Travelling Solo and Learning About Myself
Contributing Author: Kelsey
Kelsey tells us about traveling solo and learning more about herself along the way. For her very first big solo trip, she flew to the other side of the world! Find out how that felt and what she learned along the way...plus hear about her next steps as a potential expat.
Groggy, confused, dehydrated, not sure which way is up...but I had landed in the small-ish town of Townsville, Australia.
This wasn’t my first time traveling, I was well versed at this point. But it was my first long-haul, multiple transfers from Toronto, traveling solo trip.
I had travelled solo to Ireland to visit friends, but this was different. It was chaotic, exhausting and I didn't have a familiar face waiting for me on the other side.
Traveling solo for the first time
I decided to try the au pair thing for a couple of months, just to settle in and then explore from there. The au pair gig worked out pretty well but the whole trip was more than that.
It was realizing that I can do something — anything I want to — and by myself. I can figure it out. Any challenge that presents itself to me.
I can set my mind on something — like, I'm going to the other side of the world and explore a new county — and make it happen.
I landed at this small, domestic airport and had to do the whole walk-off-the-plane-onto-the-tarmac thing.
When I had taken off like 2 days before from Toronto, it was frigid. Especially since I didn't pack much...and nothing that was warm anyway.
I landed on a beautiful sunny morning, I think it was 10:30 a.m. and 40 degrees plus humidity. Palm trees surrounded the landing strips and I could see a big hill in the distance (called Castle Hill). And I just had the BIGGEST smile on my face. It was hot, new, there were accents, and I was thrilled.
Any emotions I felt prior — sadness, worry, what-have-I-done type feels — were gone.
I was ready to take on this new town, make new friends, learn new things.
Many people don't travel because, well, they love their home and it's comfy and they don't need anything else. That's totally fine if that's for you!
But there is something about pushing past your comfort zone, experiencing new things and meeting parts of yourself that you didn't know even existed.
New expat adventures
My next solo trip like this, I'll be booking a one-way ticket to Bali. There seem to be a lot of expats there. I haven't even done a ton of research yet, but I'm just going to figure it out because I know I can. I'll feel some discomfort, anxiety and miss home...A LOT. But I'm ready to meet some new people, meet new parts of myself and learn so much.
I'm very excited about what the future holds, and can't wait to connect with more people doing the same things.