Ever since I saw the movie “The Beach” I have been dreaming of visiting the location where it was shot – I was dreaming of finding my paradise. I wanted to see the unbelievably beautiful nature and enjoy the sunrays on a soft, sandy beach… And yet back in the days I never thought this would be possible. I’ve always been a person who likes adventures, but they happened more in my imagination than in real life, as I was too scared to try it and none of my friends wanted to join me in my fantasy.
Last year everything changed for me – I moved to the UK and started a journey to find my true self – at first I didn’t even realize this was happening, until I booked my flights to Thailand… all by myself!
My friends thought I was insane; they were shaking their heads and hoping for my safe return, my father almost stopped talking to me – I had managed to shock everybody! But deep inside I knew that this was something I had been dreaming of my entire life, this was something I needed to do! And as it turned out, I was not only exploring amazing Thailand, but also myself – and I found myself in Thailand…
Since everybody around me feared for my well being, for my life even, you might wonder – was I actually afraid? To be perfectly honest with you, I felt fear only once – on my way on the bus to Heathrow Airport, and afterwards it was simply one huge adrenalin rush! I had never felt so perfectly in place and so free in my entire life!
On my long way from London to Koh Phi Phi I met several people and I had already realized that even though I have embarked on this journey alone, I will never feel lonely.
During my stay in Thailand I have met even more people from all over the world, who were traveling alone as myself, or in groups, who had different destinations and expectations from their trips and life itself and I was amazed as how easy it was to make new friends. I not only connected with other travelers and tourists but also with the locals – I made friends with a group of amazing fire dancers, even helped them out giving out flyers to promote their show – I felt like I was a part of the island, not just a passer-by.
And I remember the moment when my life turned round, when I became absolutely free – a moment in which I realized that life is too short to be afraid of doing what you feel like. It was when I was sitting on the beach, under the starry sky, watching the first fire show… It was really magical and I wanted to go over to the fire dancers and thank them for such an amazing show and ask them about life on the island… and then the old me thought “This is crazy” and then the new me stood up, walked over, and said hello ☺
I could sit here for hours writing and trying to describe every single feeling I had during this trip, but it is physically impossible to put all of this on paper… each and everyone should experience such a journey themselves, as it’s an unforgettable moment, when you find the courage, the strength, when you embark on an adventure of your life and do what you have always wanted.
Traveling solo not only makes you stronger, it helps you find you true self, it helps you evolve and see that you do not need anyone by your side to fulfill your dreams – if you don’t try and reach for the stars you will never find out if you are able to touch them… and if you feel afraid, just think of this one simple sentence:
‘What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.'
This article is written by Anna Zielinska. Anna grew up and spent most of her life in the south of Poland. Due to a crazy course of events she moved to the UK in May 2014 and now lives close to London. When she's not travelling she's meeting new people and trying new things. However she also appreciates a lazy weekend on the couch watching her favorite TV shows.