I am a huge believer that everyone, not just women, should travel on their own at least once in their lives. The experience of doing something on your own, knowing nobody in a foreign country is not only leaving yourself in one of the most vulnerable moments of your entire life but gives you the opportunity for some serious self-reflection and self-discovery. It even allows you to re-evaluate what’s important in your life and opening your heart up to different experiences.
Ecuador was the most life changing trip for me, given that I was going through such a challenging time. I travelled to a country where english speakers were few, and it forced me to practice my basic Spanish to get by. With this trip, I gained confidence and showed myself that I really was a gutsy chick and could rise to challenges. Throw me to the fire, and I will survive – it’s how I’m wired. I was able to let loose and really be me, happily exploring in my flipflops and no makeup with my hair in a bun. I didn’t have people nagging me to wear mascara, higher heels or more make-up to beautify myself but most of all, the feeling of inadequacy among my peers was gone.
My takeaway from solo travel? It’s a nice reminder that I am special, cute and unique despite what North American media personifies as the ideal woman. That I am a good and kind-hearted person that puts 110% in what I do. I am determined, loyal, ambitious and fierce (gotta love being a cancer-leo cusp). I will always lend a helping hand to a fellow traveller, local or whoever is in need and even if, kindness gets taken advantage of.. I can proudly say that I tried. Most of all, my toughest lesson, I am able to accept and admit weakness and/or defeat without feeling ashamed.
Wouldn’t you rather say “I can’t believe I did that” instead of “I wish I did that” when looking back on life?
BuzzFeed’s video said it best… Travelling alone is badass.