A perspective of an Asian Traveler
It’s on movies, TV series and most of the travel blogs. It’s cliche.
“Buy a ticket and hop on a plane”.
Well, it’s not that easy when you are an Asian.
The hustle for planning and leaving
You have to answer your parents, relative s and friends(even if you are 23. 18+ doesn’t mean a thing). You have to get a Visa(another big hustle). We don’t have on arrival Visa everywhere. Most of the time you need to buy tickets before Visa. Then there is the currency. South East Asia not cheap for us. It takes as same as back at home.
So yeah, it is hard. First times are always hard and exciting.
Also, You need to check-in with your parents every day when you are an Asian. Just to make sure that you are not in the missing person report the next day.
I went through them all. Then there was the day of flying out. My mother was scared more than myself.
Yet there is no other feeling than what you will feel at the airport.
I felt my blood is running fast, the goosebumps, the excitement and adrenaline running throughout my body soon as I checked my bags in started walking through immigration.
This wasn’t my first abroad. But it was my first solo trip. I was going to a foreign country which was affected by an earthquake 4 years ago. I was going to a country which has so many mountains. I was going to a country with the best people and a rich culture. I was going to a country which has all the adventure activities. I was going to Nepal.
I remember dreaming what I would do, who I would meet, will they accept this Sri Lankan? , Will I get frostbites while hiking? Will I get sick? Will I be all alone?. There were so many questions in my mind.
Back at home I am known for hiking and travelling inside the country. Here I was nobody. Just another backpacker. Well, most of the time I was a Nepali or Indian.
The first day on the country felt like magic. Not because of the landscapes, beauty or anything. Just because of the people I met.
I checked into the hostel went to the rooftop for a quick lunch. Then I saw this girl who was in the corner reading a book. I am sort of an outgoing introvert I would say. It is not always easy to reach out and talk to people effortlessly. Sometimes it is sometimes it is not.
I just said hi nervously. Then it turns out to be a long conversation about Everest base camp trek she did. In the end, she gave me the down jacket I wore for Annapurna Circuit. (Well she has got it from another guy before the Everest base camp trek).
These are small things that happened. I was never alone unless I wanted to be alone. There was a company always. I was taken care of by strangers who I met at the hostel or on the road, bus.
I realized that everyone I met was on a journey. Everyone wants to meet people. Everyone wants to know about other cultures. (Not from a textbook in school but from people).
Solo travelling allows you or rather push you to say hi to the person next to you. It challenges you to push your own boundaries. Goto that uncomfortable area. It can be anything. It can be talking to a person. It can be using toilet papers because it’s too cold. It can be walking 15km a day so that you can save money. It can be eating from a local shop knowing that you might get food poisoning or diarrhoea.
In the end, you emerge as a strong person. I became a more confident person. I know that I can plan a whole backpacking tour alone and manage my budget. Mostly it broadens your view of cultures and makes you more open-minded.
Cliche as it sounds. It is true.