Out Here Alone
On the merits of going solo.
Aloneness (not the same as loneliness) seems rare. As somebody who thoroughly enjoys the chance to not be with other people every now and then, it still doesn’t happen very often.
I can shut my door and turn on Netflix, get naked and read a book, put my headphones in and go walking. But I still know exactly who’s on the other side of the door, who’s at the top of my recent calls in my phone next to me, and can swipe down to find out who grammed three minutes ago.
I think distance can help bring back aloneness. Physical distance may be negated by said phone (fifth limb), but it does add an element of fear should the battery run out, and a flavour of adventure should you not have enough data to keep your head down the whole time.
To be truly alone, to have nobody but yourself to entertain, fend for, and trust, is something special. I can’t fully describe it, both for lack of ability and to prevent putting words to what is an undoubtedly personal experience.
There does, or should, come a time when you find yourself travelling alone. It might be in transit only, sitting tight in the economy window seat being shuttled between friends in one city to a family member in another. Or it might be for days, weeks, or months at a time.
There’ll be other humans around, but the people and the places and the things you left behind were the ones that made you feel safe. All that’s left now, is you.
So, most importantly, when have you ever travelled alone? I want to know! When I did, it was great, but I also missed two flights in two weeks. You win some you lose some.