Hitting The Road Alone…

The Broke Backpacker Hiking
Sometimes, you are alone.

Published on: Nov 18, 2015

The year is hurtling to an end, Christmas beckons with outstretched hands, and I shall be found, once again, in foreign lands as the first frost of Winter creeps across England.

It has been one hell of a year… I’ve dabbled with being a millionaire in Venezuela, I’ve been tattooed by the last Mambabatok and, I’ve had my heart broken.

A tsunami of emotions has often threatened to overturn my small craft as I have battled the currents, fought with my mind, my heart, my dick, to do the right fucking thing rather than to capsize into a sea of madness.

Until very recently, I did not intend on doing this trip alone. I was to travel with a girl I adored through countries I had wanted to visit since I was a kid; I was, in short, to live the god-damn dream.

Luckily, it hasn’t taken me long to meet some awesome people in Europe…

For the first couple of days, one thought and one thought alone stood at the edge of my consciousness, stalking me in my moments of weakness and threatening to send me hurtling back to the UK.

“What if I am making a mistake?”

A two, possibly two and a half year trip, through the frigid wilds of Absurdistan, the primal waves of the Pacific and the uncharted jungles of Papua New Guinea; this will take every ounce of physical and mental energy I have at my disposal.

To do this trip by myself, especially after I had planned to do it with somebody I was in love with, it’s a hell of a shift in gears.

And yet, as I pressed my face against the cool glass of a speeding car, driven by a new friend, the blue-tinted clouds racing overhead, I felt an incredible sensation – I felt truly, for the first time in months, unburdened.

I don’t have to answer to anybody.

In the words of Bon Jovi, “It’s my life”.

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And it could end tomorrow.

Alexander the Great was a man who understood the importance of this. Every morning, a slave would wake him with the same line – “Remember, you are going to die.”

Life is brief, fleeting, and, if you blink, you may miss it.

Nothing lasts. It is crucial that we understand and embrace this.

I think it is important to live every day as if it is your last; to create, to love, to live and to enjoy your surroundings. Sure, there are some days where unpleasant or boring tasks need to be completed and this is fine.

If, however, these days begin to merge together, if you have weeks or even months where you do not enjoy your life, where you do not feel stimulated, it is time to shake it up, it is time to ditch your desk.

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Over the last few months, my own path has become clearer to me – I will undertake this adventure and, if I do not get killed enroute, I shall open a chain of ground-breaking hostels with the human being I love more than any other, my brother.

Eventually, we shall move on to the next stage; founding our commune deep in the hills, a totally off-the-grid, totally sustainable living space for folks of intellectual and spiritual means to come together with the aim of creating something great.

I want to learn to plant organic gardens, I want to learn to dig a well, I want to learn to play the saxophone; I am, in short, extremely excited for what the future shall bring.

If I was to get hit by a car tomorrow, to lie bleeding and dying and gasping in the street, it would be a great shame and yet, I am on the right path. I feel content with my decisions, I feel excited for the future, and I feel honoured to have met so many incredible people over my lifetime. I do not feel like I am in limbo. I am the master of my own destiny. I feel driven, passionate, ambitious. I feel alive.

sons

Just a couple of the very cool people I have met on the road…

I have been on the road for just ten days.

Ten days out of over eight hundred…

I have already met some incredible, inspiring people – the kind of people I want to be around. People who get it.

Beginning this journey by myself, when I had not planned to, was a real challenge for me.

Letting go and moving on, these are two things which I have always struggled with.

If however, at the beginning of every day, you dread what lies ahead, it is time for a change.

There are many ways to make this change; you can start small. Revamp your diet, hit the gym, take up a new skill. In my opinion, for one to be truly happy, both physical and mental stimulation are required every day.

Do not let others hold you back from your dreams, if you fear the unknown then this is a good thing.

Embrace your fear, embrace yourself and allow your journey to unfold.

Peace, love and happy trails…

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21 Comments

  • It’s a strange thing having a mixture of sadness and hope, but the sadness does fade. I’m sorry things didn’t work out the way you planned, but believe me that is often when new and better opportunities throw themselves at you. This is an epic trip, and with me being an emergency nurse you should take it from someone who has seen far too many people die far too early from that proverbial bus when crossing the road, you ARE on the right path.

    I hope you don’t get killed mate, because I expect some comped stays in your hostel chain! ;D

  • Claudia says:

    Staying alive, and mostly FEELING alive, is always the best thing you can do for yourself.

  • Ahhhh you finally get it! I agree, and thank you. You just helped me feel excited about the future again! XoX

  • Samantha says:

    Great post. You are right, you never know what the future will hold, but don’t let that hold you back or you may never find out, lol Happy travels.

  • Shobha says:

    I love the quote about Blessed are the curious! I’m pinning that one as it’s brilliant.

  • This post.
    Is something else.
    Never had I read anyone else come close to putting in words, emotions only I thought I felt.
    There is so much here and so much more to come.

    Great post.
    Keep going.
    Don’t look back, there’s no reason to, if not only to remind you whats coming in your future…

    And I LOVE the plans by the way…..

    And As Always
    #LoveAndTravelHugs©
    Cee

    • Will Hatton says:

      Hey Cee! Thanks for your kind words, you rock! 🙂

      It’s been an interesting few months, something I wasn’t sure I would write about, although I am glad that I did, but I’m finding that being on the road is certainly the best way to get back to kicking ass and taking names!

      Hope to see you on the road sometime soon for a beer!

      Will

  • I’m reading this on a Sunday night and I come across this line,

    “If however, at the beginning of every day, you dread what lies ahead, it is time for a change.”

    You are right, I’m dreading work tomorrow and something needs to change. Thank you for the motivation and inspiration to help me realize this. I look forward to following your two year adventure! Keep it up and Stay Safe!

  • Michael says:

    Kudos to you my friend. Great post, and timely given the events of late. I’m keen to figure out a way for Lisette and I to come meet you asking the way next year.

  • Michael says:

    Kudos to you my friend. Great post, and timely given the events of late. I’m keen to figure out a way for Lisette and I to come meet you along the way next year.

  • You’re gonna totally rock it! Onwards and upwards! ‘Seize every day like it’s your last!’

  • Melanie says:

    I actually envy you! I have never even been out of the country. With a family on a budget it’s very hard to do. If I had the opportunity to travel like that – even alone, I would jump at the chance.

  • Tara- Hippie Hits The Road says:

    Hey Will,
    I am SO SO SO excited for you! This will be one hell of a journey, I’m sure.
    I have just had to stop my travels for a bit to help with my grandmother, but I am already itching to get back on the road (and I haven’t even been home a week!). This was a really inspiring post, and reminded me that, while I do need to be here now, my decision over 9 months ago to ditch my nursing career and hit the road alone was 1000% the right thing for me to do.
    Really looking forward to following your story and maybe someday we’ll meet on the road. Beer’s on me (assuming I have any money 😛 )
    Best of luck!

  • Great post! You almost made me cry, I also broke up earlier this year and even though it wasn´t an easy decision, it was totally worth it. All the best for you Will, safe travels!

  • jon says:

    Your writing really strikes a chord with me and I’m sure many others. I planned to go with a friend on my first backpacking trip who bailed on me and whilst the emotions are different if planning a trip with someone you love it’s still a spanner in the works.
    But the best thing I ever did was go on my own as it’s such a different experience that was far more rewarding.

    • Will Hatton says:

      I know what you mean, man! Things can be easier when you go with someone, but doing it on your own teaches you so much more about yourself, and opens you up to the world. Sure I have mixed feelings on it all, but I feel good hitting the road solo!

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