Many times people ask me how it is to travel alone and whether I feel lonely. Mostly this question has been asked within the first minutes after I introduced myself followed by worries and a skeptical glance. I always answer the same – that I never feel lonely and that traveling alone is totally fine by me. So maybe it’s time to share my thoughts and impressions about the past 8 months with you. Also to encourage many other men and women (!) To dare themselves to such a journey.
First of all – for me there is nothing abnormal about traveling alone. It’s a proof that you are an independent normal human being who is able to spend time with yourself. Sometimes that might be a little hard but in the end its rewarding. And it doesn’t mean that there are no friends existing. It rather means that you are doing whatever you are up to and that you don’t need someone else to do it. Of course, at some point it might be more desirable to share moments and thoughts with someone else and I don’t deny it at all! But in my case I needed to do this journey on my own. It was time to spend time with myself and to get clear about a few things. And it wasn’t just time, because I felt like It. It was time because everything in my life screamed for a change and there was simply no other option. I just couldn’t accept another job offer in another town after moving eight times in 10 years. I just couldn’t ignore my inner voice anymore and I just couldn’t wake up every morning without identifying with the life I was living in. It was just time.
So the chance was quite low, that one of my friend was in the same stage and wanted to quit the job to travel around for a year. But that didn’t scare me. To be fair – I was never scared when it turned out that I had to do something on my own. Because I deeply believe in the fact, that you are the only one responsible for making yourself truly happy. Sure, friends, family and a partner have a massive impact on the well-being as well, but your inner balance and personal happiness are products of your own effort. There is a lot of truth in the quote „First you have to love yourself before you can love someone else“ and thats not just relating to a partner but everyone else. You can’t expect someone else to live your life or you just can’t make your own personal happiness dependent on someone else. Knowing that, it was pretty clear to me that it was simply time for myself to change my situation. That ended in fulltime-vanlife and a culinary road trip. I didn’t just find myself, I also found so many great and inspiring people. Some of them became idols, friends or a unique memory. My journey and my aim to meet many local producers and small manufacturers brought me together with great personalities who are living their passion. Great personalities I’ve spent time strolling through nature, milking goats, collecting apples, tasting coffee and most of all talking about life with. It’s a gift that I meet so many inspiring people who changed my perspective and my attitude towards life. I am so grateful about this journey that I simply can’t feel lonely. I had no other alternative than doing this and it turned out to be great. Sure, there were many moments, nights and days I’ve been physically alone. But my friends and my family always have been one call away and as long as I kept the contact, everything was alright. I have a lot of friends and a few close ones who are all spread around Germany, even Europe. So I was used to the fact that most of the time friendships are held via telephone. Additional to that I am a single child, so maybe that was also somehow preparing for this journey, too.
However, I can’t say anything negative about traveling alone. I agree that it might be more challenging and at some point difficult – but everything is do-able as long as you allow yourself with a bit of time and thought to make it on your own. And if that doesn’t help – a phone call or google might do so. Just take care about the battery of your phone 🙂
Many people are also asking me whether it is dangerous or whether I ever felt scared. Well, yes I did. Especially in the beginning I had to get used to my new lifestyle and that I am sleeping at a different location each and every night. But the fear was always born in my own mind. It’s just been thoughts and never reality. So I just had to get rid of crazy thoughts that never became true. I learned to trust my own gut feeling and to take good care about myself. And as I wrote in the beginning – in the end it’s rewarding! You learn a lot about yourself and that leads you to your own personal happiness. My personal happiness also includes my friends& family and realizing, that they have been a very important part during this journey anyway. They stood by my side and supported me whenever possible. But it started with myself and I encourage everyone to do the same.