There will come a point in all true travelers' lives when waiting is no longer a viable option. It’s the moment when their wanderlust becomes too much to bear and their feet become too heavy to stay tethered the ground.
It's the moment when they won’t have the time or patience to wait for the perfect travel companion or for plans to work out with people who aren’t ready to experience the kind of trip they need to placate their souls.
It’s the moment when they are comfortable enough with themselves and just uncomfortable enough with their daily routines to take the plunge. It’s the moment when they are ready to embark on an adventure alone -- with no safety nets and no reminders of home.
But traveling alone is not for the faint of heart. It's for those born with a restlessness in their souls, who can’t live without the promise of days spent somewhere else. It’s for those who thrive in the company of strangers and get lost in crowds just to feel safe.
It’s for those who can enjoy eating alone with the same zeal as they do with a good friend. It’s for those who know themselves well enough to be alone for days on end with only their thoughts as company.
You know you’re ready when you’re dreaming of open landscapes and train windows. You know when you wander down unfamiliar streets of your city just to feel some kind of change. You know when you feel that persistent tug on your soul.
It’s when your heart and your head no longer want to fight each other, but take off together on an exhilarating adventure. It’s when you can’t wait another minute and you must fly solo.
You can communicate without language
Communication happens on a level beyond words. You connect through souls rather than phonetics and parted lips.
You understand how to read people and express yourself on a level that’s beyond verb forms and gender agreements. You have instant connections that always make up for your lack of vocabulary.
You view obstacles as adventures on the side
There is no such thing as a wrong turn. In new places, every sidewalk, street corner and missed exit is just another sight to be seen. Getting lost is part of the journey, a requirement for those who expect to see a country in all its forms.
You’re cool with having a good book and glass of wine be your friends
You get lost in your books the same way others do in conversation. You have no qualms sitting in restaurants for hours alone with your thoughts and the flavors of the foods you are trying to save and remember for later.
Your journal is the only conversation you need
When you feel the need to talk about something that happened, share your stories or reminisce on days past, your journal is always a suitable outlet.
You talk to it like an old friend, making sure not to miss a detail. You read it when you’re lonely and cry to it when you’re sad. It’s the only companion you truly need.
You have connections all over the world
For you, strangers are friends waiting to be made. You find acquaintances in every corner of the world and develop friendships that span across oceans and years.
You know that there’s no greater bond to be made than those while abroad.
You don’t need to know how to pronounce it to eat it
You find excitement in small adventures, like tastes and smells. You thrive in the surprise of new flavors and indiscernible platters.
You go into every bite hoping it will be your new favorite and always leave each place with a richer and smarter palate.
You find moving windows are the best kind
The best views are ones that are coming and going. They are the ones on airplanes, trains and buses.
You like how the world looks from that angle, the way the landscapes appear and disappear, always reminding you that there’s somewhere to be left and somewhere better to be seen.
You know the difference between dangerous and daring
You never hesitate, but you do weigh options. While you’re open to trying anything and everything, you’re also wary about the suspicious things.
You’re savvy enough to know when something’s a scam and when it’s a deal.
Your fear will never get in the way of a good time
You get scared, lost and frustrated. You have moments you wish you were in your own bed with the comforts of home. But you never let those feelings overtake you.
You never let those moments of panic and dread ruin the moment. You let that fear turn into the butterflies that will propel you to keep going, keep moving and keep pushing those boundaries.
You live for the rush of uncertainty
It’s all those unplanned moments that drive you. It’s those unforeseen adventures and missteps that keep you on your toes.
It’s those new opportunities and random accidents that make it a trip worth remembering. Because you didn't come here to play it safe, but rather, play it like no one's played it before.
You know exactly when to blend in and when to stand out
You bask in moments of anonymity, when you’ve become one with the culture and finally feel more like an insider looking around than an outsider looking in.
You also love those moments when you are the visitor, when you’re comparing world views and trading stories of home with people who are just as interested to learn about where you came from as you are about them.
Your home isn’t where your things are, but where your feet are
You’ve never been one to collect things. You find that stuff only weighs you down. You’re a perpetual wanderer who finds solace in moments and memories over tangible trinkets.
You pack light and know when you need to let things go to make room for more.
You live for the stories
You don’t recall your memories through photographs and souvenirs. You don’t remember your trips through blogs and Snapchats. You encapsulate your past in the stories you’ve collected.
You deem your trips worthy by the tales you pull from them. You are never collecting them behind lenses and screens, but always with your arms wide open.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It