I’ve always found that when transitioning through different phases of my life, Travel has always been there to help re-focus, and re-align. When I moved to New York, I went to Japan for a quick trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. It was refreshing, not to speak the language and to travel to such a culturally rich place.
I recently went away to four countries – The United Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai), Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai), Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay), and China (Hong Kong, Shanghai). It was hectic, thrilling, and all done solo with whatever was on my back. Its simplicity was enlightening, as I was constantly pushing myself to meet people, try new things, eat new things, and keep myself afloat, rested, and then running. A few takeaways from my experience, traveling alone:
Wake up Earlier
I found that when I was in Toronto, I was waking up from 9-10am because I lacked motivation for the day. And it was easy to get away with when you dictate your own schedule. While on travels, the adventures that were booked forced me to be up, dressed, and ready for the world at 730 or so. Not waking up meant no breakfast, and no one likes to go hungry. So attack the day with as much gusto and promise as you can possibly see fit.
Don’t be so Hard on Yourself
Hey, if you can’t get up at 730 every day, that’s okay too. Take little moments to soak in all of your experience, reflect, and make sure you’re energized and happy enough to face the world. It’s okay to be sluggish, tired, and needing some more time. You’re alright.
Book flights on a whim, accept new adventures, and don’t worry so much. Things always work out, even if you get lost along the way. I entered Vietnam as a “male” on my visa (awkward mistake when applying, don’t worry about it), and it worked out as a punchy one liner for people that ask me about it now. Watch a show that will expand your mind. I caught a lady boy show with galpal Alex Avendano, and I don’t remember the last time I giggled so hard. You’re allowed to make decisions on a whim and not regret them.
If you have doubts about something…do it anyway.
I was uncomfortable staying in hostels (they were $5-$12 a night, how incredible). I worried for my material possessions, my personal safety, whether or not people would be friendly and accepting…and I was blown out of the water. I had conversations with such international, experienced travelers. I met people that have been moving anywhere from three to 18 months. I met people who had aspirations to see the world, not conquer it. It was a new outlook to treasure, and enjoy. And this was all from putting myself in awkward social situations, like attending happy hours alone. They turned out pretty happy.
Every little thing is going to be alright.