travelling alone

last evening i attended a talk by Yossi Ghinsberg – for about an hour he spoke about his travels, his outlook on life, love for nature and of course his experience in the Bolivian Amazon where he was lost for nearly 3 weeks in completely uncharted territory. it was interesting to listen to a ‘motivational speaker’ – i have usually stayed away from such events previously i.e. those by motivational speakers. why? because i feel the best insights come from introspection and not from listening to someone else and trying to apply their views to your life. i went to this one specifically because he is a traveler and he was going to talk about his rainforest experience.

to be frank i didn’t know much about him until i got on invite from a website – holidayiq. they are planning to organise more such meets with travelers and that’s what really got me interested. he’s definitely a good story teller and he peppers the stories with his own insights. he spoke about traveling alone and how it’s the best thing because you make new friends, which you would never do if you were traveling with another person. that immediately struck home because of my last trip, which was not my first solo trip, but certainly the first where i made an effort to meet new people. it was so refreshing that i am quite hooked onto the solo travel concept.

of course, yossi ghinsberg spoke about many other things – his way of going to new places – he reads the lonely planet, and if a place is covered, he doesn’t go there. he wants to go to truly uncharted places. he lives in Byron Bay in Australia – inside the rainforest. his story of how he went to the Bolivian rainforest , his companions, his struggle for survival, was a gripping story with all the elements of a good story, suspense, drama, unexpected twists – and it was a pity that the organisers cut him short a little too soon. he was quite willing to continue. it was an inspiring story and of course made even better by the way he told it.

extreme and rugged nature of his travel may not be for everyone, but its certainly inspiring enough to make me want to travel more and continue to see the more “off-beat” places rather than the done to death tourist hot spots.

was thinking about all the various reactions from people on my Ladakh trip.

‘gutsy’ – nothing gutsy about it quite frankly, especially in the context of uncharted rainforests!
‘alone????’ – in utter and complete shock, complete disbelief that one would want to go alone on a holiday, and one person actually asked me the alone qs three more times in the same conversation and then went so far as to ask if i am married. when i said no, he said, oh that’s why, being married its really not possible to do this (a little regretfully)
‘but why?’ – and not quite understanding when i said i like to travel and the place is more important than who you go with
‘hats off to you! wish i could do that’ – this is mostly from other women who i don’t think would be able to travel alone

they need to listen to Yossi!

    • Che
    • July 19th, 2008

    Ah well women traveling alone is a taboo of sorts in this nation.My friend who lives (not just loves) to travel has been through this and more but nothing deters her. I have lot count of how many times she just quits her job and takes off without telling any one to some place.You might want to read her blog fidgetyfeet @ blogspot though she updates it rarely.

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