Came for the places and the chance for a month-long quality time with myself, but stayed for all the serendipitous encounters and happenstances that I never anticipated to happen.
That is perhaps how my recent travels to the UK, Ireland, and other British Crown dependencies in-between in May 2022 were best summarized.
It was the first time I solo travelled after a long-overdue five-year, also the first in my late twenties. Perhaps the title that is most fitting to label the trip was an “ultimate bachelorette solo pilgrimage,” considering this might have been the all-in journey that uplifted me emotionally and spiritually in a way, almost like a personal pilgrimage, and also possibly the peak of travels I’d be able to do in my unmarried years considering my hectic daily 8-to-5 job in that would most likely stay so in the next few years.
I remember that my younger self used to consider solo travelling as an outlet to be fully alone with myself – a time where I would allow my introverted side to shine unabashedly.
However, it was a much different one this year. Being 28, I had approached the chance to wander around a foreign territory all by myself differently, without even realizing it in the first place.
To start, I met and connected with dozens of interesting souls that I’d definitely lose count of had I not jotted their names down a list in my private notes. I witnessed how my best personality I had forgotten to possess bloomed and lingered given the right circumstances. I experienced a handful of surprising, even to some extent life-altering occurrences that I hadn’t even thought about ever coming about. I also had a few moments of deep ponders and contemplations about life that led me to revisit my childhood dreams, ask myself about what rings the truest to my heart, and notice all the different spectrums of emotions I could be immersed in had I just allowed myself to sense and absorb them mindfully.
It is perhaps impossible to include all those stories about rewarding and meaningful occurrences within a blog post. A whole book is what would be needed to elaborate all the intricate details – the tiny bits that led to the bigger picture of recalibrating my north star, redefining my core, and rediscovering joy and love. And I certainly did not expect a month trip to lead to this much of serendipitous encounters and findings.
But this post will be the start – the prequel that perhaps serves as an epitome to the thirty-day journey, which to me meant way so much more than just visiting and seeing new places halfway across the globe after years of deferral. To me, it’s the people, and the compassion from them and the universe that had made all the differences.