I’ve just had my very first chat with a woman I see every morning and evening, walking on the beach. We’ve passed each other for two or three months now, nodding and smiling and silently acknowledging the need for our alone time. It turns out we’re both Piscean introverts, so that explains a lot.
Her husband is here, she said, but he can’t stop talking. She remarked on two women we’ve both seen walking up and down, who can’t stop talking either. It was so nice to have a brief chat with someone who feels the same about non-stop talking – I actually find it stressful even to hear it (worse if it’s on the phone) and if people are walking behind me doing it, I stop to let them pass so I can’t hear them.
While I’ve been here, I’ve had around six attempts by people to join me on my morning walks, all of which I’ve declined, saying I want to walk alone. Mostly people take it well, but I can see a few, “Well, that’s rude” expressions. It’s just a boundary I have and I have no problem stating it.
The same goes for my trips to different places in India. The minute I say I’m going anywhere alone I get the incredulous, “On your own?” response and then later, “I’m thinking of going to the same place!” I then have to find a way of extracting myself from their plan of joining me. I know they think I’d love some company but solo travel is a joy to me. Ironically I meet more people when I’m on my own, but the difference is I’m not attached to them for the whole trip. (This scenario has literally just happened to me on the beach when I mentioned my forthcoming trip to Nepal – “I will get the same flight!”.)
On International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate the right of all women to travel solo without fixed companionship. I want to celebrate the right of introverts to not speak, and to not need a wingperson. I want to celebrate the right of Pisceans to walk by water every day because they need it to survive.
A beach of one’s own.
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