2 years ago I set upon a journey I would never forget. I flew from my little town in England to Sydney, Australia. I would spend 8 months travelling solo around the beautiful continent, and along the way I was to learn so much more about life, myself and the planet we live on…
YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF FRIENDS
I was afraid I would struggle to make companions, but this wasn’t the case. The people in the hostel I stayed in for 3 months, all became a family and the bonds you make are like no other.
AT THE SAME TIME IT CAN BE SO LONLEY
When the novelty of travelling dies down somewhat, you can find that even in a room full of people, there is something missing. Sometimes it is just for a moment, sometimes for longer, but either way you have to realise that it is all part of the journey.
“TAKE HALF THE CLOTHES AND TWICE THE MONEY”
I read this somewhere and well.. I never listened, but it was so true! I never wore half the clothes in my suitcase, and I didn’t need them. A few shorts and vests was usually enough on a daily basis. I ran out of money pretty quickly, but thankfully those that love me the most back home helped me continue my journey.
YOU LEARN TO TAKE EVERY DAY AS IT COMES, AND BE OK WITH IT
Before travelling, I would plan everything. It wasn’t necessary whilst travelling. Every moment becomes beautiful, and so you begin to live for it.
THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON
Wherever I would turn there would be someone at a loose end and a party to go to. If not, you would make your own.
YOU TAKE MORE RISKS/SAY YES MORE/TRY NEW THINGS
To mention but a few- I sky dived, skinny dipped, started eating meat again after 12 years of vegetarianism, jumped off a boat in the middle of the ocean and tried ducks neck in a Chinese restaurant. There’s no point travelling if you can’t be open to new things.
TANNING GETS OLD & ADVENTURES GET REAL
I got bored of lying on a beach all day. It got too hot and quite frankly made me worried about getting skin cancer. I much preferred going somewhere new for the day and seeking out adventure.
GIRLS PUT ON WEIGHT AND THE BOYS LOSE IT
I became the biggest I have ever been whilst travelling. I think this was because I was genuinely so happy and carefree that I just didn’t care. But somehow, all the boys were at their thinnest!
MAKE-UP DOESN’T SEEM THAT IMPORTANT ANYMORE
There are quite frankly many things you would rather be doing than putting your face on. Not to mention the time wasted doing it, many activities you do (believe it or not) don’t require a face full of make-up.
ANY QUARMS YOU HAVE ABOUT SHARING A ROOM, COMMUNAL TOILETS, SHOWERS AND KITCHENS.. DISAPPEAR
This was the one thing I feared the most. I couldn’t comprehend sharing what is usually such a private space, with so many other people. But somehow your inhibitions kind of..go.
“your inhibitions kind of..go”.
YOU SCAVENGE WHEN YOUR LOW ON MONEY
We’ve all done it. When the cash flow is low, you look for ways around it. Whether it be looking on the free food shelf or hovering the kitchen for hand outs, sometimes it just has to be done.
YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY BECOMES RESTORED
I learned quickly how sharing people can be whilst travelling. Everyone is in the same boat at some point, and so it’s like an unspoken promise to pass on the favour when you see someone is down on their luck. I was sincerely touched by the kindness and generosity of people when I was running out of money.
YOU BECOME THE BEST YOU THAT YOU CAN BE
I shined when I started travelling. I became bubblier, happier & more care free. I even surprised myself at times. I was so sociable and made a lot of friends, which definitely wasn’t something I anticipated.
YOU TRULY APPRECIATE SCENIC VIEWS
Back home people are often looking down at their phones, too concerned with technology to just look up and appreciate something beautiful. There were many times that I sat on a beach alone, admired the view and just took in everything around me.
YOU APPRECIATE TIME ALONE
Through all the friends, the parties and the sharing of living spaces, at the end of the day sometimes you just need that time to be on your own and recharge.
YOU LEARN TO APPRECIATE YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR COMFORTS BACK HOME
You get wrapped up and taken in by the whirlwind of travelling. Your home seems somewhat boring and not a place you ever want to return to. But there comes a point when you start to appreciate the things you took for granted. Your own bedroom with a bed you don’t have to climb ladders to get into, having heart to hearts with your mum, spending christmas with your loved ones and a slower pace of life.
NEW FOUND PRIDE IN YOURSELF FOR THE STRENGTH AND BRAVERY YOU’VE SHOWN
People would always say “you are so brave travelling alone” and I never really got it. It was something that I wanted to do, so why was it brave? But I conquered many fears whilst travelling, and when I look back, I am proud of myself and what I achieved- That I was one of the people to chase my dream and make it a reality.
YOU COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE FROM PARTS OF THE WORLD YOU WOULD NEVER HAVE DREAMED
Usually we are afraid of those that aren’t like us, if they look different or speak different we stay clear. But when you give people a chance you realise people are more alike than you first thought and at the very least you definitely all have one big thing in common- a love for travel.
YOUR EYES ARE OPENED
You simply see things in a new light. Your mind is stretched and cannot go back to how it was before you started your journey.
HOMESICKNESS IS INEVITABLE
Eventually it will happen. You are having an amazing time and living your life to the full, but it can get overwhelming and eventually you just miss home.
Travelling alone is a scary concept, but if you want it badly enough you will take the plunge. Life is a journey, take it.