I have tagged 3 blog posts with solo-travel:

Solo Journeys and Silent Reflections: A Winter Passage Through Norway

A sole figure, gazing out at a snowy Norwegian landscape, with a lit smartphone and powerbank on a train table.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, November 21, 2023, 09:03

In the wee hours of the morning, I succumbed to the comforting rhythm of the train as it made its way through the heart of Norway, a mournful solace that accompanies a solo journey. As the world outside unfurls in its stark winter beauty, coated in a fresh layer of frost at -3°C, it reminds me of the dual-nature of solo travel - the rejuvenation found in solitude, and the melancholy of walking alone.

The clamor of life gradually fades into an echo within the resonating silence of the train compartment. I find myself introspective, enveloped in the luxury of solitude, with only the soft hum and rustle of the train to keep me company. The chilly wind slips in through the cracks of the window, attempting to disrupt the cocoon of warmth emanating from my powerbank- a trusted companion on all my solo journeys. Irreplaceable in its duty to power up my electronic anchors to the world.

There, right in the palm of my hands, my self-sufficient universe tingles with life. The powerbank, a plate of compact energy, ingeniously harnessing technology to charge my devices. The smartphone, my portal to worlds beyond my reach. The lightweight, portable energy source doesn't restrict my movement, rather, it empowers it, enabling me to carry my world with me, in the quietude of my solitude.

In the shroud of the morning, I delve into the unfolding world narratives. Amid the updates about the latest politics and sports around the globe, a news piece from NRK catches my attention. A small relief amid the throbbing tension of past months. Nineteen evacuees from Gaza have successfully landed in Norway. Their journey from a precarious living situation amid the healthcare crisis, to the safety of my homeland, touched chords near to my heart.

The way they have traveled, through Israel to Jordan to Turkey before finally arriving in Norway, is itself a testament to the spirit of resilience; their quiet strength reverberates through the few sentences describing their ordeal. A hopeful start in a new place, far from the land they had called home.

At their temporary refuge in a hotel in Oslo, likely warmer than the weather outside, they’ve been quarantinated for their safety and that of the others, as part of our attempts to control the pandemic’s wrath. It’s an unsettling thought, how their journey is not wrought from the thrill of discovery as mine but ensues from the dire necessity to survive.

The train clicks along the tracks, slicing through the solemn melody of the breaking dawn, the piercing cold outside seeping in. And I am traveling, immersed in the privilege of seeking and learning new narratives, blessed with a simple, reliable powerbank, leaving a trail of softly tread footprints in the chaotic patchwork of the world stage.

Tags: solo travel Norway technology

Continue reading

Chasing Solitude: A Heartrending Symphony of Solo Travel and Lingering Melancholy

A lone figure gazing out a train window, melancholic eyes mirroring the gloomy skies yet conveying hope.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, October 27, 2023, 09:25

As I traverse the familiar path that connects home to the metropolitan, the bone-chilling air seeping through the narrow crack in the slightly ajar train window serves as a sobering reminder of the world outside. My usual companion: a generous dash of loneliness, and several meager digits on the frosty thermometer. A bitter two degrees.

This regular journey, often shrugged off as mundane, is an expedition. Solo travel, despite its fair share of satire, has an unspoken profundity that often goes unnoticed. There's a certain melancholy attached to it, a sense of desolation that seeps in like the cold, meandering its way into my thoughts and, inevitably, into my words. Yet, it holds an adventure of its own, filled with undulations of self-discovery, introspection and resilience. A sardonic grin washes over my face; for it mirrors a lesson learned through countless solitary train rides.

Today, however, the melancholy carries an extra weight.

Just another day, just another news piece, yet it leaves an indelible mark on your spirit. I come across an article that tears open a harsh reality about the world today. Myriad emotions entwined with indifference, disbelief, and a palpable dread taint the earlier jovial mood. A chilly shiver runs down my spine as I soak in the aftermath of a horrifying incident in far-off California. Specialized words and facts try to sanitize the bloodshed but nothing can cloak the human tragedy at its heart.

Six lives extinguished, twelve others forever marred, courtesy of a system so fragile that an individual shadowed by a history of violence slips through its cracks. A tragedy borne of apathy, and rooted in ignorance.

