Inevitably, when I people have found out about my travel plans they have immediately asked “who are you going with?”
When I say no one, it is almost predictably followed with “are you going on a tour” or “who has planned it” – When my answer to those questions is no, and myself – the reactions have an interesting range. Amazingly, these reactions are not predictable in any way. People I would have expected to be absolutely shocked that I would even entertain an idea like this have been excited for me and very positive, folks I would not have expected to be phased by the idea of me traveling alone have been almost comically shocked. Others are a bit terrified by the idea, but all have been excited for me to have the experience, I think. The reaction I get most often, however, is that I am very “brave” to be doing this. . . and honestly, that is the reaction that I haven’t known what to do with.
Crazy – certainly, insane – a bit, wild – of course, adventurous – maybe a little, stubborn – YES, independent – obviously you have met me, geeky – yes, smart – most of the time, and so on. . . but BRAVE? I’m just not making that leap. To me, brave has a different meaning. . .
In my book, bravery is risking it all to save others – or to make the world a better place – – no matter what the cost to yourself may be – people like Harriet Tubman, Irena Sendler, Desmond Doss, Nelson Mandela, MLK and Aung San Suu Kyi – and this list can go on – while these are extreme cases of bravery – there are millions of less- well-known examples that happen everyday- the soldier who enlists, the child who stands up for a friend being bullied, the employee who risks his job to do what is right. . . but, honestly – Bravery is not hopping on an airplane to go on a dream vacation.
I agree with Confused Julia – for me traveling alone isn’t brave, it is just common sense. This is the right time for me to take this trip – and solo is the way that it makes the most sense.
I am not brave – I am independent, stubborn, bold, and a little adventurous – and hopefully – when it all comes down to it, I will be smart and have a great time on this adventure. 🙂