solo travel is fucking hard

This is the shit nobody tells you about.

It takes hours of research figuring out where to go and how to get there, there are moments where you want nothing more than to be alone and others where the one thing you need most is to see a familiar face. You will get tired. You will get diarrhea. But most of all, you will learn so many lessons.

I thought it was just a series of unfortunate events that have made this second solo journey not the life changing, friendship frenzy, greatest times of my life (from getting a fever, getting into a motorbiking accident, staying inside a room for 2 weeks because of a sprained ankle to being abandoned). I’ve come to realize the truth that what makes any experience worthwhile are the connections you make with other people. ‘People make the trip’. It’s been such a gamble, that my only hope was to be able to run into someone that, even for just a moment, understood my humour.

Fortunately, I faced my luck of the draw, running into a group of girls I ended up re-meeting in another country. I spent my best days and nights in SEA with them. But, as soon as we said our goodbyes, it was back to square one.

I’m not saying to steer clear from solo traveling. I’ve definitely fast tracked a lot of life lessons in this one month. Acknowledging that being alone in such a foreign place can give you a lot of practise in self-growth. But I know now, the next time I travel, I’ll require a lot more structure. Be it a tour group or a group of friends, taking on the world is much easier with good company by your side.

In many ways, we work like machines. But what separates us from the masses is our individuality. Our interests and disinterests. Every city or country will have a different review based on someone’s experiences and likes. It’s silly to assume that specific trips or experiences are necessary in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. If Judy is completely content staying in her studio apartment in a little village in France, let her do her duty. It’s the moment Judy was introduced to a world of expectation that she’ll daydream about the busy streets of New York. A picture painted by a movie or book. Judy shouldn’t expect to fall in love the way Rosalie did in some story she read. Judy shouldn’t mull over the gorgeous posts that the hoards of travel influencers take. Judy shouldn’t even bother assuming that New York will change her life because it did that to her friend’s aunt’s cousin’s step sister. We are human. We experience differently.

Follow your instincts. Get to know yourself to a point where you know what does and doesn’t feel right for you. Be aware that the world is trying to make money, often off of you. You will be made to feel like you’re not good enough. But we are all living the same dream. We are a reflection of each other. It’s different for everybody, but all we want is to be happy. It takes growth within to accept the grim. But what’s good and bad is just an idea you’ve built up in your head.

Solo travel.. or don’t. Do whatever feels right for you. The way you should live your life anyways.

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