There is a reeling wave of warmness when a stranger yet not so strange since you feel like both of you belong to the same "community" welcomes you to his/her home.
There is such a beautiful kind of vulnerability when you expose yourself to someone you just met but feel so connected to the moment you give each other a big and tight hug. Yes I personally believe that hugs are essential for us - human beings and we need to do it more often.
There is such a rare kindness and rawness beauty of humanity even from a small gesture from the other person inviting you a cup of coffee or tea to warm yourself up from the coldness outside.
I arrived in Marseille early morning when it was raining so hard and all I wanted was my warm bed in Barcelona though the reasons why I never really spend weekends here is because Barcelona often make me feel I am missing something essential. I wondered why I always do this or more precisely choose this - dragging myself out of the comfort of a daily life and suffering under the cold rainy day. But when I met Gael, receiving such kindness and amazed by such breathtakingly beauty of Marseille that made me goes all humany-wumany all the way - I know I know for sure I'll keep doing this again and again to immerse so deeply in this precious life of mine.
The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.
My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.- "Travel" by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
When I talked to some other people about Couchsurfing and solo travel, I was so surprised that these concepts sounds scary to them. I think I do understand at some point and the thing is everyone has different opinions about things in life. However, to me, solo travel gives me this divine feeling that I travel the world not just to admire the world but to admire myself as well that I am capable of doing anything I want.
Since the day I started using Couchsurfing to find a host basically everywhere I go, travelling solo also allows me to mingle more with the local community and other travellers - I'll talk to random people, make friends with tourists and locals alike at places I visit, take pictures of whatever I want and from time to time when I feel like it I'll ask others to take pictures of me, and sometimes even join surprisingly pleasant strangers for a meal somewhere like the last time I did in Marseille, joining the dinner at a friend of my host and learned that she's one of the kindest people on Earth - she is hosting two brothers from Gambia - a small country in West Africa because of two buildings where they used to live collapsed and they currently have no where else to go. They are welcomed to stay at her place until they find a new place and get the completed legal documents to live in Marseille. Then I'll have the chance to meet new people and getting to know those who may not be so like-minded, or befriending someone who differs a lot from my usual type of friends - these are the socialisation perks of travelling solo even though I am not really a sociable person (sometimes even think I'm socially inept) . I can have the luxury of switching between being among people and being on my own throughout and I can make full use of it to get to know myself, my surroundings, and the people inhabiting/visiting it. Indeed, the journey and the destination are both completely mine.
I've been wondering if I'll ever feel like settling down. No matter how independent I could possibly be and try to be, I sometimes still let the peer pressure, family expectations have an influence on me when making a decision. Even though I am still on my way to find myself or be myself - whatever you want to label this journey, the more I travel, the more people that I encounter, the more places that I've been and there will always pieces of me there even when I already left, I do believe I'll keep wandering at will, day after day, wandering away and wandering still. I think my mom and dad, possibly some of my friends too will freak out if I ever tell them that I don't even think I'll ever really settle down and have a "typical" family - I might settle down, yes but only for a while, start a family with someone but he will probably not my husband but my partner because for some reasons, I think labeling someone as wife/husband will change the nature of the relationship and I simply don't like that idea. And he will probably be an avid traveller too. And love doesn't have to be defined by a piece of paper as marriage doesn't mean it is the ultimate expression of love. I mean it as only for me personally, not trying to generalize anything. Maybe I will change my mind one day, who knows? Just not now.
Today I saw this piece from the internet that I couldn't agree more "the human body is made up of billion of cells, and yet it simply takes one person - one voice, one text or smile, to complete unravel you. We think we are these overly intelligent, complex creatures, but at the end of the day we all just want connection. We all just want to know that we aren't going to be alone."
Well anyways I feel like I am starting to ramble again so I'm gonna end this with a quote from the one and only The Secret Life of Walter Mitty's movie which I love so so much: "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."
P/S: Solivagant means someone who wanders or travels alone without company.