From Loneliness to Aloneness

繪畫資料1(Yoga,brush and camera accompany me in my life journey.These are recent artworks.Each drawing represents different life stories..I’m grateful for knowing several ancient ‘tools’ to help/support me get though life obstacles and go beyond myself.)

Being a solo backpacker/traveler is never easy, especially for an Asian lady.

I grew up in a very conservative family which always had people around me. As for how conservative!?

Mmm….Besides being a Yes Kid to meet my parents’ demands , I wasn’t allowed to hang out with friends until senior high school. Before getting into the university, my life was full of exams and not-good-enough comparisons with other classmates. (ok! I know what you are thinking. I was a nerd. Yap!Basically, I was.).

Don’t get me wrong! I do have caring and loving parents. However,the problem is they worried too much ,like normal Asian parents,when we are out of their sight.

In order to grow up from within ,I always knew I need to “fly solo” ( fueled by a powerful curiosity too) .

Therefore, my solo backpacker ¹journey started from 2000. (Hahahaha~Eish~ I think I just revealed my age.)

People said when you are broken hearted, traveling is always the best cure-all wonder ‘medicine’. Well, as a slow-mo in love world ,it works well for me. (Wait!I don’t do funny stuff. Basically, I always wear like a Ninja – all black- while traveling solo and always go back to the guesthouse before the sun sets down.)

To be honest, being a solo traveler in the beginning was quite harsh and lonely for me. As being totally surrounded by a complete strange environment with people who looked different,spoke different languages was quite unfathomable for me. Let alone dining alone,I even didn’t know what to expect when food delivered onto my table.Yap! English doesn’t work everywhere!

My journey likely resemble those of the late Michael Crichton, who mentioned in his autobiographical book, Travels:  “ Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines…you are forced into direct experience [which] inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience.”

So far, I’ve traveled to 13 countries (just can’t resist the charm of India /Nepal /Bali/Indonesia/Thailand/South Africa where I traveled more than 3 times. Wanna guess how many times in Bali? 7. Yap! ) ,volunteered in 4 countries, and almost got myself killed 3 times.

Traveling across the exotic frontiers of the outer world strengthened the spiritual depths in my inner world. (The various yoga, dance ,meditation related workshops I have attended also played crucial roles.)

Along the journey,an adventure of risk and rejuvenation,I’ve learnt to cherish and see the beauty in different cultures, learned how to speak up for myself , how to argue and how to express my anger as well as how to chat with strangers. 

After all,I’m grateful for having such exhilarating, wonderful and challenging experience. I’ve learnt a lot and I’m still learning.

Most importantly,I’m glad my loneliness has transformed into aloneness in these years.

Life is full of miracles. You are not alone.

 

¹  I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and I finished my university education by scholarship. As a school teacher in Taiwan, I got almost 3 months school holidays, Summer & Winter vacation,every year. In order to support my traveling, besides daytime teaching job, I had part-time job in the evening teaching Adults’ Hatha Yoga and Mandarin Chinese to Taiwanese and New Immigrants in the week as well as teaching Kids’ Yoga, Yoga Drawing courses every Saturday morning. My dream of being a globetrotter and growing up within motivate me saving up and working hard.

 

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