Hello lovely humans of the internet,
I hope every one is doing alright, considering the circumstances we are all currently globally under. I won’t lie, I have not been coping the best and have had to take multiple (small) breaks from social media (especially my personal account). I firmly feel that social distancing on top of an increase of social media use can feel more isolating. It’s easy to feel left out and alone, especially with everyone tagging each other, it’s easy to feel alone. Take care of yourself and take a break when you need to. Trust me, you’re not missing anything right now. With that, I thought now would be the perfect time to make a new blog post, and you all that follow me on the insta voted for the “soul-searching” through travel, which is kind of what this blog post is about. (i’ll give a life update next time, friends).
I initially wanted to make this post about soul-searching through solo travel. However, after I started writing, I realized changing this to things I learned from solo-traveling is more appropriate. If you haven’t tried the whole solo-traveling thing, you might be thinking that it is some glamorous adventure where you find your life purpose and/or fall in love (and maybe for some people it is that). For me, it was nothing like that at all. It was more comical than anything else and I regret none of it and would do it all again the same way, without question.
Okay, okay, I’ve rambled enough about nothing important, so here’s a few things I learned from my semi-reckless travel adventures
1 . I LOVE sunrises
Okay, so I know this sounds super cheesy and useless to put down. However, I would have never known how much I love watching the sunrise if it wasn’t for traveling. I used to consider myself a night owl at heart, until I was forced to wake up with the sun in the mornings because of check-outs, activities I planned, or just living in my car. To me they’re so beautiful and symbolize the birth of a new day and a fresh start – and thats magical.
2. I’m independent AF
Clearly, anyone who is solo-traveling is independent, but I just needed to reaffirm it made me so much more independent. When I was 22 I took my first international trip alone and it taught me to trust myself, rely on myself, and not to wait on ANYONE to do something I want to do. If you’re still waiting on your friends to book that trip abroad with you, quit, just book it on your own and go! You won’t regret it.
3. I always figure it out and find a way
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been lost in another country without a smartphone and not knowing the native language. I know some of you are probably shaking your head at me right now, wondering how I survived, but I did. I adapted and had great lessons on staying calm in super stressful situations. I’m sure if you read a few of my previous blog post, especial about how floaty and silly I was when backpacking through SouthEast Asia, you’ll understand.
4. I’m never alone
As odd as it is to say, I have never felt more connected to the world as a whole than when I was traveling solo. I was always around people and people were almost always willing to help me…. without me even asking. I made friends, some life-long ones, just by chance. Even when you think you’re alone, you’re not. The universe always has someone looking out for ya, even if you don’t see.
5. I have A LOT of patience – most of the time
I think anyone who travels a lot (unless you’re a first class traveler), learns to have a lot of patience. Long plane rides, lost luggage (one time I lost my keys haha), language barriers, random people telling you their life stories in airports, delays, wrong orders…you get the point. It’s always good for me to believe that these things are happening for a reason and remind myself I am not the only one experiencing it. Make the best of it, those long waits are some of my favorite times.
I’m not sure if this is something everyone learns and it’s something I obviously did before traveling. However, the amount of time I spent reflecting on myself and my life while traveling was insane. I felt like I was constantly having breakthroughs about why I did this or that, why I didn’t like something and loved something else. Especially when you’re solo-traveling. Yes, you meet people and talk to them. However, you’re still alone A LOT of the time and being able to calm reflect on your life and seeing what you love and don’t is a blessing. I did this more frequently when I was living in my car and traveling around the country.
7. I can talk to ANYONE in almost any situation
Another one that may sound silly, but seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever been shy, but I have absolutely struggled with social and phone anxiety and being fearful of just talking to a stranger and making friends in a place you know I feel is pretty normal. However, I got out of my comfort zone and did it. Now, I hardly ever get anxiety about talking to people. Social anxiety? Don’t know her. In fact, I made one of my good friends in a grocery store parking lot just by being friendly and saying hi. Life’s weird.
8. I’m more fearless than I have ever been
I’ve never been one to live in rational fear, but like who actually does? Most fears are irrational. My fears were odd, like being the only person left on earth or not-knowing. I won’t say I am 100% fearless all of the time, I’m not sure anyone can ever be. However, fear is not always my first response to unknown situations anymore and I am not afraid of being alone, I actually kind of enjoy it now (with good balance)….. and I am grateful for that.
9. Nothing ever goes as planned – and that’s okay
If you think you planned every detail of your trip and it’s going to go perfect, you’re living in a dream. I can’t tell you how many times things didn’t go as planned for me, which is a big reason I quit planning for the most part and started wining my travels. If you haven’t checked out my Nepal bus detour story, it’s a great example of things not going as planned. It’s a good lesson in not holding expectations to things in this life. The world works on it’s on schedule.
10. The world we live in is magical and beautiful
I am sure even those of us who haven’t traveled that Earth is magical and beautiful. The history of this Earth is so deep and rich, us as humans, we are such weird, but amazing creatures. Seeing how we have evolved through historic sites is so eye-opening. So is seeing how others in less developed countries live, it’s so different and so similar. I’m glad we get to call this rolling rock home
This may not be what you learned or are hoping to learn on your travels, but it is authentic and I am grateful. I’m sure there will be a shift in these lessons as I travel more throughout my life, but right now I carry them so close to my heart as a guide in everyday life. I hope this synopsis of things I have learned through traveling have served as a slight distraction if you are currently practicing social distancing and not having a great time.
Stay safe and wash your hands