When I decided this year, that I couldn’t hold off the wanderlust any longer, and was to go travelling solo, I received the usual reactions from people – “I couldn’t do that”, “Are you sure you will be safe?”, “You’re so brave!!”. When I announced my destinations to be South East Asia, and then Yoga teacher training in India, I’ve actually lost count of the many people whose reaction suddenly changed to the response “Oh…so you are doing the typical Eat, Pray, Love kind of thing?”, while they not so discreetly threw there eyes somewhere up to heaven, or to the side, or looked down, and with such action I felt I had lost the previous respect bestowed on to me that solo women travellers (rightly) receive.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of her decision to pack up her life, quit her job, and leave her marriage, and travel where she wanted to, and how she wanted to, is actually very inspiring, funny in places and just a good read. I for one am sure it prompted many women (and men if they read it), to take a look at the lives they were living and ask themselves the question “Is this what I really want, how I want to live?” If it wasn’t for the the Hollywood take on the movie, where they cast possibly the most annoying, most unbelievable actress ever, yes indeed, Ms. Julia ‘Big Mouth’ Roberts (not very believable as hooker either), I am pretty sure I would never have had to face that annoying question, again and again and again.
I will admit, that a couple of weeks into my journey, I have been doing a hell of a lot of eating. My ass and tummy are growing increasingly in size by the day and each mouthful of delicious local Malaysian food. My candid to accompany this post is love heart shaped toast, filled with cheese and topped with sugar from a little cafe in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo. And yes, next month I will be in India, doing a hell of a lot of praying, but hey, at least I don’t have to switch off the alarm clock at the same time each day, and make the commute to sit and work at some computer to line someone else’s pockets, to a greater extent than my own. So I will leave you this beautiful quote from Oscar Wilde, and perhaps you can ask yourself ‘that’ question, about how you want live your short life, and the way you want to live it.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”