Wild at Heart: My First Solo Travel

5

It's probably normal for a lot of people to travel on their own once in a while, but for me, it was a huge undertaking that kind of required me to prepare myself. So, when I finally took the plunge, it felt like I was doing something wild -- at least, travel-wise!

It’s just me, myself, and I. Nah, I was one of the first to board the plane.

I’ve been travelling a lot with friends (as you probably can tell), but I never dared to wander off on my own, even for a weekend trip somewhere near Manila. It didn’t cross my mind before to try solo travel, most likely because travel culture in the Philippines is mostly about enjoying the sights and experiences with family, lovers, and friends.

By mid-2013, I began making plans and doing research for my birthday trip this year. The choices fell between Boracay here in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Bangkok in Thailand. I eventually decided to do a week-long Bangkok + Penang trip. Later, I wondered, “who would go with me on this trip?”

First stop for my solo trip: Batu Ferringhi beach!

A couple of months passed and it soon became clear to me that I may eventually need to go solo since the people I asked to go with me most likely couldn’t make it. The shy, not so street-smart part of me began to panic, but a curious voice inside me also said, “Well, why not?”

Of course, itching for an adventure, I pushed my shy, inexperienced self aside and listened to the seemingly brave spirit that stirred in me. Before 2013 ended, I made sure that my flights and hostels were booked, and a basic yet flexible travel itinerary was ready. Come the early days of 2014, I was so ready to go.

Since Penang is one of Asia’s food capitals, I stuffed myself full with all these delicious morsels I found everywhere. Chicken Rice will forever be a favorite, and Cheese Naan will always drive me crazy, but Char Koay Teow has also found a special spot in my heart (and tummy). Also, I spent the afternoon of my birthday gorging on cakes and sipping coffee in the then newly-opened Purrfect Cat Cafe. So, those are my birthday cake slices in the last photo.

The original plan did not push through, though. The protest situation in Bangkok made me decide to just spend the entire week in Penang. I may have had a wild idea to try solo travel in a foreign country, but I was still not bold enough to go somewhere where tension was brewing.

Travel selfies! Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Looking back at that blissful, unforgettable week (which I still find myself daydreaming about every now and then), I have to say I wouldn’t have that trip any other way. I discovered so much about myself; it was indeed empowering, as many experienced travelers have said. It also made me fall for Penang’s charms the second time around.

Familiar sights that I found comfort in. Traveling solo can be both comforting and liberating.

Listening to those seemingly wild ideas sometimes leads to amazing things, don’t you think?

Check out my albums Penang, We Meet Again, == Penang Birthday Trip (for Indisposable Concept)==, Caffeinated Haunts: Purrfect Cat Cafe in Penang, Malaysia, and Camera Museum in Penang, Malaysia to see all my photos from this trip!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-03 in #lifestyle #travel #wanderlust #analogue-lifestyle #lomography

5 Comments

  1. shind
    shind ·

    Glad you love Penang! I would be embarking on my own solo trip soon too. Btw, should you happen to be coming to KL for a solo trip next time can always give me a shout and I can always show you around. :)

  2. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    I really LOVE Penang, @shind! I still daydream about everything, especially all the delicious food I ate there! I spent a night in KL on the last leg of my solo trip but I did not go around the town since I got there late. So, I just relaxed the whole night until around noontime the next day, before my flight back to Manila. I haven't scoured KL much even if I've been there twice, so maybe I'll take your offer once I go back there! Where are you heading for your solo trip? Have lots of fun! :)

  3. shind
    shind ·

    Taiwan! Will be heading to Taiwan! Yes, definitely, just PM me in advance or something and I can bring you around. Followed you on twitter via tweet handle @shindgypsy
    Haha! Food there is cheap too, isn't it? ;)

  4. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Awesome, I bet you'll have fun in Taiwan! Followed you everywhere else too, @shind! Do let me know how your trip goes! I'll also have a look at your Lomography albums, maybe you have some travel snaps with interesting stories that I can feature for the Tales from the Trip series!

  5. shind
    shind ·

    Yeay! Definitely! :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Finally, My Own Petzval Lens

    written by pearlgirl77 on 2014-11-20 in #reviews
    Finally, My Own Petzval Lens

    In April of this year I had the chance to test the Petzval Lens and to write a review on it for the German photography forum Kwerfeldein. The lens excited me from the very beginning, at the time it was introduced on Kickstarter. I was afraid that once I had tested the lens, I would want to have one of my own! Well, that’s what happened; a year later, I finally bought my very own Petzval lens.

