Never Traveled Alone. Ever.

China Town London

WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?

I’ve never traveled anywhere alone before. Ever.

I’ve gone on trips with friends, classmates, family, random strangers and even took a really long train ride alone to visit relatives once. But never, ever have I gone somewhere alone where I didn’t know anyone or where someone wasn’t with me (holding my hand).

And when I’m on these trips, I never leave the side of anyone. Ever.

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WHEN I WENT TO LONDON, ENGLAND ON A SHORT CLASS TRIP with my classmates, I followed everyone around like a lost puppy. During the trip I even hung out with one of my professors while he shopped for men shirts. Because that’s, apparently, how I roll. I didn’t want to roam the streets and get lost. I was especially worried since I didn’t have an international cell phone. The only time I went out by myself was when I had to work on an article for my class about International hotels not meeting American expectations. I went to a few nearby hotels to interview them. That was it.

We Stick Together.

We Stick Together.

WHEN I WENT TO NEW YORK CITY AFTER GRADUATION WITH MY FRIEND, KATIE, I never left her side. On this trip, she bullied me into going to a musical where this happened:

Just hanging out with Corbin Bleu, commonly known from the High School Musical film series.

Just hanging out with Corbin Bleu, commonly known from the High School Musical film series.

And I bullied her into spending an afternoon in Central Park where this happened:

Just hanging out in Central Park.

Just hanging out in Central Park.

Then she got sunburned and this happened:

Katie’s Sunburn

Katie’s Sunburn

And a random guy started talking to us on the streets and of course I made Katie take a picture with him.

You Can Still Katie's Sunburn

You Can Still Katie’s Sunburn

The only time I left her side was when she wanted to go to another musical and I was crabby from being soaked in the rain and asked her for directions back to our hostel so I could shower instead.

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THEN WHEN I RANDOMLY WENT ON A ROAD TRIP TO TORONTO, CANADA WITH A STRANGE girl I met on the internet, I never left her side. Ever. We did some touristy stuff, and I spent at least 2-3 hours in line to go up to the CN Tower when I knew that I really didn’t want to go. I mean, I’ve never even gone up to the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, and I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life.

This is what the view from the CN Tower looks like.

But not stand in line for three hours pretty.

Pretty. But not stand in line for three hours pretty.

AFTER I SIGNED UP FOR THE WORLD DOMINATION SUMMIT FOR THIS UPCOMING SUMMER a couple of months ago, I had a rush of excitement and I was all: Yeahhh, I’m going to dominate the world. Then I was all: Yeahhh, I’m totally going to turn this into a trip and I’m going to go all by myself and it’s going to awesome and I’m going to be awesome.

But, you guys, shit is getting real. The WDS is approaching in a couple of months, which means I have to, like, go pretty soon. Alone. All myself. Without anyone.

Who am I going to follow?

I’m hitting Portland and Seattle. That’s like two cities really far away from Chicago.

I know it sound ridiculous for someone my age to be afraid to take a trip alone, but I’ve been sheltered all my life, you guys. I can’t help it. I mean maybe if I was dropped off into the jungle as a baby I would have learned a few survival skills by now. But nope. I was not raised in a jungle, unfortunately.

It also sounds ridiculous coming from a girl who really wants to travel.

A couple weeks ago I finally purchased my flight ticket. I don’t know why I waited so long. Oh, right, I know. It’s because Unbrave Girl convinced me to take a 45 hour train ride because her recent train experience was sooo much fun. And I was going to do this. I really was. But then I decided to not take the 45 hour train ride. Sorry, Unbrave Girl. Next time.

I’VE NEVER GONE ANYWHERE ALONE. EVER. So it’s quite possible that I won’t know which flight to get on. And I won’t know which line to stand in to get on the flight I don’t know how to get on. Do you see my dilemma here?

Since I’m going alone, I actually have to pay attention to where I’m going instead of just following the person who’s with me around. I may even have to look at a map, which means I may have to learn how to read a map. I have to figure out where I’m going to stay and what I’m going to do and how to get to and from places. Alone. All by myself.

And since I don’t have a fancy schmancy phone like everyone else in the world, I can’t rely on the internet on it. So I have to take my really heavy laptop with me. And, then, I actually have to do things.

What do travelers do?

When I attended Joel’s meetup a few weeks ago, a bunch of people said they were going to WDS. I guess it’s like the thing that all the bloggy/internety cool people do.

All these people are going.

