“Every time you encounter something that forces you to “handle it,” your self-esteem is raised considerably. You learn to trust that you will survive, no matter what happens. And in this way your fears are diminished immeasurably.”
Perhaps inapplicable to many, in some way relates to some and may deeply resonate with a few, choosing to venture solo is daunting.
Yet, as many fellow travellers who at some point have taken that leap have told us, sowing that one single seed reaps endless benefits in self-discovery and quest.
Why do many of us suppress and dread opportunity? It falls into the last few days before our expected departure and every fibre is varnished by recoil and doubt.
I experienced this and more prior to my travels to the holy city of Rishikesh in North India to carry out my yoga teacher training (YTT). With little to no travel experience under my belt and advice from friends and family who through no fault of their own invested mentally into the United Kingdom’s selective news coverage of vice in the country, I was feeling apprehension to the point of abandoning the trip.
After endless, back and forth toying with the notion of boarding the plane, I took my chances and set off. It was, of course, one of the greatest decisions that I have ever made.
For those amongst you who have travelled to this incredible part of the world, you will be well aware of the indescribable charm of the country.
The rhythmic energy of the people and the vast absorbing pallet of the landscape allowed my apprehension to slowly dissolve into excitement.
The YTT course content ranged from asana posture training to delving into an awareness of inner observances, a guide for living soulfully.
One of the Niyamas (personal disciplines) which we were taught and which I took great comfort in was Ishvara Pranidhana, which means surrendering yourself to life and abstaining from clinging or holding on to fear.
Fear, an emotional response to an impending loss, would not have provided the evolved sense of independence that was gained that summer. A characteristic of life-long value which will no doubt erase future apprehensions to travel alone and promote and encourage others of similar reservations to do the same.
Reflecting back, and in attempt to offer advice to those who are thinking about going alone, the hardest part of the trip is before it even starts. Listen to yourself and only yourself, the world is not as scary as people will make you think.