Ever felt like you’re on an emotional roller coaster ride and no matter how badly you want to take control, the situation is just not in your hands? (girls, I know you know what I’m talking about here)…
Welcome to my life living out of a suitcase.
At the time of writing this post I have been travelling non stop for around 8 months. I left my hometown in Australia shortly after graduating from university with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Right at the pivotal time I should be ‘settling down’ or ‘settling into a job’, I did the complete opposite. I 180’d right on out of there and booked a one-way flight to London.
8 months later I’m writing this post on a Monday afternoon in Rio de Janeiro — so I suppose you could say I haven’t looked back.
But it hasn’t all been sunshine, happiness, and smooth sailing.
That being said, it also has most undoubtedly been the best year of my life (and it’s not over yet).
The Hardest Part of Long Term Travel
It isn’t the language barrier, finding vegetarian food in Argentina, or fighting a constant battle with jetlag…… instead it is the roller coaster ride of emotions. All of them jumbled in your head fighting to tell you one thing and then another…. it’s a constant yes I can, no I can’t, I should do that, I can’t do that, maybe just this once, what if…………
I suppose it’s because you are constantly moving, exploring, discovering, seeing, doing… you are constantly forcing yourself to change and evolve.
Well it’s 8 months later and I’m still in love with my life, every minute of it. But here’s a look at the crazy emotions you will come to face as a long term solo traveller…
When you travel long term, you inevitably begin to encounter experiences you have never taken part of (or even imagined you would do) in your life. From bungy jumping off the highest in the world to skydiving over Las Vegas, I have pushed my boundaries in different corners of the globe and often as a spur of the moment decision – the result? Conquering fears.
Fear of the unknown
While conquering fears can be exhilarating once accomplished, there’s also the other side of the spectrum – fearing the unknown. Personally I don’t have much experience with this side of things, as I tend to operate on a ‘try everything’ basis. But I do find myself fearing the unknown on a less large scale – with everything from knowing where to go, how to get there, or what will happen once I arrive. I like to know what I’m getting myself into!
Being in love with the moment
One of the best emotions you can encounter on your travels is just to be there and feel completely in (and in love with) the moment.
As with anything in life, in travel, nothing goes according to plan. Whether it is a late bus or missing a flight, there will always time and time again be SOMETHING that goes wrong. But life isn’t about what happens to you, it’s about how you react that shows your true character! From this we learn patience, and this would have to be one of the most valuable lessons travel gives us.
Conquering mountains, no matter how small
When frustration arises, the light at the end of the tunnel can appear to be pretty bleak. However with a bit of persistence, we can feel as if we have conquered a mountain – even if we have only just finally got on the right train to our next destination.
The solo travel blues are inevitable. Loneliness is perhaps one of the hardest challenges you can face as a long term solo traveller. It comes and goes like waves and it isn’t entirely controllable. The solution? Break up your trip with some group travel by joining a tour and meeting new people!
At the other end of the spectrum is happiness. It’s always there, sometimes it is just hiding behind frustration or loneliness. But the good news is that it is always never too far away – just don’t forget to remember it is always there!
One of the best feelings while we travel is the sense of freedom. Whether it be freedom from another person, other people, a job, reality…. or whatever it is, we can feel completely free when we travel.
Pensive & thoughtful
You will see, experience and learn a lot when you travel. There’s a big difference between what you learn from a text book and what you learn first hand by going out there and exploring the world yourself – just keep an open mind, open heart, and be sure to take time to reflect afterwards. Travel will change you.
“Happiness is only real once shared”
I had been travelling for a long time before I started my blog, but I never really felt like there was a purpose to it until I began writing World of Wanderlust. This way, I feel like I can share my journey with others to inspire them to also do what they love and pursue their passion instead of opting for a career that is easier or more stable. Do what you love!!!
Appreciation for life at home
And finally… going home. At the time of writing this I am still very much on the road, and intend to stay overseas until I have been travelling for a year. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I will be the happiest I have probably ever been in my life when I go home after a year travelling the world by myself. I can’t wait to see my family, friends, dog, house, etc. and just have a home cooked meal. But for now…. the journey continues.