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