There’s a pleasure in traveling solo. The sense of being completely content in your own company gives you a kind of freedom that you miss out on experiencing when you’re in someone’s company. There’s more thrill to the discovery. Your experience is uninhibited by anyone elses influence. The journey that presents itself, the places you go, the sights you discover, the non-descript paths you curiously follow are yours alone to absorb and savour and the time-frame you take them in is an unhurried one.
But not everyone’s fond of solo travel. Some of us steer well clear of it, while others find it a complete and utter necessity. I’ve always been the type that’s enjoyed my own company. Being a creative, I seek out quiet space. It’s how I take in everything going on around me. Being alone helps me filter what I need to process and how it’s going to influence my work.
Traveling is no exception. As I write this, I’m in my humble abode on the island of Patmos. The wind is breezy, the view from my room opens up to a small bay, the bells of goats chime in the distance as the late afternoon sun slowly begins to drop. I have the serenade of the elements to help me capture inspiration. I’m in absolute bliss.
Travelling through Greece always leaves me with an insatiable appetite for more. Driving through its winding roads, taking in the perfume of wildflowers and thyme, the passing landscape completely spellbinding with its rounded mountain ranges dotted with shepherds huts, olive groves and the occasional stray goat perched on the rugged tip of a cliff.
There’s an openness here that I don’t experience anywhere else. The people are curious, they ask questions, greet you good morning, look you in the eyes as you’re walking by. They want to connect. Their enquiry to find out more means that conversations are easily made.
In a funny way, it’s something that naturally occurs in me the minute I step foot into the country. I feel completely changed. Any reservation that I may carry with me in my own hometown suddenly disappears. It’s as though the innate curiosity of the people is suddenly activated within me. I find myself doing exactly the same.
Gifting yourself with a dose of some quiet solitude allows you the chance to shift your perspective. The unfolding experience is presented differently. There’s more opportunity to completely absorb the place, to immerse yourself in local life, mingle with the neighbours, ask for directions, start a conversation at the most unexpected places.
Stepping foot in Greece stirs the greatest sense of comfort, ease, warmth and welcoming embrace from the land and its people, that always leaves me in a deep state of gratitude.
Happy Travels…Paula x