At the end of May I have booked a flight to Thailand and I will be setting off to travel, beginning in Southeast Asia for five months or so. I’m excited and nervous, but most of all can’t wait to get out there and start seeing the world.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. At the beginning of March 2012 I should have been starting a Round the World trip encompassing New York, South America, New Zealand and a lot of Asia. As you may have gathered, that trip didn’t happen and now I’m left trying to adjust to my new trip and look forward to it as much as I had the old itinerary. I guess it’s true what they say – you never know what’s round the corner in life and you can plan all you like but it might never happen. I’m using this post to portray my reaction to my dream trip not taking place and explain how I am not letting this ruin everything but instead seeing it as an opportunity.
From Couples Travel to Solo Traveller
Originally, I was going off round the world with my boyfriend of six years. This is no longer the case. Now I am departing as a single, solo traveller and I need a whole new perspective on my travels. Before, I knew I would have a reminder of home and a friend or bodyguard wherever I went. There would be someone there to watch the bags while I went to the loo or to look after me if I got ill. Thinking about it in this way makes solo travel seem pretty scary and lonely. Yet I have read hundreds of blogs from solo travellers – male and female – who are having the time of their lives. There is no one to think about but yourself. You make friends wherever you go. Travel offers a solo explorer the total freedom to do whatever they want every day. Now I think that travelling alone could well be one of the best things that ever happens to me and it’s a journey I can’t wait to get started on.
From structured trip to vague itinerary
When you are planning to travel in a couple or group you have to be a bit structured since there are at least two people’s visions and dreams to take into consideration. My ex was a very organised person and may not have been overly comfortable ‘winging it’. Travelling with others will always involve compromise and taking into account everyone’s wants and needs. For example, when I was going with my ex-boyfriend our route contained at least three countries he was really keen on visiting that I wouldn’t necessarily have prioritised on this trip. Now that I’m going alone I have left my route and the places I may or may not visit purposely vague. I know I fly into Thailand and onwards from Singapore, what I do in the months inbetween is completely unplanned at present and I intend to leave it that way. Spontaneity and flexibility are going to be my friends while I’m away. If someone invites me to come visit island such-and-such with them last minute, I want to always be able to say yes.
From a standard 12 month RTW trip to the adventure of a lifetime (I hope)
I really believe that in life everything happens for a reason, and for some reason I was never meant to go on my original trip. A few people I know through blogs or friendship have had RTW experiences but have come home, gone back to their old routines and while they had an amazing time it didn’t really change them in any great way. That could have been me, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In light of my change in circumstances though, the whole idea of travel has changed profoundly for me. It’s not just about seeing the world and experiencing many different things any more, there are new challenges added to the mix. This is going to be a voyage of self-discovery for me. Not only will I be striking out on my own, I’ll still be adjusting to single life and dealing with the loss of my relationship. I’m certainly going to be testing my courage and strength to the limit – fingers crossed I come out smiling!
Part of me won’t allow myself to get too excited about my upcoming adventure because of the massive disappoint I have suffered. I think I will certainly feel extremely relieved and proud of myself once I touch down in Thailand. Until then, I’ll take strength from the fact that I only have myself to rely on now and I know I won’t let myself down. I believe in my courage and adventurous spirit. I will get there, I will have a fantastic time, and hopefully somewhere along the way I’ll discover the reasons I was meant to go alone on this trip and understand that it was never meant to happen any other way.