Solivagant (adj.) – Origin: Latin – Definition: Wandering alone.
I love to travel with friends. It’s always more fun to look back on the good times you have and be able to have folks around who really understand and remember the specific experiences you shared. It’s also more fun to look back on pictures of “the group”. … AND… occasionally, those solo photos are just awkward!
However, sometimes in life, it just works out that you find yourself on an unexpected journey all by your lonesome. My very first such experience was in Cambodia. I was supposed to go there with my friend Ed. We had been planning this trip for weeks. I think I frightened him off because i started talking about elephant treks and hikes into the deepest parts of the Cambodian jungle.
At any rate, I had already bought the ticket and thought, “What the heck, why not!” It ended up being one of my very favorite trips. I think that because I was by myself, locals reacted differently to me, and I was had the freedom to react and interact differently to and with them. So even though I was alone, I never really felt alone.
But due to being alone, I was able to spontaneously meander here, change my mind, go there, jump on a bus, or a tuk tuk, a couple cooking classes, ate a snake lunch followed by a frog snack, randomly stopped at a coffee farm, a basket making facility, take a tour with a guy named “Dollar Sam”.. because, what the heck, why not?
I truly loved my experience. Cambodians were amazingly friendly and I rarely saw anyone without a smile on their face. The food, the sounds, and smells, all if it was really amazing. I have been back since, with other, but it has never been as amazing as my first solo trip.
I have since traveled through portions of Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Nepal, and a few other countries alone.. or partially alone.. or alone for a few days.. but they also, will never be as amazing as my first solo trip. I hope you enjoy the below parts of my journey.
It takes a true solivagant to drop everything for a solo backpacking trip in a foreign country.