Before my trip to Myanmar, I kept on telling myself that this solo traveling would be a wonderful experience. It was my own mantra to ebb away the worries and anxieties that I had.

A few weeks have passed, the trip turned out to be my source of joy and strength when days  don’t go the way I want it to. I am glad I made that jump to travel alone and have a free-and-easy trip in Myanmar–with unbooked accommodations along the way.

I came up with my top 4 reasons why travelling alone is fun, these are:

1. Freedom

This is the feeling that I savored more during the trip. I am at the driver’s seat. I can turn wherever I want to turn, I can stop whenever I want. It is different when I am with another person travelling. I have to be considerate of my friend’s opinion; be more sensitive if my buddy is tired, thirsty or hungry. With going solo, I can skip lunch or dinner because I want to. I have only myself to push to climb 700 more steps eventhough I’m getting that cold sweat or not feeling well. It was so easy to tell myself, “Aldrin, let’s do this!”, “Aldrin, push! Push! Push!”

Fisherman at Inle Lake

Fisherman at Inle Lake

 

2. Stories

I am an insatiable guy for narratives of other people’s experiences. For me, stories shed different perspectives to life. Sometimes you won’t know these unless somebody shares them to you.

During this trip, I was fortunate to hear Lenka’s story. She is from Slovakia and can be considered as one of the silent heroines of the Burmese migrants. Lenka has spent 3 years of her young life managing a school for the Burmese migrants in nothern Thailand. The pay is not big, you might even say it’s meager but still she chose to do it for three years, and counting. For me, it was a genuine story of selfless giving–truly an inspiration.

Monks queueing up for their brunch.

Monks queueing up for their brunch.

3. Acquaintances

I’m inherently an introvert and not really good in socializing, but being alone pushes me to expand my horizon. I normally feel exhausted whenever I initiate a conversation with other people. The  thing that scares me about it is that it’s not always that I’ll meet people who are cordial enough to converse back, but then that’s where I learn to grow. It’s also a good way to find real connections and real friends.

Meeting people from different countries and with different culture enriches my knowledge of the world. It is also cute to have a wide array of friends ala United-Colors-of-Benetton. In this trip, I met people from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, UK, and US.

Bagan Friends

Credits to Amy for this photo in Bagan

4. Accomplishment

There was a sense of satisfaction and self-admiration after I completed the trip. It was an affirmation that there are no things that can’t be done if you put your will into it.

The experience was so intoxicating that the moment I was back in Singapore, I started planning for my next solo trip, so see you soon, Laos!

If you would like to know how much I spent in my 2-week backpacking stint in Myanmar, read my post about, How Much Budget Do You Need to Travel Solo for Two Weeks in Myanmar?

Sepak Takraw ball

Sepak Takraw ball