Destination: freedom!

 Destination: freedom!

From the adventures of Sara Melotti to the pages of great literature, the personal revolution of solo travel pushes an ever-increasing number of people to undertake this experience every year

by Matteo Carlesso

Translation: Juliana Santos

Imagine finding yourself alone, in an unfamiliar place. No prior knowledge, no pre-established plan. You are free to decide what to do and when to do it, you and the world all around you. This is the essence of solo travel, an adventure that can intimidate but, at the same time, provide extraordinary satisfaction. An experience capable of promoting personal growth, leading you to discover who you really are and to overcome your limits. Whether it’s venturing like the Wanderer above the Sea of Fog or emulating Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit,” it’s undeniable that solo travel is capturing the interest of an ever-wider audience.

What drives people to take a solo trip? According to the “Solo Travel” investigation, there are various reasons behind this adventurous choice. 74% of those interviewed expressed the desire to explore the world with total autonomy. The feeling of freedom and independence was also appreciated by 52% of participants, while 42% highlighted the opportunity to meet new people. 36% indicated personal growth as a goal, underscoring how solo travel can contribute to individual development.

These motivations paint a rich and diverse landscape, explaining the growing appeal of those who embrace the unique adventure of solo travel. And Sara Melotti has made her life out of unique adventures. She, who is the extraordinary narrator and author of the book “Happiness is a choice” (2021), travels the globe with her story of places, cultures, traditions and, above all, of the people who live there. Originally from Brescia, she moved her life to the United States at the age of twenty. Having abandoned her career as a fashion photographer in New York, she immersed herself in solitary travels to create “Quest for Beauty,” a project that explores the profound meaning of beauty in different contexts around the world. A beauty that escapes pre-established canons and challenges the balance imposed by society.

The journey, therefore, does not just become an exploration of new places; it is no longer a hit-and-run, nor even a disposable holiday to tell to friends and relatives: it is talking about and experiencing what is different; it is getting lost and finding yourself among the infinite nuances and complexities of human existence. And there are many types of trips: there are those who leave for pleasure with a passport and a first class ticket, but there are also those who leave out of necessity, like Alí Ehsani. In his book “Tonight we look at the stars”, he recounts his adventure experienced at nine years old, when fleeing from the war he left Afghanistan, chasing the hope of a better life, but without a precise destination. A very long journey that began in Kabul, continued as an illegal immigrant through a thousand vicissitudes, to then become a respected criminal lawyer in Rome.

Whether leaving alone or in company, travel can also become a tool, a megaphone to experience and talk about the changes in the world we live in. In the article Right to Resist, you can explore the exciting journey of three courageous women who, on a three-month adventure through eight Central American states – Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama – engaged in a reportage trip dedicated to climate justice. Their journey touched the most hidden and threatened areas, giving voice to the often invisible stories of thousands of women fighting on the front lines for climate justice in the most vulnerable countries.

Jack Kerouac, Paulo Coelho and also Jules Verne talked about it; these great authors still invite us today to explore not only the physical world, but also our inner world. Kerouac, with his famous work “On the Road”, urged us to free ourselves from the chains of routine and embrace the unknown with a rebellious spirit. Coelho, with his stories steeped in symbolism, guided us on a journey towards self-knowledge, suggesting that true adventure lies in the hearts of each of us. Verne, with his extraordinary imagination, makes us dream of unexplored worlds, but at the same time, he reminds us that adventure can begin with our own desire to explore. These authors push us to consider solo travel as an opportunity for growth, a chance to break the chains of familiarity and embrace uncertainty with courage.

So, as the new year unfolds before us like a white paper full of possibilities, it may be the perfect time to embrace the idea of solo travel, a journey that will not only take us through unknown lands, but will also lead us to the discovery of ourselves, shaping a new page in our lives.

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