My Secret Travel Fantasy

We all have things we want to accomplish in life. We might want to go on an African safari, become millionaires before our 40th birthday, or own our own businesses.

Then there are our secret goals that we don’t share with others, the ones locked up in the confines of our own minds. Your quiet coworker may dream of starring in a Broadway show. Or the truck driver you pass on the highway may long to open a bakery. Or the parking cop might secretly want to model eveningwear.

I also have a fantasy that’s been on my bucket list for a while now.

mountains of New Zealand

maybe I could build a house here...

I long to be a hermit.

What is a hermit?

her mit  n. A person who has withdrawn from society and lives a solitary existence; a recluse.

While driving through the mountains of Colombia, or on the long stretches of country roads in New Zealand, I often fantasized about getting off the bus with my backpack, walking a few miles into the unknown, and staying there.

I think about those faraway, isolated places with lust. I have longed to set up shop in a wood cabin with just books, music, and a few pets to keep me company. There would be no email addiction, no concern about what to wear in the morning, and no exchange of mind-numbing pleasantries with strangers and acquaintances.

It would just be me, the land, the universe, and a vastness of mental space not known to many.

It would be pure bliss.

mountain house in Colombia

or I could live here...

Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.  ~Paul Johannes Tillich

I don’t travel alone because I can’t find anyone to go with. I travel alone because I love the solitude. I love not having to talk about nothing to fill up the space.

I enjoy spending time with others, of course, and having deep conversations about matters of substance. But I can’t be around anyone for too long. After a large social gathering, I need a couple days to recuperate – by myself.

In fact, sometimes I can’t be alone enough.

I feel like there is something bigger and better to be connected to that just isn’t possible in the presence of so many distractions. I feel like if I ever did settle down in one place, I might drown in the inevitable inane conversations I would be forced into day after day. I feel like the only way that I could ever find peace is to spend a significant part of my life in solitude.

Cape Palliser New Zealand

But for now, it will remain a fantasy. I’m not quite ready to detach from the world completely… yet.

What about you – what’s your secret fantasy?

  • Jasonrraines

    Saying goodbye to “normal” life for 1-2 years while traveling to Guatemala and Colombia! Gaining a firm grip on conversational and written Spanish is a close second lol.

  • You can do it! Guatemala and Colombia are both great places to learn Spanish :)

  • I can relate.

    While I always thought an untouched, desolate beach walled in by cliffs with a thin windy trail leading out would be a fantastic spot to establish my hermit-hood, traveling throughout the Andes in Ecuador has forced me to reconsider.

    The stark rolling, treeless, hills in the shadows of rumbling volcanoes seems, somehow, more appropriate for a life of solitude.

    I suppose my (secret) travel fantasy is to visit space, do a space-walk, and see Earth with my own eyes.

  • The Andes are definitely gorgeous, but the desolate beach – both sound good to me!

    Love the space walk, thanks for sharing :)

  • Oh I know this feeling so well! Like the solitude/loneliness quote very much, but still haven’t found a way to negotiate successfully between the 2. It does seem, though, that the hermit life can only lead to big things. You can go mad as a fish, or you can discover something up there on the mountain, and bring it back with you, and change everything forever. Great post!

  • Exactly! I see why solitude as a religious experience is so prevalent throughout time.

  • Gar

    Hi Jasmine,

    You don’t really need the Andes or a desolate cliff to be a hermit. For the past two years I have been a hermit one block from the middle of a tourist town with a population of 3000 people. I didn’t mean it to be that way. It is just the way it turned out.

    It’s not a bad thing though. Solitude does give a person time to think and reflect; time to make life changing decisions. I’ve decided my future is in traveling the world – alone … to make friends and meet people. :-)

  • Hey Gar, You’re right about that. I just feel like if I lived really close to a populated area and decided I would be a hermit for awhile, I would just feel lonely instead of enjoying the solitude. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • Wow, I never thought I’d find another person who could verbalize this fantasy and not get weird looks. This is my ultimate dream! I’m a fiction writer and I love being by myself. It’s like you describe, there’s not enough alone time sometimes. But as much as I want to set up camp on some vast remote beach and write to my heart’s content, I also want to explore the world and see what conclusions I can draw from it. Maybe it’ll improve my writing voice, maybe not. It’s so easy to think we have all the answers when we work in solitude, that’s why like you I want to see what else is out there.

    But hey, the minute your dream cabin is complete you have to let me send you a good bottle of Kahlua. ;)