Throughout the ages, people have chosen to taken solo trips to far flung places to ‘find themselves’. These pilgrimages, adventures or explorations were about discovering who they really were, and about enriching their lives with knowledge and experience unavailable at home. The same is true today, and it’s why a lot of people choose to travel.
For young adults, perhaps not yet settled down in the routine of working lives, taking a trip to somewhere that may enlighten them and give them more insight into both themselves and the world, a solo trip can be a revelation. The only difficulty is, with such a magnificent world to explore and the beauty of affordable travel, choosing where to go.
There are many places on this earth of beauty, of interest and of historical and spiritual importance, places that are a world away from those you are familiar with, and these make for the very best in solo trips that will give you a wider insight into life.
The rich history of the world is evident both close to home and far afield. The Pyramids of Egypt, for example, make a popular choice for people looking to enrich their knowledge of ancient history. The only problem with taking a trip to this amazing and very important site is that it is now a tourist trap. Crowds will blight the trip, and it is not a relaxing place to be at any way. That’s not to say it should not be on your list of potential solo trips, for it should, but that it may be something of a disappointment.
More remote and yet equally important is the Machu Picchu. This remarkable city of the Inca, high in the mountains of Peru, is somewhere so different in terms of culture as we know it that it is a once in a lifetime experience. There is plenty to take away from visiting what is an amazing feat of engineering and ancient architecture, yet it is also one where tourists abound. It is, however, a great destination for a pilgrimage, one that should be on your shortlist.
European Holy Pathways
Many pilgrimages in days gone by were for religious reasons; people followed the paths taken by saints and traced the footprints of these great holy men, and you can do the same today, in relative quiet and in some of the most stunning and inspiring landscapes in the world.
The Camino de Santiago, or ‘The Way of St James’ in English, traces a selection of traditional and historic pilgrims’ ways that lead to the shrine of St James the Great, the noted apostle, and leads to the magnificent cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, where the saints remains are said to be buried.
The Camino de Santiago is a series of routes that will allow you to experience the journey taken by many over the years, and is an ideal choice for a solo adventure. There are organised tours that give you more in-depth knowledge of the route and its significance, and it is up to you if you take one of these or tackle the well-worn route alone.
If you are looking for a quieter and less tourist oriented walking experience, the Camino Portugues may be the best choice. More rural in style than the other routes, yet equally as impressive and important in historical and religious terms, this wonderful way is one favoured by people taking time for themselves, and provides a thoroughly enlightening and enjoyable opportunity to take a step back into unspoilt lands.
The wonderful landscape of Portugal is at its best on this route, and is ideal for a leisurely yet informing walk. It is also easy for anyone up to intermediate level of experience to handle, and may just be the place that brings it home to you how the world can be a very calm, very quiet and still place, even in the 21st century.
Take Your Time on Your Solo Trips
A solo trip is always a wonderful experience and, if you plan it right and choose a location that is going to give you the insight and enjoyment you need, you may find it is a refreshing and rewarding experience that allows you to approach life in a more relaxed and measured manner afterwards. Even if the aim is not to ‘find yourself’ as those before you intended, what it will do is give you breathing space, and a permanent reminder that the hustle and noise of daily life can be put behind you once in a while.
The places mentioned are just a few of the many wonderful opportunities for taking time out at beautiful locations, so check them out further, and perhaps follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims of old in a quiet and tranquil place.