Travel is quite the ambitious venture. As Hayden says, “to travel is to live.” “The road is the best teacher,” he continues, and he could not be more right; what travelers can learn from their adventures can shape themselves and their lives from there on forwards. The things we learn about the world are not as important as the things we learn about ourselves. The most important question to ask oneself this week is: how does traveling alone affect what travel gives to us?
Justin Walter joins Hayden to answer exactly this question. Justin, a television host, producer, writer, and traveler, hosts Let’s Go LA!, an outdoor adventure show, and writes the blog Around the World with Justin. He talks with Hayden about the time he won a trip to Wales, as well as how he got started as a world traveler. He discusses his travels and travel writings before Hayden mentions how important it can be to travel alone, and Justin agrees. In fact, he challenges listeners to travel by themselves at least once. He believes that it can force you to meet new people and encounter new things and to confront your fears.
Justin brings his story, a tale which he has titled “Letting Go,” which takes place in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He tells of how he and his friend journeyed to the Yi Peng Lantern Festival before they realized the crowd was entirely filled with people from all over the world, an unexpectedly diverse group. The ceremony and festival were incredibly symbolic and heavy with tradition, giving the entire experience another unique and beautiful layer. However, what was a surprise about the whole event was what happened to one of his companions to the festival.
Traveling alone is not an easy task; however, for any world traveler - or, in fact, for any traveler - it is a necessary task. Solo journeys force travelers to interact more with the world around them and truly get to know the culture on a far deeper level. “The road is the best teacher,” Hayden points out, and the best road trips can be those where the car only holds the driver.