It has always been in my bucketlist to travel alone, because for once in a very unfamiliar place, I can finally ask myself upon waking up what I want to do today, and just do it without asking for anyone’s approval.
“It will be fun” that was my usual reply whenever some friends gave me a confused look when they ask me why I book myself a flight alone to Hong Kong. Sure that I can go with someone else, and it totally would be fun as well, but there is always this greater itch in me that I want do it myself. Alone.
Albeit sounding exciting and fun, it can actually be scary traveling alone, especially when you have not done it yourself. It was honestly a terrifying move because I always wonder if I’m doing things right – staying in the right place, eating the right food, and talking and trusting the right people. However, it is true that how else would you learn such thing if you do not experience it first hand, and taking the risk of doing it is the first step to do.
My decision of flying to Hong Kong for my first ever solo trip was actually just a spontaneous incident – or, perhaps, it is better to think that it was just accidental. I was only scrolling through my skyscanner app one night, and saw a very cheap flight to Hong Kong. How can you not say yes to a less than 3,000php of two-way ticket, right? Besides, Hong Kong is a great pick for a first solo travel since it is also an English speaking country, and it is easy to navigate around because they have excellent public transportation system. So, I tried using the app, while calculating possible expenses in my head, and little did I know, I already went through the entire booking process. This spur-of-the-moment lead me to another impulsive move to book a hotel, and other stuff (mtr card, disneyland ticket, etc – because I do not want to stress myself out once I get there) with the help of klook app. It was fun, until I received all my bills.
I stayed in Hong Kong for four days, and I actually just have four simple agendas in my head: 1) have the best wanton noodle, 2) climb Dragon’s Back Trail (which I’ll be sharing photos in a different post), 3) see my friend, Venim, and 4) have drinks in Lan Kwai Fong. I initially planned on not having any formal itinerary so the trip will not be that taxing and demanding, but it’s always good to have at least three major things you really want to do, and the in betweens can all be just unplanned and spontaneous – that is where all the fun actually comes in.
I still find myself chuckling as I try to recall how the entire trip went, and how frightened I was especially in my first night of getting lost, and almost completely having nothing to stay in (had issues with my first hotel booking – and that was a lesson learned). I honestly wanted to come home. But things got better and more exciting eventually, and I think it is because I learned to look at things differently, despite the struggles I had to go through alone. I’m glad that all my simple four agendas coming to Hong Kong happened, especially that I did climb Dragon’s Back Trail with Venim (and also swam in the sea after the exhaustingly hot climb), and met new people from Hong Kong while drinking in Lan Kwai Fong – as we turned strangers to friends while finishing up our bottled liquors and staying up until sun rise near the bay.
Doing this trip alone was probably the most satisfying decision I made, and I feel like if I did not do this trip alone, it would have not helped me remember that I am capable of depending on myself, and that I can always chase what I want if I face it valiantly. Sure that the experience of becoming a complete stranger in an unfamiliar place may be tough at first, but you will always come home learning a different perspective.