So, you mean you are going to fly ALLLLL the way across the world, stay in a city you don’t know, and sleep by yourself…???!!!
My response, well, YES!!! 🙂 ***imagine instant high five emoji, because what is writing without some imagination. (Did you picture yourself jumping up in the air , kicking your feet up, and screaming to the top of your lungs, YESSSS!!! ) Or, (did you picture yourself sneakily at the table or in your bed high-fiving the air?) Good.. Here, we go.
I planned a SOLO trip to Spain! I write and plan all of my own itineraries.
I turned 30 this year. One, of my goals was to travel SOLO. I had previously gone on a trip by myself 7 years ago to Peru to volunteer. But, that time, I was with a group of fellow volunteers about 85% of the time. I did have a time where I returned from Machu Picchu by taking a very long and scary bus ride by myself, but alas I returned safely, and had a fantastic feeling of accomplishment as an added reward!
Deciding to take a SOLO travel adventure almost immediately requires your brain and emotions to take a high speed roller coaster FLIPPING & ROTATING trip around your head all day everyday up until the day you leave!
Adrenaline– while seeking out the fun things you can discover
Anticipation– of the fun to be had
FEAR– you know those acronyms they use to help you remember things? Now, it means something more, here is my new acronym for fear.
F– Fun to be had
E– Exciting, Exhilarating, Emotions
A– Amazing Accomplishments, Astonishment
R– Reward -for your awesome independence and freedom
Anxiety– anxiety about how the trip will go, about missing planes, trains, and automobiles, and just the general anxiety of not knowing what’s to come
Loneliness– well, you can kick that to the curb! SOLO travel, whether you are introverted or extroverted allows the opportunity to have alone time, and never be alone! (Really??? What???? YES, dear, GO explore with new friends or enjoy that museum or play, by YOURSELF, without any interruptions (I’m hungry, Are you ready yet? Ok, I’m done here, what’s next? Or the dreaded, “I don’t want to go…”)
Ok, so you’ve got the emotions down. Let’s get to the meat of this.
This is probably one of my favorite passages I have found.
“When you’re (traveling) with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it.”
― Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
Check out her website: http://www.shaunaniequist.com/
I have read that passage several times just writing this. I love it!
With all experiences we have whether they are overseas, or in our country, or in backyard that we have not discovered yet, we take and cherish each moment differently. We experience those moments differently when we are, alone.
I look at the trees, birds, and streets differently. I here the sounds of conversations differently. Instead of hearing a loud, obnoxious man yelling, I hear an anxious man shout a language I don’t understand to a taxi cab only to get to his destination on time. While sitting in a café, or outside drinking a glass of wine on an old medieval cobble stone street lined with people walking by, I glance over to my right, and see another person enjoying the moment by himself. All of a sudden, we strike up a conversation. Both, enjoying the moment, by ourselves, and could have talked all night. Roaming the streets, walking up and down window shopping, admiring the different shops, and hearing lovely conversations of groups of people enjoying life, and I, as an outsider just looking on, and smiling on the inside. Enjoying the peace, that is in your mind. For once, you can hear only your thoughts, uninterrupted, and talk to yourself, and accept the loneliness for what it is and enjoy it.
We don’t have someone there to document what’s happening. We may not have that extra person there as a witness to our misadventures that happened. With each new adventure, we create pockets in our hearts. Experiences, are held there (remember those “Polly Pockets?” ) like little adventure gems, that only we keep, they are special to US, and only US. When we become sad or want to remember something, we can remember these “gems” and be returned to that day where we got lost on the metro, or didn’t find the bus we needed. And, there they will stay, filling our hearts with each new adventure.
I highly recommend SOLO travel, at least once in your life. Especially, now a days, it is so easy to be a SOLO traveling female. You learn so much about yourself. Not, to mention the incredible reward of accomplishing it by yourself, gaining an incredible amount of independence, and freedom.
If, you have enjoyed this, head over to my other blogs! I will be writing by itineraries, tips, and stories of my travels and experiences.