Travelling solo, an experience like no other!

I have read many blogs about travelling alone and the only thing that came to mind then was ‘have you lost your mind?”

For the life of me, I could not comprehend how anyone could travel alone to a foreign country and have a great time. This ideology still baffles me till this very moment, six days into my solo trip to Thailand with a cocktail in front of me.

It is a feeling that is very difficult to explain or put into words. If I was to try to explain it, I would definitely say ‘you need to experience it for yourself to get it.’

For the first few days I was overwhelmed and scared. This experience was also life changing, changes I started to notice as I fully immersed myself and allowed myself to discover and learn.

What were the lessons?

My first lesson was learning to trust myself and be unapologetic knowing that I was alone, with no friend to help me or a safety net to catch me should I fall. From check-in at the first international airport (which is usually familiar ), to a layover airport where people spoke a different language until I arrived at my destination, I was alone. The language barrier was a challenge and somehow, I found myself worried that I would miss my flight incase I could not ask for directions to the boarding gate. Then of course the challenge of trying to find your way to the hotel when you land at the destination without being overcharged by the locals.

The second lesson I had to learn quickly was to never judge a book by its cover. Being a black person in a country like Thailand automatically makes you stand out. I realised that just because our skin colour is different or we speak different languages does not make one superior over  the other, we are all human!

I met some really amazing people who I can now call my friends. They took interest in who I was, where I came from and welcomed me into their circle making me feel at home. This experience helped me regain my hope in humanity and realise that the world still has a lot of friendly people, who genuinely care about being human to another.

Travelling alone on this trip helped me overcome my insecurities of what people may think of me – the lonely guy traveling alone, with no friends or the sad black guy). Because I was alone, I had to courage to confidently walk into different destinations or places of interest,  proud to be me – a solo black African traveller who was happy to b among other travellers.

The third and most important lesson I learnt during my short stay in Thailand is to love myself unconditionally. For years, I was not comfortable with myself, often seeking validation from other people. This experience taught to accept and embrace my flaws and appreciate the strengths I am blessed with.It gave me a different perspective, helping me to life through the someone’s eyes without imposing my own views or perspectives. Lastly, the solitude and time away allowed to work through and confront my own issues.

I must admit that the beautiful waters and islands of this place will make you see life from a completely new perspective. The calmness I experienced when we dived deep underneath the waters, where the fish roam free inspired me to always pause and be present in each season of my life. The peace and tranquillity was incredible.

Lastly, the friendliness of the Thai people, who are ready to welcome you and open up their world to you, gave me hope that tourism and the hospitality industry is about people and can really change the world. It is humbling when a tour guide shows up and performs exceptionally well, but only expects a time of say 100 Baht (equivalent of M38 or R38), all while smiling and making sure you’ve had a great experience.

Would I recommend Thailand?

Absolutely, yes!

Going back to the many travel blogs about solo travelling I have read previous and my earlier question ‘have you lost your mind?’, I can happily say that solo travelling is an experience that will turn your world upside down, but in the end it is an experience that will leave you a completely different person. So, be bold and go on a solo trip.

Thank you Thailand and here’s to many more solo experiences!

Escapes with TKay ✌🏾

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