So, a few days ago I had my 24th birthday which means that I spent my entire 23rd year alive in beautiful Australia. My home on the other side of the world. It’s crazy to think I haven’t been on home turf in 16 months, but when I think about all the things I’ve seen and done, I know it’s totally worth it. Before I decided to travel I was living life in a bubble. I was a huge fan of routine. Structured plans. I hated change. The idea of travelling solo was extremely daunting. Maybe that’s why one day I woke up and decided to do it. But it’s the best thing I ever did. And every day I’m doing more, seeing more, and learning more about the people around me and also about myself.
I am who I am.
Travelling solo has made me realise who I am as a person. I’ve discovered things about myself. I’ve found new skills, new likes and dislikes, and a whole new optimistic view of life. I’ve learned to accept myself for who I am, flaws and all. And I will never try to be anything other than who I am. Travelling solo has taught me to stop caring about what other people think of me. Stop seeking other people’s approval. I’m happy being that girl with messy hair and no make up. The girl who lives in her converse who’s not afraid to get down in the dirt. The girl who laughs at her own jokes and has the odd (or frequent) ditsy moment. Solo travel has given me my own memories and my own experiences. Memories and experiences that make me who I am. And no one can take that away from me.
I can overcome anything.
I left everything and everyone I know back home in the UK. I landed in a new country on the other side of the world completely alone. I survived my first day, week, month, and year travelling completely solo. I’ve overcome serious homesickness, family death and heartbreak. The latter was definitely a down point of my travels. But I picked myself up, dusted myself off and eventually I kicked myself for getting so wound up with a total fuckwit. I’ve discovered I’m strong, mentally. I’ve built up walls. I refuse to let things get me down. Because it’s life. And life is going to throw things at me that I can’t control. I have learnt to keep my head up and continue doing what I love.
I’m really god damn brave.
Long before I started travelling I always envied other solo travellers and thought “wow, they must be so brave to travel on their own!”. Now I have the same thing being said to me! I’ve been told it countless times, and it’s only now that I actually realise how true it is. Solo travel is a seriously brave thing to do, and I applaud every single person that does it. Yet it doesn’t feel so scary any more. I’ve learnt that being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. Meeting people and making friends is easy. We are all in the same boat. We all want to create memories and share these memories with others. Being alone enables you to do the things you want to do, things that make you happy. But being alone also means you can have your alone time. Which we all need. Time to untangle our thoughts.
I’m completely self dependent.
Solo travel and being alone has also enabled me to completely be self dependent. I’ve funded my travels completely on my own. I’ve got off my arse and found jobs, and I’ve worked hard and saved harder to be able to afford to keep travelling for so long. Before I came travelling I didn’t realise how much other people influenced me in my day to day life. I needed other people to help me make decisions rather than trusting my intuition. I was fearful of making decisions for myself. I hated change. The fear of the unknown. But now, the unknown doesn’t seem so scary. It’s exciting and its inviting.
I have no need for material possessions.
Travelling is the best way to realise there is no room in your life for material possessions. I have learned to live without the things I never thought I could. Everything I own is in my backpack. I’ve been wearing the same clothes day in day out. The more I travel the more I realise I don’t need the things I carry with me. I’m the kind of person who would rather throw away a pair of trousers or shoes, in order to make room for more “memories”. Travelling forces you to keep your personal possessions to a minimum. And yet it feels like you have everything you could ever need and want.