    1
  • Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-08 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    A weekend without a lomowalk seems bad, at least for me. One Saturday morning, I decided to join my friends in their lomowalk. It was all cloudy at first but it didn't stop me from going out and walking. I brought my new Nikon FM2 and some expired rolls, just to test my camera. Was it just me being sleepy, or was my Nikon FM2 acting up? My photos turned out grainy, pale, and, in my opinion, looking so 1990s?

    1
  • La Sardina: My Story With My Old Best Friend

    written by abecd on 2014-07-10 in #reviews
    La Sardina: My Story With My Old Best Friend

    This is a story of me and Sardine, my first ever analogue camera. We've been traveling for thousands of miles and met a lot of friends. Even though I have better cameras, Sardine is the one camera that will always be in my heart! So once again, this is my story with Sardine

    2
  • Shop News

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • Summer Hot Spots: Escaping the Heat at Cameron Highlands

    written by shind on 2014-07-03 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: Escaping the Heat at Cameron Highlands

    It’s normal during summer to be out there at the beach, sunbathing and getting yourself a nice tan, but in Malaysia, it could get pretty hot this time of the year. With the rising temperature, my friends and I decided to escape the heat of the city for a while and took an approximately three-hour drive to Cameron Highlands.

    1
  • LomoChrome Purple 120 and 35mm: Expect the Radical!

    written by myahcat on 2014-08-01 in #reviews
    LomoChrome Purple 120 and 35mm: Expect the Radical!

    I was given a roll of LomoChrome Purple 120 by a friend who was keen for me to try it out since he didn't have a medium format camera. I really didn't expect the results I got when I took it out for a test run on a bright winter's day in London.

  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-06 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    Last week, I received the strangest thing through my letterbox. It was a postcard with this photograph on 1 side. The photo is of me sitting by the sea whilst I was on vacation last year. But I have literally no idea who took this shot – That’s why I came here, to ask for your help on my search for my mysterious photographer and to try and get to bottom of the riddle they wrote me. Please help me if you can!

    10
  • Shop News

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    Enjoy a truly analogue moviemaking experience with Lomography's 35mm movie camera and an accompanying accessory to watch your films with. View your masterpieces in the most analogue way possible with the LomoKinoscope. Get it now 20% off the regular price!

  • The World, According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    written by wil6ka on 2015-04-09 in #world #locations
    The World, According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    It was the Amazon which I had longed for my whole life. And when it was finally a set deal that I will travel to Brazil with two of my best friends for the Copa do Mundo (World Cup), we really had to start our adventure in the Amazon. I had known about this magical place deep in the rainforest. There was a lodge run by local people of indigenous background, with wooden houses that float on the water and a limited number of visitors. It was eco-tourism as how it should be. To preserve and to celebrate one of the most impressive locations I have seen so far.

    6
  • Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    written by maliha on 2015-01-07 in #world #locations
    Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    If you want to know the heart of a person, peek inside his/her wardrobe! And no, nobody famous said that; I only just made it up. But really, don't you think it's true? After all, the way we dress screams our personality; at least for most of us. And that is why, as soon as I land on a new city, one of the things I absolutely must do is find the local boutiques. Sure, I love the fancy chain boutiques as much as the next person, but there's just something else about a local clothing store. It's unique!

  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 1

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-02 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 1

    Here’s a random and rather mysterious tale for you folks. Just the other day, I was at a local bar with a few friends. It was much like any other evening; we were sipping a couple of cocktails, recounting our adventures, falling over ourselves with laughter and half-drunkenly meditating on the meaning of life (a scientist once told me it’s 42 by the way). But then something truly strange happened. Read on to hear my story and please make a comment with your guess at the end!

    31
  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • 12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    written by Maaike van Stratum on 2015-04-12 in #world #lifestyle
    12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    My list of resolutions for 2015 consists of 12 projects, one for every month. March was for caffenol. You have probably heard of the amazing fact that you can develop black and white photos with coffee, sodium, and vitamin C. I had tried this before but with less than stellar results. Somehow, there's always something going wrong. Time to devote a few rolls to caffenol to finally get the hang of it.

    1
  • Camera Collections: b2377's Priceless Analog Possessions

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-25 in #gear #lifestyle
    Camera Collections: b2377's Priceless Analog Possessions

    From the simple Vivitar 110 camera he received from his grandmother, Brett Wolff already accumulated close to almost a hundred cameras and accessories in his analog arsenal. Some of the cameras he treasured were even handed down by relatives and friends, making these more precious to him. Let's take a closer look at his camera collection.

    6
  • Devildi is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-25 in #world #news
    Devildi is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to devildi for winning Home of the Day!

    1