Welcome back to Women Who Wander. This series focuses encouraging women to seek out solo travel. Empowering and inspiring both seasoned Solo Travellers and those who have yet to venture out on their own. The response to this series has been amazing and I just want to thank you all for embracing it. Hopefully many more Solo Travel stories to come. This week is Meg with her thoughts on why the dream of travel is not enough

Meet Meg:

Dream of Travel

Originally from the UK, Meg started travelling solo in 2011 when she booked a round the world ticket. She made it as far as Australia where she fell in love with the country and shelved all of her previously made travel plans to stay longer. Five years on she is still travelling without any real intention to stop and quite likes her life that way. You can find her musing about how it feels to travel, especially as a solo female, over on her blog, MeanderWithMeg.

You can also find her:

Facebook; Pinterest; Instagram

Do you and your friends dream of adventures to sunny climates? Do you picture yourselves basking under palm trees with cocktails in your hands, jumping into azure blue oceans and partying together until the dawn?

Well, I don’t want to burst your bubble, but if you’re waiting around for your friends to kick-start your travel goals then you’re going to be waiting around forever. I apologise if that comes across as a little hard to swallow. Please let me explain.

The Dream of Travel With Friends

Although you may excitedly discuss the prospect of travel with your besties, the reality is that for a lot of people travel remains a dream.

For many people, the dream of travel is simply a mood booster for when they’re feeling down. Those gorgeous Instagram images serve as a pick-me-up for when they’ve had a hard day at work or it’s cold and grey outside.

For those friends, a dream of travel is all they need. Booking their annual holiday somewhere hot and sunny is enough to see them through the year. Although their eyes may shine in excitement as you bring them pretty Pinterest images, sadly when it comes to pinning them down to commit they shy away from it.

The excuses start to flow: work pressures, a potential promotion, money (always money), family or relationships. Sometimes they’ll promise you that yes, they will travel with you; just give them three months, six months, a year to save. Or they’ll just pay off the loan they took out for their new car. Or they’ll chat to their boyfriend and see what he thinks about the idea of a long distant relationship.

Dream of Travel

Why the Dream of Travel is Not Enough

My point here is that, if you’re going to be brutally honest with yourself, the dream of travel is not enough for you. Am I right? You’re not content with waiting around for when the time is right for someone to book a holiday with you. You’re not content with compromising your travel plans. And you’re certainly not content with simply talking about travel, you want to go.

I was once in your shoes. The dream of travelling started off as a niggle as I sat in a desk job that was going nowhere in the daytime and on the sofa in my evenings. I was in my mid-twenties and beginning to feel that dizzying question pushing down on me of “is this enough? Am I happy?” I looked around me and noticed that my friends were all in relationships and working hard at settling into their careers. They were saving up for deposits on houses, joining sports clubs on the weekends and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

Sure, my friends love to travel and enjoy their holidays immensely. But I quickly realised that I if I was expecting one of them to turn to me and exclaim, “sure, I’ll put my life on hold for you and jet off into the unknown!” then I would be hanging on forever. For me, the dream of travel was not enough. Soon the bubble inside me burst and sent a crashing wave of determination flooding through my system. If I wanted to travel, I would have to grab the reigns of my own life and hit the road. Alone.

Why You Need to Travel Solo

Firstly, I hate it when people tell me that I am a brave person. I definitely don’t consider myself brave at all. I just bought a one way ticket to another country. It was somewhat similar to strapping myself into a rollercoaster ride; once you sit down that rollercoaster is setting off, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Dream of Travel

As soon as you commit to your trip then you really appreciate the saying “time waits for no man”. Suddenly, the months or weeks prior to your trip vanish and you’re left standing at that boarding gate clutching your ticket. As the time disappeared around you, you’ve unwittingly joined the ranks of ‘solo traveller.’

Setting bravery aside, I believe you need to travel solo because of one main reason. Remember that little thing called a dream we were just talking about? That’s right, your dream to travel. Your dream to wake up in a foreign city, to try speaking in another language, to explore waterfalls, mountains, coastline and cities. Your dream to change your daily horizon, you daily routines and your outlook on life.

Want to know what the cherry on top of the cake is? (Who doesn’t love cake?) You will make new friends on the road to share all of these incredible experiences with. Please don’t put your life on hold because your dreams don’t suit other people. Now when your friends spy a fantastic image on Instagram, it’ll be the one that you posted at the very same destination you once said you’d travel to together.

So go on, dream catcher, what are you waiting for?

Find more Women Who Wander entires here

Finally, If you are interested in writing for Women Who Wander, you can contact me at youngandundecidedblog@gmail.com. Can’t wait to share your stories

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Dream of Travel

Linking up with FlyAwayFriday

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25 thoughts on “Women Who Wander: Why The Dream Of Travel Is Not Enough (And Why You Need To Travel Solo)”

  1. I agree with you 100%! This post is right on the nail and very apropos given I have several friends who dream of travel when they should just go for it and go solo! Thanks for this brilliant post. #flyawayfriday

  2. Love it ! Agree with everything you mentioned. I became a solo traveler because I was tired of convincing my man to join me, tired of waiting for my friends to travel with me. Tired of wasting the time and just dreaming of traveling. I think every woman should try solo trip at leat once.
    Great article!

