“Solo travel is good for soul and spirit.”
I thought travelling alone would be the hardest thing I would ever have to do, but everything just seems to have fallen into place. When stood in the airport waiting to leave my parents at the security gate I had the most overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety. However, once I was sat in the departure lounge calling my friends and relatives I started to realise this would be the best decision I had ever made.
Before I left everyone was telling me how brave I was. I had decided to move to the other side of the world totally alone with no real plan of what I was doing. Every time anyone said this I could only respond with saying I was crazy to be doing it. I had no job lined up and only three nights accommodation booked for when I arrived, but now I see that having no plan is the best way to travel.
The last time I set off travelling I had been planning the trip months in advance and was accompanied by my best friend. We had meticulously planned everything out including each destination we would visit, for how long and even pre booked all of our accommodation and main flights. This was comforting at the time as it was the first time either of us had been away for an extended period of time, but looking back I wish we had left our plans more open.
Saying this I still had the most incredible two and half months exploring Southeast Asia and Australia, and it allowed us to ensure we could fit in everything we were hoping to see. I feel it helped me to experience a different way of travelling before branching out on my own and letting things just fall into place.
I have now been in Australia for 6 months and my feelings toward solo travel have totally changed. I would never have considered travelling totally alone before but after realising I would have to go by myself or not at all, I finally took a leap of faith and faced my fear.
I am naturally a very shy person and find it difficult talking to new people but this whole experience has helped me to come out of my shell. When travelling alone you have little choice but to make conversations with strangers and put yourself out of your comfort zone, but it has been the most incredible experience. Already I have met so many amazing people that have helped to make my adventure so much fun. The past few months I have been in Cairns and completing my regional work and I have managed to make genuine friends whom I will never forget. The only downside is when people have to go their separate ways, but I guess that’s all part of the experience.
To anyone who has ever felt they could never even dream of travelling solo I can honestly say it is the best decision I have ever made. Obviously I have loved travelling with my friends and sister previously, but being here solo has opened up so much more opportunities to be totally flexible with my plans and meet more people. I have met so many people along the way who are also travelling alone and not one of them has regretted their decision, in fact most people have said they prefer travelling solo! I would highly recommend taking the plunge, going it alone and experiencing what real freedom feels like.