My no-laptop diet

Australia, Blogging Your Trip, Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Solo Travel — By on October 6, 2007 at 2:19 pm

So, I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to go back and share some of the more interesting/scary/annoying/joyous aspects of my last two and a half weeks of solo travel in Australia. Since I feel like I can’t “return home” online without sharing what happened at the very end, total disclosure has won out.

Okay, rewind to June 2007. By that point, very nearly a full year into the journey designed to help me “unplug” from the world, I finally felt brave enough to send The Lost Girls laptop home (with Jen, who’d left at the very end of May). As I journeyed south down the coast from Cairns to Sydney on Greyhound Australia (practically a luxury liner compared to the American version) I found myself compelled to crack open my long neglected journal and start writing. I decided not to hold anything back, and I have to admit, some of the stuff that flowed out from my pen wasn’t pretty. Kind of scary, even.

My final month in Oz was shrouded in grey, mostly because it stormed, drizzled and misted for 29 days straight (never a mood lifter) but partially because I was finally facing the fears and apprehensions that I’d been able to shelve-or at least commiserate with the girls about-for an entire year. I appreciated the solitude, the freedom to feel surly and contrary without having to apologize to anyone for being a royal bitch, which I’m sure I’d been at times during the trip (thanks, J and H, for not killing me).

I sat in my window seat on the ‘hound and just scratched my thoughts out, working through feelings of loneliness, worries about getting older, the nagging fear that I might not have gotten as much out of the trip as I should have. Journals can be the best therapy if you can get over the Anne Frank syndrome (the fear that someone, one day, might actually read what you’ve written) and just be unabashedly honest. I was, or tried to be. For some reason, maybe because I’d shared the laptop, I’d never felt as comfortable typing out my feelings. And until recently, not really on this blog, either.

Going solo proved an interesting exercise, not only because I had to deal with new people and places every single day on the road, but because I was actually forced to deal with myself. Rather than relying upon my girlfriends to calm me down, to talk me off the ledge, I had to tackle problems and uncomfortable feelings all on my own. Writing about them felt awesome, not because I’d necessarily fixed anything, but because my thorniest thoughts were duly noted.

And once recorded, I could actually set them aside and get back to the business of travel-and enjoying myself-once again.

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    2 Comments

  • Devon says:

    That’s really great, Amanda! Even though I am traveling alone I have a really hard time being “alone with my thoughts” so to speak. I am always rushing to email my friends and talk to people I’ve met, etc.

    I’d be really interested to hear more about ywhat you came up with!

    P.S. I took Greyhound Australia too — it’s lovely! At first I was quite skeptical LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    I’d be very interested to hear about the challenges you faced while going solo.

    -Ken