Interview with Nick: “In a solo trip, one can experience the utmost freedom.”

  • Travelling alone is not just about risk and adventures, but also running away from yourself. “Once I realized that I want to be absolutely alone in an unknown city, in unknown streets with unknown people and experience unknown circumstances, I… bought tickets with the first flight to Lithuania.”

Nicolas is a thirty-one-year-old lawyer from Ukraine. He does not have a favourite book because “The book which a person reads at that very moment should be the favourite one.” Travelling for him “Is kind of running off by yourself and there is always something to run off to.” However, he thinks that it doesn’t always mean that someone is trying to escape themselves.

“I also had been running and running, but the problem is that I haven’t run away from problems.”

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“All people look at me like a crazy man, lots of them are astonished at me and my trips. They say, “Oh…man… we also want to do that.” Overall, Nicolas drew one major conclusion from all of his trips – “Solo travellers draw people’s attention.”

“People and people…when you alone they are drawn to you like magnets.  Everybody wants to know your story.” Nicolas appreciates his personal space and has admitted that he is not a very talkative person, “…but when you are alone it’s easier to connect with people and adventures literally stick to you. You become the epicenter of the adventures.”

Solo trips are known by their “ultimate level of freedom.” People are free from their diffidence and fears, and they are completely dedicated to their desires. “Sometimes it happened that I arrived in a new place and did not have any idea of what I wanted to do there. Once I’ve got a desire, I embody it into reality.13346858_10154238309454812_4729675247956759536_n

We always think about the people who surround us and what they think of us or our behaviour, especially when we are travelling with our families or friends. In that way lots of restrictions could appear, such as not skydiving because your wife thinks it is too dangerous, or passing up on trying a friend cockroach because your friends may think that you are weird for wanting to. Nicolas is convinced that “In a solo trip, one can experience the utmost freedom.”

During one of his trips, Nicolas was invited to a small Iranian village to smoke weed and try opium. “I asked if it’s legalized and the boys told me, ‘Legalize, bro, everywhere’.” He admits that he did not join those boys because that did not fit into his trip’s schedule. “To tell you the truth, I would like to have joined them. I think that we are always conscious of what we do and we can understand what’s going on. ”

Stereotypes are garbage for people’s minds. We start to think about and recognize traits in other people relying only on the stereotypes. We are all individuals, and cannot be so easily generalized, so why should we submit to prejudices? “The world is more positive, more than we think. I even do not understand where people get the information that everything is bad and dangerous from.”

“I have never had any troubles during my trips and I think that if you are an adequate person you shouldn’t get into any dangerous situation.” Nicolas went to other people’s apartments, slept in stranger’s houses, watched the sun rise at bus stations in the middle of nowhere, rode motorcycles through the desert, and sailed on ferries during his trips. “I just followed the main purpose of my journeys. I wanted to be absolutely alone in the most bizarre circumstances and move according to the sudden decisions.”

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The biggest impression for the introverted person is that during the trip he starts connecting with the people around you, “I’ve met with different people, I smoked weed with unknown Nepalese guys in Christiania at eleven o’clock in the morning, and they told me about Kathmandu.”

Half a year ago Nicolas went on his most recent trip from Kiev to Istanbul, then to Iran and right to Sri Lanka. ”I wanted to get to Iran as strangely as I could.” This trip, however, was not because Nicolas felt the need to run away from society or himself. Instead, he just focused on having adventures.  “The idea to visit Iran was created during one or two nights. I just remembered that in my childhood I always wanted to visit it.” He decided to go there with no plans. “I even did not have a flight ticket back and I had no idea how long I would spend there and what I would do. It’s an absolutely fabulous feeling.” These were the long-awaited planned adventures in the sense that there was no plan. “I could not say that I was there absolutely alone, there were plenty of people around me.”

Nicolas began meeting a twenty-four-year-old man from Malaysia in each Iranian city he visited. “Everything started with a stay-over party. I got up because this guy made namaz near me. He is a very religious Muslim.” They had not agreed to meet each other again, but somehow happened to see each other in the very next Iranian city Nicolas went to. “We went for a walk and I talked with him a lot and I am one hundred percent sure that we would not meet each other if I was with friends.”

“I was absolutely alone in Iran, but it’s a very illusory feeling.”In the modern world, it is hard to be completely cut off from the people back home. “I kept in touch, I had [Facebook] Messenger and Instagram, so I was able to have contact with my friends.”

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Each person needs their own personal space, similarly, we all have moments when we want to be alone. “…there still comes a time when we want to reflect on something.” New solo travelers should understand that in any place in the world you will be able to find somebody to speak with and to share your personal views.  “Even on the moon, astronauts are not alone and they are taking selfies.”

Nicolas has never regretted anything about his solo trips. “I really like travelling alone.”

“I would say that travelling alone is a very good way to understand yourself.” Nicolas is pretty sure that everybody should experience a solo trip at least once in their life. “If it’s not comfortable to be by yourself, then the surrounding people are unbearably annoying because first of all the person irritates himself.”

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