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Plus this person to my left. Or your right. Or, you know.

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WHEN THEY ALL SAID THEY WERE ATTENDING, MY INITIAL REACTION WAS: OMG-You-Guys-We-All-Have-To-Go-Together-And-Stay-Together-And-Never-Leave-Each-Other’s-Sides-Ever. Only I didn’t actually say that because, you know, it was the first time they were meeting me and it would have been really creepy. And they probably would have walked away and then when they ran into me at the WDS they’d probably just avoid eye contact and tell people to stay away from the clingy girl who may or may not have a proper sense of direction.

Watch out for this girl. She’ll never leave your side.

crazy hair

IT MAKES ME FEEL A LITTLE better knowing that my friend, Katie, is also going to Seattle and Portland on different dates and our trips may merge at some point.

Oh, and here’s another picture of her. A little nicer than the ones posted above.

Katie Making A Snowman.

Katie Making A Snowman.

She’s one of the reasons why I started a blog. Because she was all: if you start a blog, I’ll totally comment on it. And then she never comments. On anything. But secretly reads everything I write. That’s OK though because I have like 50 million pictures of her and can post them on the Internets anytime I want.

Like This.

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And This.

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And This.

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I still love you, Katie. Even if you don’t comment on anything and have a slightly unhealthy obsession for musicals. And museums. And Harry Potter.

That’s OK. Because we all have our little obsessions, right?

Like, cheese.

Cheese

And Mariah Carey.

♥ ♥ ♥ 2132010 Mariah Carey in concert ♥ ♥ ♥

Erm, anyway.

There you have it. My secret is revealed. I’ve never traveled anywhere alone before. Ever.

And I think it’s time to start. What do you think?

 

 

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8 Comments
  1. You’ll do awesome! I’m sure you’ll make tons of friends at WDS and you’ll be all like “What was I worrying about? I’m so popular! Wheee!” And don’t worry about not knowing where you’re going or what line to stand in. The good thing about traveling in a country where you speak the language is that you can just ask people! Yay!

  2. Awesome post Priya! I used to be the same – scared of travelling solo and following people like a lost puppy. It was back at high school, but then I grew up and got more independent and started exploring the world on my own. At the age of 18 I left my home country and started to travel solo!! 🙂 And you know what? I totally loved it. I finally had time for myself. I focused on reading my mind, following my heart and thinking about my life. It was a peaceful and relaxing time. Then my best friend came to China and we started travelling together and it turned out to be even more awesome. We shared our experience and feelings together and now I can’t imagine myself being back on the road. Not because I am afraid of being lost, but I am scared of feeling lonely. You babe are gonna be absolutely fine travelling solo. You will see!! You’ll meet amazing people when being on the road and you’ll have a great time of your life. Chin up, close your eyes and go for it!

    • Thanks, Agness! A part of me wishes I skipped the whole college thing and just ran off somewhere after High School. I think that’s what I needed at the time, but didn’t have courage to do it. But enough with the wishes, I’m trying to focus on the Now and figure out how I can make my dreams a reality ( even if it scares the crap out of me!). I loved that you focused on reading your mind, following your heart and thinking about your life. It’s something that I often neglect and struggle to do.

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  4. I saw your post from ForeignGeek.com who did a link love.
    one thing: GIRL YOU CAN DO IT. Well I flew alone to Switzerland to visit my boyfriend this past couple of months… Nervous? Yes. Esp thru immigration (I hate being interrogated). Then when I got to Zurich (and mind you I don’t speak Germany, French nor Italian), I had to spend the night at some random guy’s living room that I rented for the night. A little nerve wracking. Then I ended up exploring Zurich alone while trying to figure out how to get to Neuchatel (where the Boo was staying) by train (mind you, almost everything was in Germany). Also on the way back, I took the train alone to Geneva and spent the night there… and got lost in the airport for 2 hours trying to figure out where the shuttle was (and almost everything there was in French).

    YET, I survived. And actually it was fun. Being lost in translation… ALONE. Kinda a soul searching I say. As long you have any data connection (for like google maps and such) you will be fine 🙂

    • Hi RIma, thanks for the comment! That’s so awesome that you traveled alone!! I know, it’s so true. It’s always daunting until you do it. I recently took a trip within the states alone and it was terrifying yet liberating. Now, I’m trying to figure out how I can go international… and the idea is even more scary! But I’m always going to be scared. That can’t stop me from going after my dreams.

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