Later this year I will be heading off on my first ever solo backpacking trip. I’ve always travelled with at least one other person, be it my boyfriend, my sister, or with a large group of mates. I’ve done the odd flight to Ireland on my own and I’ve unfortunately had to endure HUNDREDS of UK train expeditions on my todd (oh the joy) but in terms of flying halfway across the world to experience a foreign country and brand new culture, completely on my own? Nope, never done that before.
I can’t lie – I’m bricking it. It’s still a good seven months away and yet my mind is already piling up with questions and concerns for my safety, for my finances, and even for my luggage (which I’m unsure of how I will even carry around as I’m unfortunately a little guilty of making my boyfriend carry it when I get tired, I know, I know – worst backpacker ever). But as scary as the experience is no doubt going to be, and as terrified as I am everytime I think about stepping on that plane all by myself, I’m also unbelievably excited; excited to be heading out into the world as a solo backpacker, and here is why:
#1 No Compromising
As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, traveling with the Beard, my beloved travel partner in crime, is my absolute favourite thing to do in the world. But one thing that I am looking forward to about my solo adventure, is that every single decision I make will be a totally selfish one and THAT’S OKAY. I don’t have to make any compromises.
Part of the deal when you travel as a duo or as a group is that you compromise on the activities or the food etc, and I completely agree with that. But on this trip I get to pick all the places that I want to go; I get to chose every bar, every restaurant, every activity, every beach. Of course I hope to make friends along the way and go on group adventures, and then I will compromise, but when it’s just me I shall thoroughly enjoy being selfish.
#2 Discovering who I really am
Okay okay, I know this one is MEGA cheesy – I want to find myself – but it’s true. The first time I went backpacking with the Beard I learned a lot about our relationship and who we are as a couple. And it definitely made us stronger. But sometimes when your in a relationship and you spend all your time together, you can forget who you really are as an individual. I never ever in a million years want to be without him, but as I travel from country to country without my boyfriend and my best friend by my side, I’m interested to see who I am as just me, and not one half of us.
#3 To be a Solo Female Backpacker
I am incredibly proud of every single woman out there who has booked a flight, packed a backpack and gone out alone in that big scary world. Women are constantly being warned about the dangers of traveling alone. And there is no doubt in my mind that a female travelling alone will unfortunately attract unwanted attention and be put in situations her male equivalent would not be. But that doesn’t mean we should have to be accompanied on every trip we want to go on. The more females that adventure solo, the more others are feeling brave enough to join them. These amazing solo female backpackers are destroying the stigma that females can’t travel alone and I can’t wait to be part of that Amazing community.
#4 Because if I can do this, I can do anything!
If I, the clumsy, slightly ditzy, far too giggly, can’t concentrate-on-anything-for-longer-than-five-minutes girl, can successfully backpack my way around at least two South American countries without breaking a leg, getting lost or giving up and coming home early – then what else can I do?
This experience is really going to test my bravery and my confidence, and as scared as I am, I’m also incredibly excited to see just how much I can achieve and what I will get upto. I’m hoping I come back from my South American adventure with a new found confidence and the courage to follow ALL my dreams
And a tan would be nice too.
Ever backpacked solo?
Or do you prefer to travel in a group or with your partner?
I’d love to know in the comments below.