Reality Check – When the Silence Gets Too Loud

Do you ever get accelerated when stumbling into articles like: “How Do I Quit My Job and Travel the World”? In some ways, this subject became an overrated trend, especially among the 20s and 30s.

This post is about ‘escaping’ but it has another kind of story (setback alert: it has nothing to do with quitting job or fly across the globe or whatsoever).

How It Started

backpackMy life had been tattooed with dilemma and uncertainties for the past few months; it is also the year of resilient, strenuous and difficulties. I have been devoted in keeping my target to not travel anywhere this year; but I let the situation decides for me and it winds up that I need to step away from the perpetual bullshits and misery. Everyday, I kept thinking: Is this my real life or am I breathing underwater?

Frankly speaking, I realized my life was way more dreadful than I initially thought. I felt that all I ever wanted to do is just to pack up, leave out of the blue without saying anything to anyone – like just leave and start a new life. I need a substantial assessment to determine if my expectation satisfies my reality. Eventually, I decided to travel all by myself and leave all the mess at home.

Before It Begins

The first few weeks before I actually began my short trip, I was feeling anxious and losing control. It was nerve-wrecking. I felt as if I will ended up at the wrong terminal and missed my flight or I lost my backpack somewhere. Suddenly all of these fears came haunted me. Why? Because of a definite thing – that I will be all alone. And when you’re alone, your brain does this overthinking and create problems that aren’t there in the first place.

The Actual Journey

When I first stepped into the departure terminal, everything just went smoothly. Suddenly, I became the navigation expert. One after another, I just knew where to go and what to do.

I was the first person to sit in an empty room – waiting at the boarding gate with the passport and boarding pass in my hands, listening to the iPod of 600 playlist channeling moment of my loneliness. I was munching chocolate bars, filling up some forms and then started reading a book.

At that moment of time, the fear departs and the calmness arrives. It felt as if there’s no one else could noticed me. Every so often, my mind stopped wandering. I observed the surroundings where everyone had at least another person with them, or friends or a family. And here I am, all by myself with nobody beside me. I began to feel empty. After a while, I dived back into my own little world.

Escaping the Reality

In the plane, I was seating by the window, sipping a black coffee and daydreaming with the magnificent view. Thereafter, I had my phone switched to airplane mode, which means it will be the final instant where I could correspond with my reality. My mind started to wander again. Will this be the last day of my life? What happens after I reach the destination? What will be next? Will I regret about my past or will I be happy for the future?

Trust me, you will only have these mind-boggling reflection when you are alone. In most times, you won’t be able to answer your own endless questions and stuck in the circle of “What if?” or just continue being in the loop of “What’s next?

The Final Destination (not the movie)

I figured this 8-days trip wasn’t like a vacation but more of a self-exploration – to escape from reality, to be away from common circle of people, to traverse about being solo, to discover my passion, to figure out what the future could bring me.

You could depict it as “Eat Pray Love” kind of thing; but I didn’t abandon my ‘baggage’ altogether. I was just taking a break, momentarily.

When I was there, I had a long conversation with someone; essentially deep talks about life and its meaning. We exchanged our views and experience. We talked about general interests, family, friends, work, financial, relationships, the past, the future, and the current phase of life.

Back in my ‘real’ life, all the people talked about was the hatred towards the government or someone gave birth or just got promoted, meaningless gossips about celebrities, or how we cursed about our job and the bad traffic, or how to bring in more money which was never enough. The conversation were about frustration, anger or dissatisfaction. And endless complaints.

When I was lounging at the Cape Panwa beach (Thailand), life moves slower. I was mesmerized by the simple-minded people and the minimalism of life. It was a serene scene – nobody was in a rush to be somewhere, no one speaks so fast as if 24-hours wasn’t enough, and there was NO rat race. Everything felt different, but in a good way.

This is exactly what I needed the most.

I figured that I might still be dreaming, so I looked at the sky, closed my eyes, and envisioned the surroundings will change. The breezy wind, the cold rains, the infinity sea, the chirping birds, all were still visible right there in front of me when I opened my eyes again. I could only hear nature speaks and I seized the moment of peace.

What I Have Learned

As mentioned earlier, my journey wasn’t something big. It wasn’t a story about quitting a job, packing a bag and end up somewhere new. This is just a story of an ordinary girl, travelling alone without any sense of direction, getting a quick escape, to do a reality check.

From the little adventure, I learned about:

  1. Independent – I managed to overcome my fear and built my self-confidence.
  2. Deep thinking and re-evaluate about life. This is very important. A reality check is what I needed all this while and I’ve never realized that.
  3. My patience when I have nothing, and my attitude when I have everything.
  4. Appreciate little things and be more attentive of the surroundings. No matter how good or how bad life is, wake up and be thankful that you still have one.
  5. Not to be afraid of change. You may end up losing something good, but you’ll probably end up gaining something so much better.
  6. Believing my ability to figure things out. I could start imagining about my future, learning to see where my passion lies at and making my dreams happen no matter how hard it gets.
  7. Putting myself first (not in a selfish way). I’m not perfect, but I will always be myself and be real.  Obviously life is too short to give a damn about what people think of you.
  8. Nothing is too late, and it’s never too late. I don’t get what I wish for, I get what I work for. If I keep doubting myself and wait until I’m ready, I’ll be waiting for the rest of my life. Self-reminder: Doubts kill more dreams than failure ever will.
  9. The best way to avoid disappointment is by not expecting anything from anyone.
  10. The World is big, like really big. And nature is calling me for the next exploration.


“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending – Maria Robinson”.

♫ Currently Listening: Metric – Help I’m Alive 

3 thoughts on “Reality Check – When the Silence Gets Too Loud

  1. ayaayoba says:

    hey babe..

    Finally you are here, been waiting for your update… Congratulation on your first solo trip alone. From this post, i knew that you are doing great. Can’t wait for your next post. 🙂 Take care girl. Dream big. 🙂

  2. That Unique* Weblog says:

    Just today I was realizing that since kids I have not traveled out of the country. The 12 years before that were full of Central American and Europe and Mexico and more. Traveling alone makes me brave and sure of myself. Or being “in charge” can also bring that feeling. I miss it. Glad you had a wonderful experience.

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