So I recently took the plunge to start travelling solo. I will admit that this was done with a little push from the fact that my usual travel partner has somewhat replaced me with a male friend of exotic origins new to the country. It became clearer when I was telling her about my plans to backpack during the December/January period only to discover she’s been pondering the same thing but alas with the exotic male friend as the companion. So I decided enough was enough. We’ve both expressed that our time as pair travellers might be coming to an end as she goes to do strange things like a sabbatical in an Indian ashram, and I backpack South America. So my initiation was simple, and maybe even mediocre, I took the Johannesburg City Tours bus. Yes, that big red topless bus.
At some point I considered using my car to drive to the stops outlined by the tour as In know the city well enough and I’d missed the bus twice; but I figured it would be defeating the purpose. So I paid the R150 as I hopped onto the bus and deep into the inner city we went.
My tour started at The Origins in Wits. It felt as both an accomplishment and the major point that undermined my efforts. Let me explain, I’d finally succeeded visited the Origins Museum and not ending at their coffee shop as I’d done the whole five years during my undergrad which I did at Wits. But baby steps right?
Aboard the big red bus, the feeling way great; I had the same experience like I had atop the same buses in Madrid and Rome. I got to see the inner city in a new light and appreciated how little of it I knew to begin with. Even during my five years at Wits, my hangouts had mostly been Braamfontein and northwards. I met two solo travellers one from India and the other Germany, and secretly smiled as I felt like I’d finally graduated to the club of brave man and women facing the great unknown SOLO.
It is true that it’s liberating to be able to bend your itinerary as you please without discussing it with anyone. I took my time at the Apartheid Museum, and no one was there to rush me at all. Even the part that I dread most about single life which is eating alone was not as bad. I took the time to jot down notes on my diary as I waited for my order, and worked out which stops to make next on the tour route. I might elaborate on the stops later on in my blog, but for now I feel satisfied and ready to attempt more adventures solo expeditions.