Today I stepped foot on my 56th country, Greece . People often ask me if I’m afraid to travel alone and I always respond with “why would I be?” I’m sure people have all different reasons for thinking it could be scary for a woman to travel alone, but none of them really ever occur to me. If I had a euro for every person who has already asked “where you boyfriend?” “You not married?” This trip I’d have enough money to buy this island and outlaw those questions altogether. Would people ask me the same if I were a man? Would they care that I was alone? Probably not, but don’t get me started.
I have always completely trusted myself and my instincts. I am attentive, intelligent and together. I don’t know for sure that nothing bad will happen to me abroad, but I don’t have that guarantee if I stay home either.
Today I roamed around Mykonos completely alone. I walked the winding cobblestone streets, sat and ate a meal, made a friend, did some shopping – all completely alone. I left my phone on airplane and opted to take very few photos so that I could fully exist in and experience this moment and this new place, completely on my own.
Is it always easy to have to be alone with your thoughts? No. Is it always comfortable to sit among tables of couples kissing, families laughing, friends sharing food- and to be completely alone? No. But I have found that in those moments of discomfort I grow the most. My eyes open, my heart opens – to all the love that really does exist in a world that is so often painted to be bleak. In the silence of my solitude I can see clearly the way that humans connect to one another. I can feel how small I really am in this vast cosmos of souls and stars. I can monitor my own thoughts and truly get to know myself and what my needs are. I can start to create new dreams, without judgment or restriction. I like to spend time with myself, I am a pretty good friend to myself.
Some might find it scary, but I find power and beauty in it. Today I was lost and alone, far from anyone I know or anything familiar and I thrived. I experienced this exotic land and I laughed, I played with alllllll the stray animals (including a goat that let me hug him), I bought myself a beautiful ring and had the best hummus I have ever tasted. I watched the sun set behind the beautiful white and blue homes that have painted my dreams since I was a little girl. I got here, on my own. No help, no push – just me – bringing to reality yet another lifelong dream.
Does it scare me? No. It revives me, inspires me, empowers me. What scares me is the possibility of spending my life waiting – for the perfect moment, or the perfect partner, or the perfect financial situation – that may never come. What scares me is how close I am to having missed this opportunity or having talked myself out of the chance to explore this magnificent place and reconnect with the only person I know will be around for the rest of my life- me. What scares me is the thought of letting other people scare me out of what I know I was born to do. Sitting at a taverna attempting to translate for a group of 10 from Hong Kong who are trying to order Paella but calling Pilar …. that doesn’t scare me.
The world calls to me – I am drawn to exotic lands and wild adventures. My life has become a tapestry of memories, moments scattered across landscapes from the cities of the east coast of the US to the jungles of the South Pacific. Some of them are of me alone, some with a significant other, some with best friends and some with my family… But all of them significant. All of them beautiful in their own transformative way.
I feel confident that because I have done that which few are willing to do, and spent the time to really get to know myself, that if and when I do meet someone that wants to share these crazy journeys with me, that I’ll be fully prepared for that. I’ll have the opportunity to travel with someone out of desire, not necessity. I’ll be fully strong and capable on my own and only be complemented by a partner. I have never been one to wait around. I don’t believe in waiting for someone or some
Perfect moment to begin your life. This life is mine, and I don’t have any guarantees. So I’m going to make the most of it the best I know how. I’m going to honor every pull in my soul that draws me to places like this. Is it always exactly what I thought it would be? No. But nothing ever is… and you know what? Sometimes it’s so much better than I ever could have imagined.
Take the chance, buy the ticket, float in the sea, drink the wild air. Say yes to your life. You are strong, you are capable and you are free. The time is now my darling, the world is waiting.