Every time I go for a trip alone I feel mixed feelings about it. The anticipation of it is a bit of anxiety; sadness for living the ones I love (including my cats); and excitement for all that is about to come. Yeah, it's a fucking Russian roulette! Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. But the adrenaline...oh...That's why meditation has become not only a need in my life but also a pleasure. It helps a lot. I highly recommend it to anyone who works in all areas, especially nowadays that time is so crucial and anxiety an atomic bomb! To keep the inner peace is fundamental. In these past 2 years I’ve learned a lot. Patience and to live one day at a time became a necessary tool for my routine.
The last time I was in Paris, I didn't feel like it was anything new. Maybe because I feel so at easy there and Europe feels like home to me that it didn't feel like no news at all. I was there working, for my exhibition at Carrousel du Louvre, and 3 of my days was all about work. Been at the opening, dinner with artists, withdrawn of the photos, etc. And I also had some stress to dispatch my photos since I was not yet coming back to Brazil. And in the end it was so expensive that I didn't, I kept it with me until I met a very special person in Berlin (Toti, this one's for you) and gladly presented him with my photos. Been a travel street photographer is not only about glamour. Actually it is as hard working as any other profession, but people always see us as a glamorous kind. Like a person who live in high standards level. That’s a lie. At least that is not my true.
Stressful? Yes, but it’s worth it!
So yes, travel alone applies a lot of stress, but also, so much pleasure! I think the adrenaline to arrive in a place that, may be known to you or not, it’s highly hypnotic! When I’m not traveling and photographing, feels like I’m not breathing. Sounds exaggerating? Perhaps, but that is what moves me. For some people, it is to have kids (brave ones!), but for me, is to travel alone with my camera. The most far I go, the more I feel alive.
Cities or nature environments?
Both! Why choose if we can do both things? If this is one time travel and you have to choose, then choose the one that you love the most, of course, there is no doubt about that. I have always had this preference about big cities, but that does not mean that I don't love landscape as well. Last time I traveled, this late August, just now, I was in Alto Paraíso for the third time. Center of Brazil, meaning Savannah landscape, waterfalls, monkeys, snakes, scorpions, wolves, little dragons, wilderness. I was away from the noise of the big cities, instead, I listened to the wolves howling, the birds chirping, the bees buzzing. Dry roads and lots of waterfalls mixed with beaches and rivers. Complete different environment from what I’m used to. And, my advice is: do what makes you feel happy whether is a big city full of history like Jerusalem, or Savannah vibes like Alto Paraíso. Maybe Caribbean sea? Or NYC cold atmosphere? Jump for it! And jump alone! Feel it into your guts!
Alto Paraíso, 2019
What teaches you
Travel alone teaches you so much! About everything! Good things and bad things. Here are just a few things that worth mention:
It can, and it will improve your mental health; bye-bye comfort zone; you are going to face your weakness; total independence; you will start to love being alone; you may have to learn other languages; be thankful for the opportunity; get lost, it’s wonderful; how to deal with life problems; deal with the unknown; a more flexible and patience person; you will become a maps lover!; there will be situations that will push you to the limits; other people’s opinion? does not matter, only from the few ones you really love; it will open your mind, maybe your heart?; go at your own pace, that is fucking amazing!; detachment from everything (I love this part); you will develop an eye for liars and con people up front; teaches you to stop and live one day at a time: yesterday is past, can’t do nothing about it, tomorrow did not happen yet, so live the moment; self confidence will be UP, it’s all about you; LEARN HOW TO SAY NO (I love that one), it’s so important to say no! if people only knew the power of it!; solo sunsets? yes! why not? kiss strangers, feels good!
Detox from Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Why it is important to detox from social media while traveling? When I travel, I see people that are only traveling to the other side of the world only to show off and make posts on Instagram. Why? Why show off to others matters more than what you really think and like? Why emptiness and falseness rules the world today? Why bother to go to fucking Moscow to take selfies? And only that? Think again, you may not have an opportunity to do it again soon. If you want to know more about my opinion on that, you can read my article why I quit Instagram and I’m not sorry for it here. Sorry Zuckerberg. My point is, detox from social media while traveling. I’m not saying to be totally in the dark, but you will find out how can be amazing to stay ‘out’ for a few days...
Respect for other cultures
People fear what they don’t know. What they don’t know, they want to destroy. And that’s bad. To travel alone makes you realize how big the world is, how small we are. It teaches to see other cultures and learn from it. Lately I found myself drawn to going to Nepal to see the monks on the mountains. A kind of trip that is not easy. But yes, why not? I feel affinity with Buddhism, and it’s on my list. A trip that definitely is not easy to do it alone, but who said it would be?
Don’t do it for others, do it for yourself, rule your life
Always please yourself first. Never please others before you please yourself first. Never. So if you choose to travel alone, enjoy it for yourself. If you never did, you will understand what I’m writing here. If you travel alone already, and if you love that, you know that the wonder of solitude is a bliss only a few can understand.
Oh, the bug that bites you once you start to travel and never wants to stop...it’s like an addiction, such a good one. And to travel alone means freedom. Freedom about everything and everyone. Are you a free kind person or are you a people person? Even if you are a person that loves to be around with people all the time and can’t bare the thought of traveling alone, try it. Indulge yourself. It does not have to be a trip to the other side of the planet, but rather, to the next town. The experience, I assure you, will be only yours.
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