Solo Travel – is this something that you have considered? We first met Jese in Oaxaca, Mexico back in 2013 on our RTW trip. We were impressed with her confidence and outlook on life as a solo traveller. A few months later we ran into Jese again in Flores, Guatemala, it was great to catch up on her travels and what her next plans were.
We are fortunate to have Jese be our first Guest Writer for To Travel Too.
Solo Travel – A guide for making your trip meaningful
My initial crisis hit me like a slap in the face when I was in my mid-20s. It coincided with a spur of the moment decision to commence a solo travel in Spain in 2010, and I felt like everything I knew was suddenly laid out in front of me, but broken into a million pieces on the floor. What? You mean I don’t have to work 9-5, meticulously plan my annual 4 weeks of holidays a year in advance, save money for a house, and wish I was somewhere else, EVERY SINGLE DAY? You’re saying I can just travel, learn about things I want to learn about, and the universe will take care of me? My goodness, what crazy, alternative thoughts you “Travellers” have! How did I not realise this before?
A whole new chapter of my life opened up. I decided to float around the world meeting people, absorbing culture, art and language, and revelling in the new experiences and self-discovery… Which was AMAZING for about two years, until I realised that my euphoria had run its course, something was missing, and everything I did was becoming progressively tainted by an overwhelming feeling of helplessness and guilt.
I was simply travelling for the sake of travelling, because I was, “The Traveller.”
And suddenly I entered into another crisis, I was lost and wandering with no aim. I volunteered, exchanged and worked in an attempt to give back to the community. But I wasn’t really part of a community, my travels were no longer meaningful, I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted, and I spent every waking moment thinking about what I was going “to do” with my life.
So what did I do?
Well, I went home to slowly and reluctantly re-enter the world of the 9-5, because trying to fit into a community was what I needed to do at the time. Heck, I nearly bought a house. I don’t regret it, but it certainly made me realise that perhaps the Western world is not as well off as we think we are. Constant stimulation, desire for more, fear of missing out, and increasing isolation brought on by the elusively titled, “social” media all contribute to stress and pressure in our society, and a lifestyle that I’m still struggling to get my head around.
Despite the challenges, I feel truly blessed to have the freedom, support, time and resources to make choices from the incredible array of opportunities presented to me every day. Solo travel is only one of the life changing, character building experiences that, if done for the right reasons, can really help to put things into perspective and lead to personal growth at any age.
Now on the brink of turning 30, it’s time for me to spread my wings again. Here are the top 5 tips I have gathered to guide making my future solo travels meaningful, and I hope they will assist you in yours:
- Set intentions
What areas of your life are you happy with? What areas do you want to improve? How will you know when they have improved? How do you envision your travels will assist you on your path to achieving your goals?
- List your values
And stick to them! This is so important. This is YOUR journey, meaningful experiences will align with your values. Surround yourself with people who are on a similar wavelength and avoid inner conflict.
- Practice mindfulness
Be aware of what’s happening around you NOW and how it makes you feel. Consciously choose your path at any given moment with this in mind. Be brave and know when it’s time to stay and when to move on.
- Avoid the “What ifs?”
Don’t waste your time playing out potential scenarios in your head. It’s not worth beating yourself up about things that haven’t happened yet.
- Be flexible and open to change
Heraclitus said, “Life is flux.” So, go with it…
Safe and happy solo travels!
by Jese Fitz
Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are ‘chase time not money’ and ‘age is no barrier when it comes to travel’.