"Silos are the death of empathy", I scribble down in my notebook. An individual lost to the thralls of violence, a family grappling with the unfathomable guilt of hindsight, and questions with no apparent answers clutter my thoughts in the rattling solitude of the train.

The solo journey continues. The fleeting landscapes outside the frost-laced window narrate tales of vast, undulating plains, icy-laden rivers and towering mountains; and I, a mere observer, drown in the abyss of melancholy. What good are these splendid sights when the warmth of humanity is steadily receding? What worth is an adventure if it's marred by the cold shrills of despair echoing from afar?

In the solitary expanse of this train ride, the underbelly of solo travel is exposed. It's not all sunsets and beautiful landscapes. Sometimes, it's confronting the harsh reality of solitude, of helplessness, of a world that's equally beautiful and brutal. And even so, we trudge on. We keep travelling, keep discovering, keep moving - because as the train runs its course, there's a peculiar comfort in the continuity of motion, in the heartbeat of the rail tracks beneath us.

It's a disenchanting orchestra of laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, warmth and cold. Yet, the symphony continues. The melancholy dwindling to a lullaby, and as the city lights of Oslo twinkle in the distance, it whispers - the delightfulness of the journey often lies within the dejection of the ride. Such is the bitter-sweet symphony of solo travel, a heartwrenching adventure of its own.

Tags: introspection human tragedy solo travel self-discovery social commentary

Continue reading

Embracing Independence: The Joys and Journeys of Solo Travel

A lone backpacker on a mountain path, map in hand, power bank hanging from backpack.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, October 16, 2023, 16:55

Ecstatically typing away on my buzzing train ride home from Oslo, my fingers dancing on the keyboard with enthusiasm that rivals the frosty winds outside, I realize something profound - solo travel, whether it's all the way to the sunlit hills of Santorini or just this rhythmic churning commute to university, is a riotous celebration of independence, introverted joy, and delightful self-discovery.

Let's dive headfirst into this adventure, shall we?

While some people may find solo travel a daunting notion, I assure you, it is one of life's pure treasures. When you're alone, each choice - from the mundane, like the flavor of your morning coffee to the extraordinary, such as the destination of your next journey - is yours and yours alone. This autonomy, this empowerment is as invigorating as the fresh 9°C breeze that whips through my hair whenever I crack open the train window.

Today, as I weaved through bustling stations and crowded platforms, I was content. I was just another face in the crowd, my thoughts my only company. It isn't lonely but liberating, the freedom to soak in the world around me without distraction. It's like being the sole audience member at a spectacular play where the stage is the world itself.

In my solo travel escapades, technology is my most trusted companion. And at its heart, the cornerstone of my tech arsenal, the mighty power bank. Now, you might think: "Kaia, it's just a gadget!" But oh dear reader, it is so much more.

This unassuming device is my lifeline, my faithful anchor in the shifting sands of travel. It powers my phone, necessary for those life-saving Google maps and quick translation apps, it juices up my laptop allowing me to chase my journalism dreams even when on the move, it even rescues other lost, battery-drained souls I encounter along my journeys. It's like carrying around a tiny piece of civilization in my back pocket, a comforting reminder that I remain connected even when I am miles away from home.

And speaking of strong, independent women, Breaking News: Anniken Huitfeldt, a Prominent figure of the Labor Party, is stepping down as Minister of Children and Family Affairs! It's all over the news. Why, you ask? To spend more time with her family. Now, isn't that a beautifully empowering statement within the world of politics? We wish her replacement, Marte Mjøs Persen, the very best. The game awaits her!

As for me, my solo journey continues as I navigate my way through the bustling city of Oslo, armed with my power bank and an unquenchable thirst for exploration. Ready to venture into the unexpected, to embrace the liberating freedom of solo travel.

So here's to us, fellow wanderers of the world, may our travels be as vibrant as our spirits, as inspiring as our dreams, and as eclectic as the cities we traverse. And remember, a power bank might just be your best travel buddy. Onward!

Tags: Oslo solo travel self-discovery technology

Continue reading