Have you ever wanted to take off, hit the road, and explore miles and miles of our planet? Or perhaps you have already travelled a fair bit… No matter the situation, or where you are in the world now, the world is yours and it is so magnificent that nothing is too much or too little. Every experience is beautiful and meaningful.
Before moving to England I spent most of my years in Uni taking off whenever I could. Then, s you know, I travelled for several months before touching down in London. Over the years I have travelled to nearly 50 countries, piled on thousands of miles, wandered around countless streets, soaked up the sun on even more beaches, explored the continents, eaten incredible food (and a tarantula!), met the most extraordinary people, have had the most exhilarating emotional roller coaster, and fallen in love with our world. I have almost always travelled alone. I went to California with a friend once, then we went to visit our other friend in Colombia. She and I went to Iceland as well that year, and later on she met me in Munich for Oktoberfest. Otherwise, I have been alone and before that, years ago, I was with family.
I set off on my own for the first time the summer I turned 18. I went to study in Florence, Italy. Ever since then, I have had this itch to explore the planet.
I don’t know everything, nor have I seen enough of the world, in my opinion, but I have done a decent chunk at my age, and I want to inspire you!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share of mishaps on the road. I speak and write openly about those times. They are necessary, and inevitable. There is no perfect trip. Most of the people I’ve met who travel a lot have several stories that are less than pleasant from their travels. This article is meant to inspire you, hopefully, and of course, touch on some essentials that I have decided to put together for you.
- It will not always be pretty. Even if it looks really pretty.
It does not matter where you are. A bad day, is a bad day anywhere. Don’t let it bring you down. We all have moods and hormones to manage and it’s only normal that we just get irritable or blue during our travels. Not to mention that the whole thing is tiring as heck! So be patient, feel every emotion, and let the city soothe you.
2. You will meet people and have to say goodbye
Now, this one may see obvious and straight forward, but DO NOT underestimate the blues that comes with saying goodbye to people with whom you have shared meaningful moments and experiences. I have had so many sad rides to the airport, and serious blues when arriving to a new city. I remember when i left Madrid to head for Barcelona, and I was so so sad about leaving my friends behind. Especially when you see the tear, it just breaks your heart! My first day in Barcelona was bitter-sweet because it was a stunning city (that tops my list of cities in Europe), but I missed my friends. I remember writing a post about it on here, and it being so therapeutic. So, when that happens, just hold on, be grateful for the memories, and open yourself up to new experiences and the new people that will bless you and your travels.
3. It can feel lonely at times…
I am someone who loves to be on my own. I work from home, I study from home, I focus very well on my own, and I travel quite comfortably on my own. I am independent and I love having personal connections on my travels, and often, it requires me wandering with myself. Nevertheless, I have met some awesome people and they made those periods of time that much more special. Those were different personal connections, and I still managed t have my alone time with the city. Then sometimes, you are alone, and you feel lonely. You wish you could be with someone that day because you are blue or the city isn’t sitting well with you, or whatever the reason may be. I remember there were a few days in the Philippines when I was not feeling so well and I remember being gutted that I couldn’t be on my A game and have crazy adventures, but it was just a slower time. I had met some decent people but noting like some other bonds I have made. Normally, this would not have been a problem except that I was not feeling well, and getting around the city and the islands was more of a hassle than anticipated. To top it all off, I must admit I was still a bit gutted about my time in Greece being over. That had been one of the best times of my life… However, all in all, I made the best of the Philippines and that too was a necessary time. This will come and go… Of course, we are all different, but everyone feels lonely sometimes, and it can make you feel quite small when you are in the middle of what may sometimes feel like nowhere.
4. Whether you keep in touch or not, the people you meet whilst travelling are forever part of your tapestry, and in such a special way
I know some people who are very good at staying connected with people they have met on the road. I don’t think I am one of them. That being said, many of friends who travel loads have admitted that they only kept in touch with a few people but that the other friends ships are so special because they are frozen in time. In that time. I must agree. It’s this simple and sweet notion of a picture frame with a whole little life that was lived.
5. Don’t panic if things do not go according to your plan.
This is important! I had planned my trip rather precisely long before I left. This was fined and I am glad I did, except for when I had to modify my itinerary and it was quite a shift. Now, this also had to do with me shaving off a couple weeks so I could focus on my move to England and spend the holidays back home, but the lesson still applies! Be open to change and the unexpected. You may discover treasures and gems you never dreamed possible!
8. Be careful, be prepared, and don’t get TOO comfortable
It’S very easy to get caught up in the moment, meet awesome people, go for drinks, and lose your head. As amazing and exciting as travel can be, it can also be dangerous. As you know, some places are more dangerous than other, but you must ALWAYS be careful. Things can happen anywhere, at any time. Make sure you have enough food to last you a couple days, should you lose you wallet, phone, passport, cash etc. I was in France when I lost my passport, wallet, cards, and cash, and thank god I had packed food. Luckily, the process was quick to sort out and I was fine in no time, but still! I remember being so grateful for those bars, my instant soups, my various snacks, and of course, the perfect city Paris. I’m not being sarcastic. In fact, I had my things stolen in Nice, actually, but it is still one of my favourite places in Europe! It wasn’t Nice’s fault.:)
Anyway, just be prepared, and be prudent. Always. I’m not trying to freak you out, but it’s life. So no matter how swept off your feet you are, always keep on eye on your belongings and yourself. Ideally, keep at least one foot on the ground…;)
7. Embrace that travel life…
Yeah, just roll with it all. Work that overnight bus or train. Have the most glorious nap on a bench in a park or on your bags at the airport. Enjoy being absolutely knackered and sleep through a 12 hour flight like it’s no one’s business. Embrace that sunburn so red it has purple highlights. Book a room for a nap in an airport because you need to be able to stand and walk to the plane. Love the food you pack in your bag so that you can munch at any time. Overdose on protein and granola bars. Have one too many Ramen meals. Eat a spider and take it like a champ! Get beaked by a swan because, why not? Take as many pictures as you can. Take as many mental images as you can. Most of all, take in every single moment, with a deep breath, a smile of gratitude, and a bow of humility.
8. Take it all in!
Don’t worry so much. Don’t complicate things for yourself. I know that I was worried about moving to England and if I had planned everything right. That’s fine. But sometimes that made me lose focus and that’s what I wish I could tell my travelling self. Actually, I probably wouldn’t because I have learned so much and my trip was so perfect for me that I feel bad saying that… But I would tell myself to chill… Not in such a serious way, but I would remind myself to trust in my abilities and in my brains. I would remind myself of my strength and courage. That’s the thing about this earth. It’s there for you, not there to be against you. Work with it. Trust it. Listen to it. Let it guide you. IT’S not always easy, but let the trees warm you. Allow the mountains to keep you standing tall. Let the wind guide you. Swirl in the waters and let it soothe you. Feel the heat of the sun whilst in nourishes you, and meet with the moon at night to really feel that harmony, find balance, and reside in peace.
I may update this as I find more interesting and inspiring things to share, but here is what I came up with at 1am on a Wednesday because I had an urge to share.
Check out my cheeky home-made travel video below!