So 2017, was definitely a year that I really challenged myself and forced myself to get out of my comfort zone.
I solo travelled for the first time in January 2017 and I have now been to seven countries on my lonesome.
Looking back now, I realise that I probably wouldn’t have tried solo travelling last year if it wasn’t for my goal to visit 25 countries before I turned 25 (check out the countries I visited and the pictures).
If you’ve been following my blog, then you would know that as part of my 25 things before 25 bucket list, I set myself a goal of visiting 25 countries before I turned 25. At that time, I had only been to 14 countries, so that would mean I would need to visit 11 countries in less than a year.
As much as my travel buddies love to travel, there was no way I could expect them to accompany me to 11 countries in ten months. So I found myself with only one solution – solo travel.
Would I have considered solo travelling if it wasn’t for this goal? To be honest, I don’t know. Maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit.
Yes, the idea of being in another country by myself was nervewracking, but the idea of being alone was not. Very shy, introvert over here! 🙋🏾♀️
Regardless, I am very happy that I set myself that goal. By forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone, I realised that I really love solo travelling.
For my first few solo trips, I visited Portugal, Romania and Macedonia – all countries within Europe. Far enough away to experience another culture, but close enough to not be too out of my comfort zone.
When summer came around, I decided that it was time to branch out more. As much as I love Europe, I was eager to see more of Asia.
I planned to meet my Malaysian friend in Kuala Lumpur, spend a few days there and then we would travel to Singapore. After Singapore, she would return home and I would make my way to Bali where I would meet up with a good travel blogger friend of mine. After spending a week or so on the island we would both go home and as my return flight included a long transit, I would spend a day in the capital city of Brunei – Bandar Seri Begawan.
Everything seemed to be falling perfectly into place, but then as life likes to do sometimes, everything just fell apart.
My two travel buddies had to, unfortunately, pull out last minute. So I found myself with a return ticket to Kuala Lumpur, but no one to go with.
To say that I was nervous is a hell of an understatement, but I found myself in a position where I had no choice. Not only had I already paid for my flight, but this trip was essential in order for me to reach my goal of 25 countries.
I had to force myself to feel the fear and do it anyway.
I then booked my accommodations and the flights between destinations. The only change I made to my travel plans, was to instead visit Gili Trawangan rather than Bali, as I wanted to visit Bali longer than for a few days.
Days before I was due to fly out, the level of anxiety I was feeling was crazy! When I talked to my friends and family about my trip, I hid my fears and instead acted like everything was fine. I did not want them to worry about me while I was away (well more than they probably would already).
For two weeks, I travelled alone in countries halfway across the world. And over those two weeks, I wasn’t robbed, attacked or anything along those lines, that you could imagine could happen to a woman alone in Asia.
Do you know what I did do over those two weeks?
I ate amazing food, I had great conversations with the locals and other travellers, I relaxed on the beach and contemplated this confusing thing they call life and I explored the beautiful cities that I visited.
Yes, I enjoyed myself very much. This was without a doubt one of the best trips I have ever been on. And the sense of empowerment that I felt from being able to achieve what I never thought I’d be able to, was and is still so amazing!
Would I change anything about this trip? Hell to the no!
Yes, of course there were bumps along the way. From nearly missing every single flight (and I mean EVERY single flight lol) to getting scammed in Indonesia. 😭
Ohhh and let me not even forget about when my phone completely stopped working when I was in Indonesia…
Thankfully I had my laptop with me, so I was able to contact my family and let them know I was okay. After two days, luckily my phone started working again and I was able to access WhatsApp and all my important travel plans and documents that I had failed to print out because I am way too reliant on technology. Guys, please learn from my mistake! 🙈
In life, things will go wrong, but that doesn’t mean you should let it stop you or not even make an attempt. In the famous words of Aaliyah (lol) “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off, and try again.”
I urge you to take the plunge. Attempt to do something that you thought you would never be able to do. Don’t let your fear, doubts and insecurities rule your life.
Whether it’s solo travelling, public speaking or just going after those dreams, go for it! Go be great y’all! Let’s make 2018 the year of realising our potential and making those dreams a reality!!
Well, until next time guys!
P.S. Have you ever solo travelled and if not what’s holding you back?
Check out my last blog post where I shared seven reasons why you should solo travel at least once.