“You are so brave” was a sentence i heard a lot when i first decided to go travel alone. For 3 months I travelled Asia with me best friend. It was an amazing trip with lots of fun, parties and adventures. I got totally captured in the ‘backpacker travel world’. I wanted more. I wanted to see the world.
I decided to say no to university (disappointed parents you could imagine) and instead I planned a 7 months trip to Australia, USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. My first stop would be Australia for 4 months where i would travel and work, so I order a one-way ticket to australia . I needed to ‘find’ my self and figure out what I really wanted to study (i know.. cliché).
1th of Novemeber I was ready to travel to Australia, I was so nervous. I cried so much when i said goodbye and i doubted my decision but as my mom said if I got miserable i could always fly home. I did not feel brave at all especially when you been crying the first 2 hours of your flight.
When i arrived i was so lucky i had a good friend who picked me up and I stayed at his place the first 3 days. I felt pretty good like everything was alright and I enjoyed walking around Sydney by myself. After the 3 days i went to a hostel and that was then it hit me. I was all by myself in this big city with a lot of strangers. My plan was to work for 10 weeks and travel the east coast for 6 weeks. After the first week of just chilling and walking around in Sydney i was absolutely terrified and unhappy. I didn’t have the courage to talk to strangers at the hostel and i felt so alone. It was definitely not the same as traveling with your friend.
I talk to my mom everyday and cried very time. She tried to encourage me but nothing helped. I had to pull my self together and start looking for a job and so I did, but even that was hard i felt completely paralyzed. What the hell was wrong with me? Even I couldn’t understand, had i overrated my self? Wasn’t I ready to travel the world by my self? I kept on talking to my mom everyday and in the end she suggested I come home. But hell no, i felt like it would be a defeat, i didn’t came all this way to do it half hearted. The next day I went out with 20 resumes and i got a lot of job offers and said yes to a waitress job. I was proud and happy but I still didn’t feel comfortable and i was totally exhausted and just the though of start working was unbearable.
2 days before i was suppose to start working I walked by a traveling agency and this girl stopped me and start talking about traveling and where I wanted to go in Australia. I felt so excited hearing about all these things you can see in Australia so I just decided to travel right at that moment.
I paid for my trips and booked my greyhound to the day I was suppose to start work. I walked out of the shop and I felt so good and relaxed inside but nervous at the same time.
You probably sitting and thinking ‘wtf does this have to do with travel’? Hold your horses and wait a sec, I do have a 3 good points and it’s coming now.
Stop and think
Make sure you think your travel plan though. Don’t get me wrong, being spontaneous and just going on a new adventure without thinking is funny and exciting. But when you’re planing traveling for 6 months or more you need money and time to wrap your head around it. I worked 60-70 hours a week the 4 months i was home between Asia and Australia. I had absolutely no time to enjoy my summer and see my friends which i already miss so much when i travelled Asia.
Go with your guts
Forever and always go with your guts. If something doesn’t feel right DON’T DO IT. It was first when i came to australia i could feel how stressed and work up I was after working so much at home. I ‘wasted’ to weeks in Sydney when i could have been traveling and happy. If you’re in doubt find a safe place in the city and sit and think for yourself. Do what you want to do it will make you truly happy in the end and that is what traveling is all about isn’t it? Call home and talk to your friends and family. Consult with them. My mom told me to traveling the first time a called and told her i was sad. They aren’t always right but they know you better than you think. Your plans change all the time don’t worrie about it just go with it if it makes you happy
You are not alone
Heats of people travel alone and travel to meet people. I felt so alone even though i was in a hostel with lots of lots of people. I thought it was gonna be easy talking to people and meeting new people because when i was in Asia it was sooooo easy. BUT I had my best friend to lean on so of course you can be more approachable with people. When you’re traveling with a friend you don’t feel like you are bothering the other person cause you choose to travel together. I didn’t want to annoy people so i didn’t say anything. When I was alone i felt like everyone thought i was weird because i made dinner by my self and went to the beach by my self. I just panic and lock myself in, in my own universe . The thing is a lot of people travel alone and it is so normal . No one thinks you are weird and if you just approach people they will definitely talk to you cause chance are they are traveling alone as well. And as a backpacker you travel to see the world and meet new people. So next time you feel afraid to talk to people just remember they probably felt the same way once.
It is harder just start living in a new city and just start a ‘new life’ (especially a big city cause everyone is so freaking busy). You have so many things you need to do fast. Find a job, find a apartment and make friends. It can be exhausting, so just take it slow and do one thing at a time. I would recommend finding a job first and then an apartment. It’s hard and stressing doing both at the same time and you have to be sociable as well.
The moment i seat down in the Greyhound bus a stranger started talking to me and it was first a that moment i realized how easy it is to start a conversation with people. Well when you are traveling everyone (as i said earlier) is in the same boat and you always has a common topic to talk about; backpacking.
When i meet people who travel alone i ask them if they every felt alone while traveling (cause i did) they normally say no but when i get good friends with them, they say ‘oh yeah in the beginning i did feel alone’.
You are never alone about anything, you just have to jump in to it with a open mind, listen to peoples advice and follow your instinct.