Earlier this year I talked about going to Italy. About taking a trip, alone, to be with myself, learn to enjoy my own company and have time to photograph my surroundings, write and draw. When I unexpectedly lost my job and decided to go back to Norway for a while, I realized it was also time to go do what I had been saying I wanted to do. I have talked to several friends about the importance of traveling alone, and after experiencing it for the first time, I believe this even more.
There is something about choosing a restaurant without anyone’s input, and from there actually taking a seat and enjoying a meal alone. About having a drink without company and without being obviously busy with something, a book or laptop. I had time to enjoy the solitude, and to be able to wander ten minutes down an unknown road, knowing fully well that I might have to walk back the same ten minutes again. About reminding myself to walk slower, absorb my surroundings and look for anything to take pictures of.
At one point, as I was walking around the walls of the old town of Bergamo, I got caught in the rain. I quickly opened my umbrella and continued exploring, instead of seeking refuge under the closest shelter.
I am not trying to state that traveling alone is better than traveling with friends, family or loved ones. But I think it is important, to learn to be alone, at least for my own sake, and experience both the good and not-so-good sides of it.