Becoming Anti-Fragile By Travelling Solo
It is not just about testing the ability to absorb shocks but also getting better after absorbing those shocks
We can learn a ton of things about ourselves just by observing and analysing our actions. It might come as a shock as you realise that you are a completely different person than you thought to be. There are things that we do that are beyond our understanding.
One such thing for me was travelling to Iran amidst a boiling atmosphere in the middle east. Despite warnings, I took a flight out of Mumbai to Shiraz. What followed after that was something that changed the way I thought. The government announced an internet lockdown to suppress the ongoing protests.
Did I have a death wish when I chose Iran as a travel destination? Not that I was not aware of the political situation in the country. But still, I took a leap of faith, shunning all my prejudice, created by the media.
Yes, the hospitable nature of Iranians was one of the reasons. But, hospitality, food, or tourist attractions were not strong enough reasons to visit a country like Iran. But what could I have possibly thought before booking my tickets?
Not that I was expecting any adventure. But, I believe that somewhere deep down, we want things to happen to us. After all, we are sentient beings, aren’t we? The aspect of mystery when you backpack is what makes the journey exciting. Else, what would be the difference between backpacking and going to the office? We don’t live in the jungles anymore. Most of us live a life where we know what is exactly going to happen in our day-to-day life.
How would you ever know about your endurance and your ability to tackle things as they come? I thought it would be impossible to travel without an internet connection, and yet I did. I had no option but to adapt to the situation. In the hindsight, it does not seem like a big deal. But, I was having all kinds of negative thoughts. Mind you, I was in Iran. Not that it is unsafe, but it’s hard to get rid of the perception, especially when you face such an extraordinary situation.
It is beyond the resilience we put up that challenges our comfort zone. It makes us robust than before. Our experiences help us to develop a mindset — What’s the worst that could happen?
The uncertainty and randomness in the occurrence of events make us tougher than we expected of ourselves. In common parlance, what does not break us makes us stronger. Travelling solo is a way to make ourselves anti-fragile. It is natural to grow when put under stress. It is not just about testing the ability to absorb shocks but also to get better after absorbing those shocks.