Day 19: Thoughts

Last night, I had the most amazing realisation: its only two and a half more months before the end of my trip.

Yeah, I know, 78 more days is still a very long time, but I can’t help feeling that time has really passed too quickly on this trip. Just like it had on the 2-month Japan trip.

I’m not even 1/4 into this trip and I’m starting to feel a little melancholic that there’s so little time left already. Something must be wrong – it means I’m addicted to travelling!

Many people have asked me whether I feel lonely travelling alone, and why I’m doing this, especially right on the heels of the Japan trip. It might seem that 3 months is a little long, but really, its just a blip in the entire duration of life. Life’s too short, and there’s so much of the world I want to see, so many people I want to meet, so many different cultures I want to experience, that I couldn’t fathom spending the nine months between army and university working a menial job in Singapore (no disrespect intended).

Obviously, money’s a huge impediment to travelling more, but it doesn’t affect my travel experience at all. For example, I think I’m far richer for the experience of staying with locals through couchsurfing and doing the things they do, being able to join in fantastic experiences that other tourists would probably never even get a glimpse of. Really, couchsurfing is something that has changed the world and probably my life as well. I’m also lucky that I have such supportive family and lead a relatively comfortable lifestyle which allows me the financial means to see the world.

I once thought that my biggest passion was probably food, but now I know for sure that its travelling. I’m willing to sacrifice on the type of food I eat (as evidenced by previous post) so that I’ll spend less, and be able to travel longer. And being on a tight budget forces you to make interesting decisions on food as well. Self-catering, as opposed to eating in cafes and restaurants, is infinitely more fun because I love the experience of wandering through supermarket aisles, checking out how companies market their food, studying the different brands, comparing prices, and appreciating the packaging design.

Loneliness is not a problem. I haven’t once felt lonely or afraid on this trip, and like what my couchsurfing host in London said, being alone lets you have more chance encounters with the people around you and a more intensely rewarding travel experience. Of course, having a partner/a group of friends to travel with is great, but I’m just saying that I also enjoy travelling alone, and don’t feel any worse for the experience.

And now, I’m on the train again, this time leaving the northwest corner of Scotland for the city of Aberdeen. Looking out at the raw beauty of the mysteriously craggy, rocky coastline and the dark grey skies looming overhead, speckling the train windows with drops of rain, I realise how lucky I am to be seeing all this, as well as how fortunate I am to be travelling right now.