“I’m going to travel around the world too! I’ve got my itinerary all mapped out.”
“That’s awesome!!” I said, totally shocked, “when are you going?”
“As soon as I meet the right girl to go with me.” - Steph
I was that guy.
Ok, not literally. While I may be schlubby, I am certainly not uninspired!
After I left high school I took a year to find my feet travelling overseas to Canada with a student exchange program. Since I returned home from that life-changing experience, I spent the next 10 years trying to find the right travel partner.
You see, I was afraid of going solo… afraid of what could happen… the loneliness… and the unknown.
But one day, I just sat myself down, and thought
Screw it! I’m not waiting anymore. I’ve had enough. I’m 27 years old, soon I will be 30. I’ve got to do this!
The thing about waiting for the right person to come with you? It’s an excuse. It’s a reason not to take the steps that you are scared to take. I’m not saying it’s wrong to want a travel companion. But there is something kind of wrong about sitting around, waiting for some guy or girl to show up so your life can begin. – Steph
Steph is right. It is an excuse. You can’t spend your life waiting… be it for friends, or the right lover to travel with you. You just have to get out there and enjoy life, do all the things you want to do, cross off that bucket list.
The funny thing about independent solo travel, is that you meet other independent solo travellers.
Like-minded folk who share your dreams, thirst for adventure, and have the same relationships back home with friends and family who had a dozen excuses not to join them on a travel adventure.
Just like Steph and her Mum, it was my Dad saying
“You should really travel with a friend. Going overseas for that long will get pretty lonely”.
Some 30 years ago he did similar trips, but never completely solo.
The thing about solo travel is you are never completely alone for long, unless you want to be. I was alone here-or-there: on a bus, or in a hostel… but it was only ever for a day or night, if I could see it was going to be unbearable, I just changed my circumstances — change of hostel, change of town, or change of scene.
I too have a thousand stories of people I met before I travelled, during my travels, and even now after I travelled (a year in Europe and North Africa) who say “I wish I had a year to travel“, “How can I convince my friends to come with me?“, “I want to do that too one day“. To all of them I reply with something along the lines of
“throw out that vision board, stop pinning inspirational images on pInterest, and just buy the damn ticket!”
Even if you loathe every minute you’ll come out better on the other side. You won’t hate it though, because instead of sitting home looking for someone else, you’ll be out in the world, looking for yourself… Don’t wait for someone else to make your life happen. Go out and earn it yourself – Steph