there’s definitely something to be said for trying to travel on your own as it changes the traveling experience completely. it’s not easy and you really have only yourself to depend on. plus, all of a sudden, you are left w/ only yourself and your own thoughts to deal w/ so it definitely helps you get in touch w/ your innner self. in some ways, it’s a test of your own independence. for me, in a lot of ways, testing that is really difficult. i’m a very social person, and back home i pretty much spend no time alone. i try to fill almost all of my would be alone time w/ my girlfriend, friends, and family. which is partially why i do have the urge to travel alone. i want to test myself. i want to push myself and try something new. last time i traveled for a while (to thailand for 6 weeks), even though i had the choice of being w/ friends the whole time, i chose to spend half the time traveling by myself to see what would happen.
and there’s also a second side to the equation. when you travel alone, not only is a good chance to spend some “alone time”, but it is also a really good way to meet random strangers and make friends. if you’re on your own and not part of a group, you become more accessable. the problem is, i’ve really never been any good at talking to people i dont know. actually, to say i’m not good at it is an understatement, i’m actually insanely shy. though i have no problem talking a mile a minute w/ people i know, and i *love* to socialize… put in me in a room w/ strangers and i end up usually not saying a word. when i went to thailand, i thought i would finally break through my shyness. i thought of it as a “sink or swim”… if i was all alone, and had no friends to talk to, and the only options were talk to strangers or dont talk at all, i thought i’d end up forced to sociallize. unfortunately, when put in the sink or swim situation, i sunk, and sunk way deep… all the way to the bottom. the half of the trip that i traveled solo, i dont think i talked to a single other person (other than waiters etc obviously). i failed and failed miserably.
so, in 2 more days, it’s test number 2. caryn and i are splitting up for a week, and we’ll see how it goes. for a week i’ll be split between two scenarios: being alone, and being w/ only people i dont know. not only will i be far from home, but i’ll be out of my element. we’ll see how it goes…
when we split up, caryn is going to go to greece for the week, and i needed to figure out for myself where it was that i wanted to spend that week. it was time for me to sit down and research different countries, weigh pros and cons, look into prices, etc. well, in typical vlad fashion, i did none of those things. instead, i decided to base my decision solely on some offhand random comments i’ve heard from a couple of other people. after hearing no more than three sentences about it (all three of which were that it’s “nice”), and opening up lonely planet for 2 minutes, i decided to go to croatia. yes, croatia.
i had to check on the map where it was (american geography class didnt teach me much), and as it’s fairly close to greece, i decided, sure why not? so now i have 1 plane ticket, and 0 expectations. i really have no clue as to what i’ll find when i get there… other than that it’ll probably be “nice”. what i’m kind of expecting (if anything) is half mediterranean and half eastern europe. oh wait, but there’s more :). there were no cheap flights to croatia, so instead i’m flying into budapest. so now i get to try out *2* countries that i wasn’t planning on going to!!
so that’s it. in a couple of days i’ll be winging it in croatia and hungary. wish me luck!!