paris, I love cheese, wine, Kefir and all sorts of seeds, I love riding in Paris with my dear little bike, I love dancing all night-long, and so much more; and I would be inhuman to leave all of this without a twinge of sorrow.
Next step in South Africa!