First Solitary Travel

by - October 13, 2015

Just pack your bags and go.
That is what I kept on telling myself for the past few months now. I wish it could be that easy. I have been dreading to go and wander and explore. My wanderlust soul has been bothering me for quite some time already. I told the best friend "Gusto kong umalis. Yung mag-isa. Susuportahan mo naman ako 'di ba?" With an inquisitive face, she said, "Baka naman naho-homesick ka lang." But no, I wasn't (maybe a little bit). I was pretty sure that it was what I craved, that strong desire to wander - alone.

So the moment I finally got my ways, I did my research, booked my tickets and hotel and just said "Bahala na". Oh yes, finally - I am going somewhere.

Why Malacca, Malaysia? Counting this as my first solitary travel, I wanted to go somewhere nearby and Malacca is just a bus ride away from Singapore. I was also amazed when I saw the historical points of interests it has on pictures. I wanted to see it by myself and take a look into its rich culture.

In all honesty, I didn't feel any hesitations when I embarked on that bus because I know that it is what I really ache for. However, when the bus arrived in Malacca, I felt a little terrified. The only person who knows that I was in MY was the best friend and she doesn't even know the details of it. My big plan was a big "Bahala na."  Haha! Of course, I did my research on the itinerary and transportation and all. But it is still different when you're already there. Nonetheless, when I arrived at Malacca town and saw the tourists, I couldn't help myself but to smile. I was both excited and terrified!

The sky during that day was covered with haze over a thin layer of clouds, not a patch of blue visible anywhere. The air was hot and crisp - a good weather to explore the city. I dropped my things at the hotel and went out for the long walk. I walked and walked and walked. I went museum hopping, admired the old and new infrastructures, watched people, talk to the locals. Learning, reading, and watching as I go along. I seemingly got lost although I know where I am going. I went to a cafe, asked for a table for one and ate alone. I went on a food trip on their night market full of strange looking dishes and delicacies. I talked to a local who knows a few Filipino words.

By the end of the day, I was nothing but exhausted. I sat at the park and just watched the people, listening to their language, though I didn't understand a thing of what they're saying. A little ragged boy came up to me, pointing to my food. I asked him if he wants it, but I cannot understand him, then just went away. Then there was this man holding a little baby girl and teaching her how to smoke for picture's sake. An artist asking to draw my face for 50MYR. I realized this could be one of the best tourist activities in every city - watching people, people-watching.

One thing I loved during this whole experience was that people didn't look at me like I was a freak walking alone. They didn't stare at me with questioning eyes. Though there were a few Filipino tourists doing the opposite to which I just a returned a friendly smile.

But of course, not everything didn't turn out as planned. There was a point when I just wanted to go home and kept thinking, what on earth have I got myself into? I won't go down into details, but I am so proud of myself for being able to collect myself altogether.
Yes, it was a short trip. I was all alone in a foreign land for two days, surrounded by strangers, without internet access and a familiar soul. It felt liberating and at the same time daunting. Still, I went home with self fulfillment and new experiences. Achievement unlocked indeed!

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