My solo traveler escapes started when I moved here in Canada. I lived in the Philippines my whole life and believe me when I tell you that I haven’t even visited most major tourist destination that even most locals visit. Yes, I left my home country without even seeing how beautiful it is. This is why whenever I go home, I considered myself a tourist in my own country.
The circumstances back then did not allow me to travel and go on vacation, and traveling that time was something that never crossed my mind. It was by choice, I was so obsessed with my work that it became my life. I rarely go on vacation with my friends, or family even more not by myself. The thought of traveling solo was scary, challenging and with so many “what if”.
Then my major moved to Canada happened, on my own. No friends, no family, just me. Again, it’s by choice. This is the life that I chose, and I have to live, accept and enjoy the challenges of living on my own. I realized that I cannot be stagnant doing nothing or wait for someone to come to accompany me in my adventures. My new life gave me ample time to explore new activities like baking (which I am crazy passionate about), biking, running and traveling.
My small solo trips first happened within Canada, going to nearby places and visiting tourist attractions. “Take it easy, one step at a time” that was what I told myself. I want to make sure that I gave myself time to appreciate the country I’ve chosen to be my new home.
I explored British Columbia (BC) my home province and then moved on to other provinces. There was one trip when I went to Harrison Hot Spring (in Chiliwack BC) close to end of Spring time but not yet summer. I did my due diligence of preparing for it (at least I thought so), then guess want happened on the last leg of my trip? I was supposed to take another bus to my final destination and according to online transit website, the bus comes every 15 minutes or so. After 30 minutes of waiting, no bus showed up. I walked to 711 and the cashier told me that the bus service that goes to my destination will not start until summer! But the transit website did not say so. To cut the story short, I took a cab (paid more than what I should) and made it to my destination. A little “mishap” but still a happy ending.
I have other short trips with unexpected events but I always managed to find my destination and that’s what matters the most. They say practice makes perfect, but I started to think that doesn’t apply to me when it comes to following directions. Oh well, I can only hope that I’ll get better in time.
I decided to expand my adventures and went outside of Canada. Destination… US. By that time, I felt I was “somehow” ready to go further. The “what if” and the little scary thoughts were still there, and I think they will always be there every time I travel solo. That’s what made me more cautious and diligent in my preparations. I remembered how excited I was when I did my first Hawaii trip. I carefully planned my itinerary, most especially directions (because I was born to get lost even in a straight line). I researched the place, and checked the do’s and don’ts, and lastly, I decided to be happy and to enjoy it. Then that Hawaii trip happened, it was so much fun. I cannot remember any mishap for that trip, everything went smoothly. I walked and walked and walked and explored the place and talked strangers too. That was something surprising that I discovered about myself, I can actually talked to people more comfortably when I travel alone, and people seems to be more comfortable talking to me too.
There were instances when loneliness creeps into me when I see group of friends, couples or family vacationing together, hello I’m only human 😉 But then I immediately brushed it off with thoughts of what I could have missed if I did not make the trip happened. Besides, traveling solo is what made me independent.
I rely on myself for things that I can control, and on my phone for “electronic companionship” (it’s awesome, phone obeys without complaining). Every one of my solo traveling left me some memorable experience, both pleasant and unpleasant. I knew immediately that my Hawaii trip was just the beginning of my many more solo adventures, and I was correct.
My Xcaret Mexico trip surely beats my Hawaii adventure. I conquered my fear of enclosed space when I did the underground rivers in Xcaret Mexico (with life vest) with distance of 1900 meters, something that I never knew I can do by myself. I also discovered that I can get totally disconnected with the world, I can leave without my phone and iPad at least for few days which seems to be impossible to me before. No electronic devices, just me and nature, and food 🙂 not bad at all.
I decided to take charge of my adventures and stop waiting for people to go with me. I have decided to travel the world and I am working to make it happen. It’s a work in progress, there’s so much to see and I’m determined to go for whatever is possible for me to visit.
I couldn’t be even more prouder of myself (not that I’m bragging, it just felt great!), I did it, I enjoyed it, and I loved it! Do you want to know why? Check oyt my “I am a Solo Traveler and I Love it! Until my next adventure. This is SweetNSpicy, your travel buddy!
If you like this post, give that “Like” button below a click, or leave me a comment and let me know of your thoughts on traveling solo. I would love to hear from you ♥