You came here alone? Where’s your family? Where’s your boyfriend? That is no fun at all. And it must be so lonely having no one to talk with at the end of the day.

Says the boat guy, the coffee lady, the convenience store worker, anyone that learns about my plight here in Vietnam. In India they pitied me too, but after all I was a foreigner, and we all know foreigners have their unexplainable ways.

I have never traveled with a group. To me, going somewhere in a group means partying: we drink, feast, stay up late, sleep in, and maybe do some sightseeing on the side.

Family trips fall along side the above category. It matters little whether we have any adventures, ’cause it’s more about spending time with each other.

Traveling with a partner: I’ve done it with a few friends, bfs, other travelers that I meet on the road, couchsurfers. It’s usually only a few days together. The longest I’ve survived was a month, and yes I got irritated a few times. But my dear bf of course was mature enough to put up with me. My only requirement for my traveling partner is unpickiness, whether it’s food, accommodation, mode of transport, or the lack of planning on my part. The last part alone surprisingly eliminates a lot of candidates.

Mostly I’m by myself. I rent a scooter and ride into the countryside. Sometimes I skip lunch because there’s not a place that looks half-clean, and make up for it later with two dinners. I enjoy talking with random people throughout the day, short exchanges about our lives and the local scenes. I enjoy being completely unplanned. I wake up in the morning, check the weather, look at the map, and decide on a route. I don’t have to worry about whether there’s anything exciting on that route. I enjoy both the strange and the mundane. And most of all, I enjoy my own company.

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