As I sit here in a hostel in Vancouver before I head into the second leg of my journey traveling through the states as a solo traveler, I can’t help but have feelings of uneasiness, anxiety and fear. I have waited so long to see the wonders of the world from my own eyes at my own pace and on my own time – and here I am, in the face of this new adventure and while I am excited at the thought of new discoveries, I am desperately seeking refuge from doing this alone. They say, the best way to discover yourself is to spend time with yourself – I used to think that I spent a sufficient amount of “alone” time to myself thinking and pondering without external commentaries. Yet, here I am in a situation no different than being beside myself on a regular day in Toronto; only difference now is, I am thousands of miles away from home and feeling disheartened and dejected knowing that in a few hours when I get on a bus from Vancouver to Seattle and check into a hostel, I have no one to rely on but myself. No one I can trust, no friends to turn to, no familiarity to recognize – and that is what I will know to being completely alone. I have barely begun this phase and already feel the intensity associated with the distance from familiarity and accessibility. It is with this that I realize just how dependant I’ve become on instantaneous accessibility to things and people, taking for granted what it means to rely on yourself.
When I break my ankle and need help, who do I turn to? When I need directions to get around, who will I turn to? When I have thoughts on my mind, who will I share them with? Without the certainty to connection, access to networks or people – I am taking the chance to survive in the world that is out there based on the kindness of humans and the networks of backpackers I come across in hostels and in my journeys.
My heart is racing, my emotions are flustered, there are rats running under my feet in this hostel in Vancouver. Tomorrow, I will begin the real journey of mind, body and soul – alone.