Why You Should Travel Alone
If you are considering going travelling or haven't been yet, there's is no such thing as 'too late'. In fact my best friends parents go travelling all the time and they are in their 50's! It will be the best experience you will ever encounter, well it was for me anyway.
I have previously mentioned before that when I was 18 I went travelling around Asia alone for 6 months. It's something I speak about a lot and something I will never forget, I learnt a lot about myself and it really defined who I am today. I was fairly well travelled anyway having being brought up in America for nearly 10 years as a child but travelling around a country single handily with no Mum & Dad to protect you was a completely different experience.
'I learnt a lot about myself'
One of my first memories from travelling was when we went to Koh Tao with a tour guide group for the night, Koh Tao is this incredible national park in Thailand, it was literally like a movie set out of Jurassic park. We travelled by boat for 40 minutes to these 'cute' floating bungalows on the lake. The only noise you could hear at night were the wild monkeys and the crickets. The locals cooked us fresh fish for dinner and it was amazing! Anyway..just before we got into bed a cockroach ran across my mattress, I've never screamed so loud in my life, I was officially the princess of the tour group, I could sense the rolling eyes from the other well-travelled people who joined us on the trip.
'I discovered how to be an opportunist'
I refused to sleep in the bed because I was petrified of 'creepy crawlys' and I actually slept on the dock all night listening to the wild monkeys & crickets in the jungle, it was extraordinarily peaceful, and I got to see the sunrise at 5am come up over the mountains and the lake. It was at this moment I discovered how to be an opportunist, even though at the time I thought it was the end of the world and I spent most of the night crying missing home, the memory of the sunset and the sound of the wildlife throughout the night were memories that have stuck with me ever since, not the awful cockroach! I also discovered how to calm down and not be such a princess, I had 5 more months of this so I had to get my sh*t together if I wanted to survive!
'You are never alone'
Anyway my point is, I had to learn these lessons on my own, because there was no choice. I had made the decision to discover the world alone so I had to stick with my guns. Now, when you say 'travelling alone' it's a bit of a contradiction because the truth is, you are never alone. I met 3 girls in the first week in Thailand and we became best friends through the whole time I was travelling, we had each others backs, looked after each other and became really close. You will also meet people in bars, restaurants, hostels and on beaches - people are really friendly out there! Everyone is just up for a good time, so you click with people easily. When I went travelling there was no wifi (I'm starting to sound old now but this was about 6 years ago!) so there was no social media really, Instagram was only just on the rise and in order to contact my parents I had to pay a local internet cafe money to type a weekly email to them. The world was a different place back then, probably more daunting now I think of it.
I met some incredible people, ate some amazing fresh local food and even learnt how to cook Asian food, the memories will stay with me forever, so if you are considering going travelling, GO! Don't waste any more time, stop procrastinating, you only live once after all- so go spread your wings.
The floating bungalows we stayed in Koh Tao