Traveling alone might take you to a boat with strangers

Celiane Camargo-Borges
2 min readJul 26, 2021
at the lake Geneva

In one of my lone trips, I ended up in a boat with strangers. Veronique, the owner of the boat, is a half-French Swiss woman and has a sailboat in the harbor of Geneva where she offers the extra places to strangers like me. So, there I was, on a hot summer afternoon, sharing my life with strangers while enjoying the lake from the boat of Veronique.

As I was spending a week by myself in Switzerland, I found a site called Glocals, bringing together internationals and locals in Geneva. I connected and found Veronique.

Getting to know Veronique, talking about life in Geneva, her passion for sailing, was as if I lived there, even for a day. Ji, the Korean/American who was the other stranger on the boat, also shared her experiences of being an expat there. Together, we spent a day learning from each other’s lives and culture.

All these unexpected encounters move me, transform me. Usually I come home and never see these people again. But it doesnt matter as they’re already part of me as I’ve learned from their completely different ways of seeing and living in the world.

Travelling alone to me is a self-discovery lab. A spiritual search, not in the religious sense, but in the movement of unfolding myself in unexpected ways; stretching my paradigms, expanding my belief system, my empathy, my understanding of the world.

I don’t travel alone to escape people or to be in a meditative state, but to experience serendipity. Traveling with friends or family does not give you the same opportunity. Alone, I can be more attentive to others and to the environment around me. I can be alone and exercise connection.



Celiane Camargo-Borges

Brazilian living in Amsterdam and interacting with the world.