It became official a couple months ago. I had booked my flight for a solo backpacking journey throughout Europe. No refunds. No changing my mind. It wasn’t until this final week before leaving that it really dawned on me that this is going to happen. 12 countries, 22 cities in 3 months. Dipping into savings, resigning from a job that no longer challenged me and leaving my comfort zone in order to make this happen. Cue the panic and mini anxiety attack.
Naturally, that will all pass. I encourage everyone to travel alone at least once in their lifetime and see the world if you can find the opportunity. Don’t travel in hopes of soul searching, finding yourself, returning a different person or for any other nonsense, but do it for the sake of traveling and discovering how much more there is to the world than your hometown. It keeps your imagination and creativity intact.
For the time that you choose to be away from home, from familiar places and faces and from all the social media surrounding us, the term freedom will never feel more real. You live completely on your own terms, with the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want. No obligations, no compromises. However, it is more than just freedom. You are inevitably forced to rely on yourself, testing your independence to another level. You learn things about yourself, discover strengths and weaknesses and grow a little bit.
Many people are afraid of traveling alone, and for good reasons. As a female myself, there are a lot more concerns to worry about. Things could go very wrong, but it is more likely to go very well; careful planning as well as common sense are essential.
I cannot recall the number of times that people have found an excuse for not traveling or delaying their trip. It is just that: an excuse. Waiting for the right time or for someone to go with you may not happen for a long time if at all, so if you have the time and means to go on your own, why delay even more?
I don`t know what to entirely expect, but I do know that it`s going to be one unpredictable, scary and exciting 3 months ahead of me.