The Day I showed up at a hotel without a booking was Liberating. Who woulda thunk!
After visiting 46 countries in the world, meeting plenty of people who just stroll up to hotels and hostels without a booking… I am finally brave enough to follow their footsteps. I mean considering I only had a return flight for this current 6-month journey with no set itinerary and not know where I’ll be the next day… I sound like a late bloomer.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Solo travel has helped shaped me to be who I am today.
I started traveling alone out of necessity and not for pleasure.
As you see, my family immigrated to Canada as a whole when I was young. However due to various circumstances, they all drifted back to Hong Kong. I was left in Winnipeg, Canada to finish school alone. During my summer vacations, I’d travel to Hong Kong to see my family. That was the only way for me to spend time with them physically. Fortunately, my family was able to finance these visits each year.
It’s a mixture of complex emotions that I did not realize until much later. That was life as I knew it. I was in survival mode without conscious awareness.
After the fact, some friends and acquaintances see it as a sad childhood. Maybe so, however, it definitely helped shape my independence and ease with international solo travel. It also inspired an intrigue to learn from exploration and feed my curiosity.
My Canadian Passport with airline stickers
Vineyards and glacial river seen from train to Zermatt, Switzerland
The top of Gornergrat is at 3135m (10285 ft) above sea level. This is the location which many tourists and locals travel to for a perfect view of the famous Matterhorn (Monte Cervino) with peaks at 4478m (14691 ft). This is also one of countless places in Switzerland which locals enjoy hiking and mountain biking on gorgeous summer days.
On this day in August, I considered the dreary weather report and hoped for the best. Left my friend’s home before 8am with my day pack and a sense of adventure. Inside the day pack was a lunch, snacks, water, prayer flags from Nepal, fleece, rain jacket, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, phone, money and my Swiss Flexi Pass. I just brought the basics but enough in case I decide to hike a bit.
The ride to the top was beautiful. I forgot what city life is like with pollution and traffic noise. Glimpses of hidden waterfalls. Watching the train bank a corner to reveal another valley, another village. Little wooden chalets in the distance. Cows eating grass, ringing the cow bell around their necks. I felt like a little city girl, giddy and jolly – fascinated with what nature has to offer. A couple of times, I wanted to turn to the person beside me and say “Did you SEE that!?!”
Glimpse of waterfalls from SBB train
When someone thinks of 4 days 3 nights cruise in the Mediterranean off the coast of Turkey, most conjure up dreamy thoughts.
Crisp blue waters, so clear that you can see the small fish skidding past the bottom of the boat. The amazing clear skies at night, lite up by the moon and the million stars in the sky. The sound of waves as the boat cruise along as you lounge on the deck with fellow travelers. Plunging into the deep blue sea for a leisure swim.
Swimming. Open waters. Bottomless. Float – Sink.
When I am a person who recently overcome a fear of water, facing open water is a challenge. If I overthink the situation, I will NOT be amongst the deep blue sea. I would stay on the boat the whole time. Regardless of the peer pressure or self pressure to join the masses!
Home for 4 days and 3 nights on the Mediterranean off the coast of Turkey
Whirling Dervish in Turkey
Exactly 2 months from today, I will board an airplane and fly to Istanbul, Turkey. When I land on June 1, 2014 – the beginning of a new chapter will begin in my life. How will it unfold, I am uncertain at this point. From all my travels, I have not found a fully functioning a single crystal ball that can foresee the future!!
All I can do is trust and have faith in the Universe – believe that my path will unfold the way it needs to happen.