I really missed travelling solo. The world seems to have a problem with solo female travellers. Especially Indian tourists travelling with an entourage. Two aunties asked well-meaning questions on why I’m travelling alone in a space of two hours. Not that it’s any of their business but for some reason, people don’t seem to get it. Some of us actually LIKE travelling alone. We like travelling without an agenda or a plan. We like to decide what we want to do on the fly. We really do like it.
This time took the idea of “deciding on the fly” to a whole new level. My travels are usually planned weeks, if not months ahead of time. Every minute detail, from travel to accommodation to forex is meticulously accounted for and executed to ensure minimum glitches. I’ve been almost obsessed with the need to know literally everything before I set foot out of my house. And it’s worked every time. I’ve usually travelled with zero problems or roadblocks. I believed that this was the only way to do it.
This time was slightly different. I didn’t have time to plan. Except that I wanted to arrive in Singapore a day earlier than needed, I wasn’t quite sure of much else. I wanted a vacation. I needed one. And I knew that Bintan was a good bet. But other than that I literally had no clue what I was going to do.
With four days to the travel, I managed a hotel booking. But I still had no clue how I was going to get there or get back. And then, with one day to go, I booked the ferry. If you think the story is over, you’re mistaken. I checked the time taken from Changi airport to the ferry terminal and for some reason, Google Maps told me it was in Malaysia. That’s when the panic set in. But it was too late to do anything about it. I checked again and still no updates. I was sure I’d booked myself into the wrong ferry from the wrong country and there was nothing I could do. And I did the only thing I could at that point. Took a beauty nap.
I woke up to leave for the airport and shelved the reflection around the ferry and the terminal. It was only when I arrived in Singapore that I checked again and to my relief, the terminal was less than fifteen minutes away from the airport. To cut a long story short, I got my ferry. From the right country and the right terminal. And I also managed to book my return to Singapore. But that’s when it hit me. It’s a simple life truth that lack of time to plan taught me.
Sometimes you may not know where to go and how to get there. You may not even know what the hell you’re doing. That’s ok. It’s ok to not control every minute of your life. It’s ok to not know how to control or direct it. It’s perfectly ok to not know what next. You just need to trust that it will be ok in the end. Otherwise it’s not the end. And yes, while you’re at it, travel more. Travel alone. Reconnect with yourself. Especially if you’re a woman. It’s ok to sit down and have a drink in solitude. It’s ok to do NOTHING in solitude. If you don’t enjoy your company, who else will?