I had considered solo-travel a million times, always accompanied by the following thoughts:
- I don’t have enough money.
- “They” won’t approve.
- I should be putting my time into things that really matter.
- I don’t have anyone to go with, and travelling is too dangerous for a girl.
- I’m not worth it and I don’t have the guts, confidence or power anyway.
I would bet quite a lot on the fact that you have told yourself these things more than once. I’m also quite sure that you admire all those travel posts on Instagram, have maybe even swooned at my feed, and are yet still sitting at home, doing the same thing every day.
Now let’s fast-forward. Imagine yourself old, wrinkled and grey, looking back at your youth. What are the things you want to tell your grandchildren about? The boring ongoing days at work – or all your adventures?
People often have very specific ideas about how a girl or a woman should lead her life. There are religious reasons. Evolutionary reasons. ‘What’s best for you’ reasons. Parents, teachers, partners and society are going to tell women that they should go in particular directions and that it’s the best path for them in order to ‘do the right thing’. Being a girl who ends up traveling alone, saying ‘no’ to what others expect of her, is rare – but it’s a strength.
Search for fulfilment in yourself, not acceptance from others.
After finishing school I my goal was getting into university. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or even what to study – but I definitely had to get into uni. That was my number 1 priority, because neither my teachers nor my mum ever talked about anything else. Next, I got into uni (where I tried lots of different subjects) and fell in love. During the following years I did my best to be the perfect housewife (yes, you got that right!). I had just turned 20, but my boyfriend was my priority. I made sure the house was nice and clean and he’d have a warm meal when coming home from work and when we invited his parents for dinner every few weeks, they asked us about engagement plans.
I had lived the perfect traditional-girl-life: school-uni-boyfriend and everyone knew what the next steps would be. What about me? Was I happy and content with my life situation? No.
Instead of getting engaged, married, and a family, I went travelling.
- I didn’t have too much spare money (just some savings from when I was younger).
- “They” definitely didn’t approve.
- I didn’t have a job, and yet didn’t put my time into getting one.
- Everyone told me I couldn’t go anywhere without my boyfriend, because it would be too dangerous.
But suddenly it clicked, I knew I had to break out, do what I had always dreamt of doing and I scraped up all the confidence and strength and went travelling. Believe me, I was afraid. But I did it.
Let me just tell you one thing for now (there are a lot of posts on solo-travel coming up, with tips on where to stay, how to meet people, how to plan it, what to pack etc.): it changed me so much. I became so much more confident. I did things I had always dreamt about. I realised that I was strong and could manage on my own. I enjoyed being on my own. I learnt not to put off solo-travel by loneliness, because I made so many new friends, which is a thing I thought I couldn’t do.
Solo-travel is something you do with yourself, for yourself, and it is something you should never turn your back to. If you feel the urge to travel – travel! You will learn so much about yourself and your goals along the way, and never forget, that live is meant to be enjoyed.
That being said: I already can’t wait for my next solo-adventure!
Please leave all your solo-travel questions below,
I’m going to answer them all in the upcoming blogposts!