Almost 27: Next Big Thing

For the past week all I have been thinking about is doing a solo trip for about a week or so.  I’ve been reading on traveling solo, women traveling solo, safe places for women to travel solo, and various posts and communities of women sharing their experiences to places they’ve done solo trips on.

I’ve read so much more but they all seem to have very similar reasons, which are all so convincing.  I’ve been beside myself figuring out if I should do this or not.  I’m turning 27 this summer and haven’t done this one thing yet, which wasn’t on my bucket list, but that’s since changed, especially ever since Ray went to Costa Rica on his own.

This is the kind of scenery I yearn for when I travel.

1.  Time & Money:  Two things that a lot of people seem to say we’re always short of. However, in the last few years, I’ve come to realize that money will always be there and time will always be on your side.  When I’ve found myself strapped for cash, it happens to show up; when I’ve found myself racing against time, extra time shows up under my nose.  When I first got a job, I was young and naïve and wanted all the latest trends so I blew literally all that I had.  When I received my first credit card, I did the exact same thing.  Growing up, I became wiser with my spending.  To be honest, I consider myself pretty damn cheap now :p.  Despite the Canadian dollar being a fail for the next few years, this is one thing that’s not going to stop me from traveling.

If you were talking to me two years ago, I’d be telling you that I’m  saving up for a wedding, a house and a family.  Now, I simply laugh and cringe at that.  I’ve become so sick of people around me telling me that THAT’s the way to live – That’s what you should be aiming for next in life, especially at my age.  Well, no thank you.  Because all I want to do now is to explore, live life, meet new people, experience new hobbies and get out of my comfort zone. Although I’m a full-time working student, I am able to make the time AND the money to do all of that, right now.

2.  Confidence:  I can present in front of a crowd, I can perform in front of hundreds on stage, but I don’t know (because I’ve never done it) if I can do a 12+ hour flight alone to a foreign country, and stay in a hostel with a room full of people I don’t know and have never met, who I’ll be entrusting won’t be stealing anything from my backpack when I need to use the shared bathroom.  So I need to do it.  Not only those, but am I confident that I can live out of a backpack for 8-9 days? Am I confident that the conditions of a hostel are up to my ‘standards’ – what are my standards for hostels anyway?! I’ve never walked the streets of a foreign country by myself – am I going to put myself at risk  of surrounding dangers?  Doing a solo trip will be the only way for me to find out. I consider myself confident but I know there’s more I need to see and do in order to be confident.

3.  Wealth:  And I’m not talking financial wealth – I’m pretty sure i’ll be broke for a few weeks if I decide to do a solo trip in another country.  I’m talking wealth in experience.  I’ll be able to say, “I’ve been to  ___________.  I did this or that for the first time.  I ate and drank this and that. I touched an alligator. I slept in a hostel.  I lived out of a backpack. I travelled with one bikini. I didn’t bring my entire makeup collection. I had my hair up everyday. I got a tattoo in __________. I got drunk in ________. I met this person.  I did karaoke in a bar. I took a photo with. I danced with.”  SO many things I’ll be able to share with family and friends and, eventually, my children.  I will never be rich financially (God, please let me win the lottery one day though) but I am able to be rich in experience.

For anyone who’s heard me rant these last couple of days can verify my urge to travel lately. Ray was lucky enough to Costa Rica last month for 10 days and, frankly, since then I’ve just been bit really hard by the travel bug.  A lot of people have asked me questions regarding why Ray travelled alone, and now why I want to do something similar.  My answer is pretty simple: because we can. We’ve been together 6 years this year and have done almost everything together.  At first, when he first told me his plans, I was little put off and miserable about it. Something happened and I don’t seem to feel that way anymore. Maybe it’s been my own urge to do the same that’s changed my perspective on things. Whatever it is, we support each other and that’s really all that matters.  (You could say it’s also jealousy of him traveling solo that’s making me want to do my own!)

It’s a long weekend tomorrow and I’m hoping to give myself an answer next week.  Although I haven’t mentioned the place I’m thinking to travel to, I’m hoping to announce it next week 😉  It’s a lot to think about – Ray had it easy because he was still unemployed and wasn’t in school.  I’m the opposite – where I’m doing both full time.  So lots to think about and days to reorganize.  But like I mentioned, there really is no better time than now.

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