Can A Solo Trip Change Your Soul?

“Coddiwomple” means to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. A solo trip for the soul, so to speak.  I’ll be coddiwompling my way to regions unknown to me. Intentionally, I Googled nothing and reviewed no maps. This would dilute my joy of discovery. I revel in the element of surprise to confirm the axiom, “tourists don’t know where they’ve been and travelers don’t know they’re going.”

Born with genetic wanderlust, I have an insatiable curiosity to explore the globe and seek the exotic places to reboot my passion for travel. Third World journeys always give me a story to tell. I can never become a story teller sipping umbrella drinks on a cruise ship. Bring it on! Places that speak no English, broken infrastructure, no electricity (I have a butane hair curler) and funky toilets delight me. There’s always challenges to get one’s adventure on. For me, an ordeal is preferable to a pampered vacation. Not everyone understands this, but it’s not their journey to make sense of.

The Transformative Power of a Solo Trip

I like to feel vulnerable because it teaches me patience, open mindedness, tolerance, and respect for people unlike me. More importantly, it keeps me humble to depend on God and the kindness of strangers. It erodes my ego. The farther I go, the smaller I become. And it’s a spiritual experience that makes me acutely aware of all my American blessings. I start overflowing gratitude for all I’ve taken for granted the past year.

Please understand that I love my home and husband, but each year I get the itch that only a rewarding solo trip can scratch. The great affair is to move and be soothed. I must exit my comfort zone to practice self-sufficiency and strengthen my weakened self-confidence. There’s often pre-departure apprehension (like what if I die) but I won’t allow that to cheat me from the thrill of exploration.

At home abroad, sometimes the adrenaline of fear hits but this can be my high, my dopamine from conquering dark moments. I become a Travel Warrior suited up with the armor of courage to face any perilous situation. Wherever I am, I find kind locals I call my “angels with skin on” who are sent directly from heaven in the midst of my path. My Higher Power then grows ten times larger. Still, I’m not stupid. On arrival, I’ll buy a hijab head cover and a beautiful pink sari to wear and blend in with the locals.

The Where – I love to just allow the wind to blow me where it will but I have a plan in Punjab. I’ll begin in Amristar, ‘Land of Sikhs’, those gentle souls who wear the funny head turbans. At the Golden Temple, I’ll help serve the 100,000 daily meals in the world’s largest dining room and I’ll ride rickshaws to the bazaars. Then to the eco-mecca of Billing Valley high in the Himalayas and paragliding capital of the world.

I’ll explore Dharamshala, ‘Little Tibet’, a serenely spiritual place where I hope to meet with the Dali Lama. My friend is trying to secure an appointment for me. If not possible, I’ll meet his cousin Roger.  Roger Lama. Later, if fate allows, I’ll continue to Lahore Pakistan and Shimla in Himachel Pradesh. Finally in crazy Delhi, I’ll visit ‘School Under a Bridge’ of 200 kids with one teacher.  Then my bucket list dream – the world’s most charitable animal shelter and elephant hospital  – Wildlife SOS. I have no desire to see endless hysterical monuments, temples, palaces and must-see sites. I want to play charades with unwashed children and chew some delicious Punjabi foods.

I want to get lost in authenticity.

Are you ready for a life changing solo trip? Does your wanderlust burn to go explore new places? Adventures for Singles is so much more than a travel agency for ‘singles’ – regardless of your relationship status there is place for you in our group travel tours to satisfy your desire for adventure! Contact us today for more information!

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Terry Pawelko