As you might know from a previous blog post, last year I had my first experience of travelling solo on the west coast of Canada.
I was angry and exhausted about my life and thought it was about time I started exploring our beautiful world – which I’d always wanted to do. I’d never been outside of Europe before, or even on a long haul flight, so I was slightly nervous. I booked a trip with Trek America and jetted off to Vancouver in August once I’d finished my masters and internship.
I’d turned 23 a few days previous and it was the freest I’d ever felt in my entire life. No more deadlines, every single article and video I’d been working on throughout summer was done and dusted and I was so ready to get out of my home town.
The first week I stayed with some family and spent my time discovering the wonders of Vancouver, Squamish and some other local places to where I was staying in British Columbia. The following 12 days I spent on my Trek America tour.
Going solo can be pretty terrifying. Scratch that – IT IS pretty terrifying, especially for a gal. I’ve always enjoyed my own company in small doses but being on your own on the other side of the world felt daunting – even if it was for only three weeks. My best friend had moved to the US when we were nineteen for three months all on her own and it was one of the bravest, coolest things I’d known anyone to do, and I’d been itching to do something similar once I graduated.
So what did I learn?
» People are actually great. Travelling solo makes you really put yourself out there in social situations and the outcome is always a good one. You get to make a load of memories with a bunch of new friends from all over the world and everyone is super chill, adventurous and friendly because you’re all in the same boat.
» I found myself………………….Just kidding – I literally have no idea what ‘finding yourself’ means. But I did feel happy, I stayed true to who I am and I tried to be best version of me I could be. I’d like to think I brought that version back home.
» I learned to face my fears and push myself out of my comfort zone. We all love the cosy, safe feeling of comfort but I found that the adrenaline of trying something new would override any fear or anxieties I had. And that adrenaline becomes addictive!
Those three weeks were a tease to someone who’s dreamed of travelling the world their entire life. In May I’ll be back exploring the east coast of Canada and then settling to work in Banff National Park in June! I feel so lucky and grateful.
If you’re contemplating booking a trip away, whether that be a short tour, a few months of living out of a backpack or even moving to another country on a working holiday visa, I’d urge you to give it try. You may find that for you there is no place like home, or the travel bug might just bite you real hard – whichever it is, it’s fine. Just don’t sit around waiting for someone to go with you. Fulfil your own dreams – it’s liberating.
I’d love to hear about your first time travelling solo! Where did you go?