Travelling solo is one of the best things you can do in your life. You learn things about yourself you never knew. You become stronger, confident, knowledgeable. It’s exciting, and it’s rewarding.
Travelling can also be very tough. Tough on your body, tough on your mind.
It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. But solo travel is something that I believe everyone should do in their life. At least once. At least try.
Yes. I do get homesick.
It happens to everyone at some point in their travels. It may come in frequent waves every few weeks or one day it could hit you like a tonne of bricks and will make you question whether or not you can really hack traveller life. It’s nothing anyone should ever feel ashamed about.
And you should never feel like you can’t go home. That you must finish out what you set out to do. Everyone talks about leaving home and that rush you feel when you start your adventure. But no one really talks about going home, or cutting your journey short. Like it’s almost a taboo subject. Making the decision to travel is an extremely brave thing to do. But making the decision to go back home, in my opinion, is just as courageous.
No. You don’t always make friends that easy.
This can come down to both you, and the people in your hostel. I’ll be completely honest. No matter how friendly you are to people and how much you try to engage in conversation, you WILL come across other travellers who just don’t want to talk to you. And you know what. That’s okay. Who knows, they could have just come off a really long bus journey and all they want to do is sit with headphones in and chill. Or maybe they are only in the hostel for a one night stop over and just don’t want to have the same conversation they have day after day. The truth is, we have all been that person. Heck, sometimes there is nothing I love more than finding a quiet corner and reading my book, listening to music. Completely away from everyone else. It sounds totally antisocial but travelling solo can be very tiring and sometimes you need a bit of time to recuperate.
No. It’s not all party party party. But sometimes it sure helps.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to drink and party as much as the next person. But only occasionally. And even then I’m usually in bed by midnight (I’m basically Cinderella). And if you’re the same as me you definitely need to do your research before you book into a hostel. Hostelworld and Trip Advisor are really good for working out the kind of vibe the hostel gives of. Of course it all depends on the other people staying there at the time. But it’s usually fairly obvious to work out which are the party hostels. When I went over to Magnetic Island I decided to book two nights at Base. It was known for its super party vibe but I decided to give it a go. And honestly, it is probably one of my favourite hostels I’ve ever stayed at. Yeah, it had a huge party vibe but everyone was there for that exact reason.
Goodbyes become a normal party of every day.
As a traveller, everyday you meet new people and everyday you say goodbye to people. Some you may have only known for a few hours, a day, or some for weeks. The truth is goodbyes really are a normal party of every day. Some can be really emotional and leave you feeling empty. You wonder what your life will be like without them. It’s the worst thing about travelling. It hurts. A lot. But it’s also super important not to let the goodbyes get you down. They are inevitable. But the beautiful thing about travelling is looking back and remembering all the memories you made with that person and hoping one day, somewhere, you will meet again.
Sometimes you need a day just to do nothing.
Our parents and friends back at home might think travelling is an easy life, but it is actually extremely tiring. You wake early, spend all day exploring (most of the time on foot) and sometimes often going to bed late because you are socialising or going through your pictures from your day out. You may have also just got off a 7 hour night bus or driven for hundreds of kilometres to arrive at your new destination. Plus with the added stress and anxiety of leaving a familiar place and arriving in a new destination can make you feel completely exhausted. And so, sometimes, it is only necessary to take a day every now and again to do absolutely nothing! Don’t feel bad about it.