  3. I definitely agree with this. When I was studying abroad, I solo travelled to several countries in Europe because my friends were not interested in visiting those countries and my boyfriend was busy working. Solo travel has improved my confidence – it’s a very empowering feeling!

  4. I also hear this silly comment that I’m “brave” for going off to hike alone… For me it’s not bravery it’s a necessity to escape the life that is my kryptonite. As an introvert with social phobia, I don’t even consider traveling with someone – but as traveling solo is not generally accepted as things women do, I just stayed put. The moment I decided to go and do long-term hiking & camping by myself, I knew that was it. I still work full-time, but try to go for hiking trips whenever I can. When I’m alone out there, far away from people, I feel truly happy. I also like to travel solo to populated areas – I find it more relaxing and fulfilling than if I went with more people.

    Thank you, Meg, for this great post 🙂 Happy travels!
    Ioanna (A Woman Afoot)

  5. I too struggle with people saying solo travellers are brave, for me it was easier to jump on a plane and fly off into the unknown than it was to stay in my dead end job where I wasn’t happy. Very inspirational post!

  6. I totally agree especially about waiting around for your friends to kick-start your travels. You could go back and forth for AGES before settling on a time and a country and even then people could get cold feet. I went solo to France, Portugal and India (not much so far) but it was an eye opener. You discover how you cope with just you and often it’s wonderful!

  7. So true. I left for my first solo trip in 2008 and I have never looked back. I was sick of waiting around for someone to travel with so I did it lone. It is the best experience and I recommend it to everyone I meet. Thanks for inspiring others. #FlyAwayFriday

  8. I have traveled solo to a few destinations. It was a really good experience because I did what I wanted to do without judgment. My friends are okay but I mean it is still a different feeling if you do things on your own. You would be more confident and courageous.

  9. Had something similar with people around me when it comes to traveling, either friends or my partner at the time. And guess what? That was the time I’ve started to travel solo, since it was a waste of time to wait for them to organize, save, get days off etc. Than, after years of traveling solo, having some great experiences, you just realize that it’s all possible, that you can enjoy both – going on your own and doing a trip with others! 🙂

  10. I love the concept for this series! Such a great inspiration for women to get out and go. I am writing a book right now in hopes to inspire young adult women to get out and travel! I take inspiration from my own life, but also other female travelers as well. Love this.

  11. I totally agree with this post, I’ve done 2 long trips alone and it’s hard to imagine travelling with someone now. The freedom is awesome. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Completely agree. If you wait around for the right time or for friends to join it will never happen. Wander the world solo!

  13. Your post is super empowering! I hope women out there can read this and be inspired as I have. I’ve never tried traveling solo before. I am usually with my husband, family or friends when I explore a new place. I hope one day I’ll find the courage to go traveling on my own just like you did! 🙂

  14. Great perspective. I had a lot of friends who are always talking about travelling, but can’t, either because their significant other is busy or their friends can’t come along. Personally, I think travelling solo is more fun, you get to learn your limitations and yourself. Great post!

  15. This is so true! My friends always say they want to go on an adventure with me but will never commit to a date. I’ve started saying “I’m going to — on (date) let me know if you want to come”.

  16. Solo trips can be amazing. I haven’t done one myself but even on my trips with my husband I couldn’t agree more that you don’t have to wait for friends to join your vacation. You will make a ton of friends along the way. We certainly did.

  17. “is this enough? Am I happy?” That is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves. Good on you for taking action when you decided the answer wasn’t yes. I’ve never traveled solo, but all of this is great advice.

  18. “So go on, dream catcher, what are you waiting for?” This is what ultimately led me to traveling solo for the first time about 2 years ago. When you are ready to join me, the invitation is open for the meantime, I’m going to keep pressing forward.

  19. So true! Waiting around for your friends to be “ready” to travel means you’ll never get started. I’ve done a few solo trips, and they’re always amazing. I’ve met some of my favourite people through travels that I may not otherwise have met

  20. This is perfect! Now if only I had money (kidding!) I totally get where you are coming from and although you aren’t necessarily “brave” in hopping on a plane planning a one way trip with no exact plan, it still is a risk to most people to get up and quit whatever job you have at the time. But we only have one life, so if you aren’t happy in the one you are living, you should change that.

  21. Oh, I am so familiar with this story since I have very similar experiences. Meg definitely speaks my language! I like people like Meg: dreamers and doers. Many happy travels to Meg and to all dreamers and doers!

  22. Wow, she is great. I am not sure I would travel solo, I am just not the type I think. Maybe one trip for a long weekend would be enough for me, or at least as a start. Stepping out of your comfort zone is always a good thing.

  23. She sounds awesome! I rarely travel solo but I love reading about people that do! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, hope to see you again this weekend! xo

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