Hey You, First time Traveler,
Firstly GO YOU!
Go you for deciding to discover new places and for wanting to turn this life of yours into one big adventure. I understand Wanderlust and the urge to travel, I’ve been there. Though I haven’t been to 30 countries or seen the seven wonders I have been on some adventures of my own. My adventures to date have been solo trips and they have been incredible.Today I’ve got a few little tips and tidbits for the first time solo adventurer.
“All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over, SO GO!” ~ Tony Wheeler (Lonely Planet Founder). It’s a simple truth, where do you want to go? Book the flight and you’ll make the rest work, just do it. Dream big and plan a little. For me what works is dreaming big, flicking through the pages of travel guides, hundreds of pins on pinterest and many many travel websites. But here’s the thing, dream big, create a little plan but don’t plan every minute of every day, you’ll open yourself up to new opportunities, you’ll gather advice from fellow travelers on the road, your mood will change, the weather might change, have some freedom in your plan.
Write a whole lot of lists. Do test packs and cull half of the things in the bag, you really won’t need six pairs of shoes. Keep refining. Then I usually leave the actual packing for the night before, it’s how I roll, but maybe you like to be well prepared. Most places you travel to you’ll be able to buy anything you think you have forgotten or discover you need. Pack for comfort (especially in terms of shoes) and for all weather but leave some room for the little things you buy.
High five for deciding to travel solo. You will probably get told a lot that you are brave and courageous for traveling solo however you may be thinking ‘How am I brave for traveling solo?’ Chances are what you’re about to do hasn’t fully sunk in and you’ve got other things on your mind. It’s even more likely that you have moments where you are quietly freaking out but deep down you know that you are so ready for this and that it’s something you’ve wanted for a very long time. So back to being brave, how are you brave if travel is something you want and going solo is something you’ve made happen? This is something I can really relate to. If you stop and think about it you’ve got to give yourself some credit you are pretty brave and courageous for stepping into the unknown, going with the flow of life, saying goodbye to routine, making your dreams come true and relying on yourself more. To me that’s pretty courageous.
The original definition of courage… (from the Latin word cur, meaning heart) was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. ~ Brene Brown
While solo travel may be different to the courage it take for someone to hike the alps, it still takes courage to listen to your heart and set foot into the big wide world.
First up, travel on your own terms, don’t worry about others opinions or what you think they think you should be doing, and while guidebooks are great don’t live by them. Doing something that you really aren’t interested in just because it’s the touristy thing to do is going to suck. Find what interests you, do what feels right for you and don’t feel like you have to justify everything you do. You can’t help but live in the moment most times when you travel but I want to remind you to be present. Release control over every little thing, lose track of time, just sit and be and maybe put down the camera and map for a bit, soak up the atmosphere and loose yourself.
When you travel emotions don’t go away just because you’re on holiday. In a single day you may feel a whole rainbow of emotions, let them rise, feel them, then let them go. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling a bit tired or cranky, listen in, do you need to rest for a while or do you need to change your thoughts? What can you be grateful for instead? What are five beautiful things around you? You may even feel a little homesick and alone. If I ever feel like this I remind myself that yes I may be physically alone I am not lonely. I’m my own best friend and there is always someone you can reach out to, Skype home, or simple strike up a conversation with the person in your hostel room or next to you on the bus.
Keep balance with your money. Don’t be super rigid with your money, be aware and keep track of your expenses but don’t restrict yourself. Enjoy a nice meal or two or three and then cook something in the hostel kitchen. Enjoy a free walking tour but then pay a bit more for the whale watching tour. Find balance and what works for you and your budget.
On Doing Things:
Loose the expectations of how you think your trip should look and be and make it your own. Allow yourself time to rest, you are on a holiday after all. Step out of your comfort zone. Wander, explore, put down the map, sit, watch, be present. Listen to your heart, if it calls for people watching in a café or browsing a bookshop for an hour do it. If it says book that Zip Lining tour or down an Irish Coffee at 10 in the morning do that too. Let the impulses guide you. Don’t regret anything and trust your own decisions and instincts.
On Making the most of your adventure:
Chat with people. Send postcards. Take lots of photos (but put the camera down too). Keep a journal, re reading it years later will take you straight back to the moment. Share your stories. Keep in touch with home. Meet the locals and chat with them. Ask questions. Challenge yourself.
To finish up all I can say is book the ticket and just go! Explore and learn on the road. Discover yourself and find out just how capable you are. Make this life of yours One Big Adventure.
PS. You can check out the stories of my adventures at purchase clomid over counter