Freedom; a seven letter word that means so many different things to so many people. What does it mean to you? To me, it’s all about happiness and being in my own happy go lucky shell away from anyone’s interference. Its meaning carries the most weight when you leave everything behind and just do what makes you really joyful.
Ever since I was a little girl, I had a secret wish of being left alone to explore the world. I think this relates to almost everyone who once upon a time while growing up wished they were free from the shackles that grounded them; mostly focusing on studies and building a better future that the one your parents have. But that secret wish still resonated as I grew older and was studying abroad. Sadly, I was too busy making ends meet, studying and working at the same time is no joke, to even have the chance to explore the world the way I wanted to. Fast forward a decade from then and here I am really living the dream and finding out more about my definition of freedom through solo travelling.
Most people think I am so brave or out of my mind to travel on my own to places most of them haven’t been might I add. For me, solo travel means that freedom I have always dreamed of. And no it never was tough to travel with a hijab on your head, it’s actually more empowering than anything.
One of my happiest moments traveling was very recently during my travel to Turks and Caicos at the beach. There I was sat comfortably on one of the beach chairs, taking in the beautiful beach and scenery and felt total Zen and happiness with where I was (the number ONE beach in the world solo!) and the energy around me.
One of my more challenging times was navigating my way in Brussels with zero French and zero help from those around, simply for the fact that I spoke to them in Dutch.
These are small moments. But what are we but the accumulation of small moments. These, and others as I travel solo, contribute to my sense of being free and empowered in a way I wouldn’t have been if I traveled with a buddy or chose to stay home in Muscat.
The freedom to live life and travel when, where and how one wants; no restrictions, no obligations, it’s just you and the wind. That’s why solo travel means freedom to me.
So what does travel mean to you? Have you ventured into solo travel? And if so has it changed your perception in anyway?