Some people travel to make forever friends, to have people they know all over the world, to go on the road together, to socialise in hostels; to play games, to really get to know one another. I am not one of those people…and finally, after a very long time I can not only admit it, but I can be completely okay with it.
Not necessarily an introverted person; I’m confident, outspoken (fiery is quite often a word used to describe myself), but I’m also fiercely independent. I don’t have social anxiety, I don’t have any form of Asperger’s, I really don’t find it difficult interacting with other people…I simply don’t like to and honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t get me wrong, I love to meet people, I like to know a little about who you are, but that’s probably as far as it will go for me. I don’t want to hang out with you, I don’t want to travel with you, I don’t want to stay up all night playing drinking games with you, and I don’t want to have the ‘backpacker chat’ with you (how long have you been travelling, where have you been, where are you going next? etc…). I am done with putting up a pretence that I enjoy socialising all of the time; often I force myself into doing it because I think it’s something I feel I SHOULD be doing, 9 times out of 10 I’m counting the minutes until I can go home. Then it dawned on me, life is too short to do things you don’t enjoy, and life is WAY too short not to love and accept yourself for who you are.
I am an anti-social person and I’m okay with that, and if you are then you should rock this trait too. I’ve heard plenty of people say they can’t travel because they don’t like spending time with strangers; that’s my nightmare too, and I’ve travelled across the world. I know there are some people who will be reading this thinking that I am now the strangest person they know, why wouldn’t I want to party with people? Why wouldn’t I want to go out for tea with people? Or why wouldn’t I want to go on an excursion with people? Honestly, I don’t think I could tell you. I’ve never had a huge group of friends whilst growing up and I’ve always enjoyed spending the vast majority of my time alone, travelling is no different.
If you’re sat in a corner whilst everyone else is playing ring of fire and you feel like you’re the odd one out- I feel you. If you would much rather sit in bed and read a book than party all night with strangers- I feel you. If you can’t wait to end a conversation with a random person that started talking to you- I feel you. If you feel uncomfortable, if you feel awkward, if you feel nervous, stressed or simply don’t like being around other people- I feel you! But please, promise me that you will not let this teensy little thing stop you from seeing the world. I travel to experience new adventures, to wake up some place I’ve never been before, to get lost in foreign countries, to learn new languages, to soak up culture, to learn history…because I simply love it- other travellers have nothing to do with that, and they don’t need to.
Who cares what others think, or what others do; you are your own person…you do you. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring planet indeed.
Huge shoutout to the people who I may have tried to shut out, ignore and spend as little time as possible with, but managed to claw their way into my life; John and Hollie, I’m looking at you, I love you both.
Much love from wherever I am xx