Travel awakened my soul
Travel - it's a funny thing. We pack up some things and we leave the comforts of home.
We leave the routine, the normal and the way we do things and we set off on an adventure to learn and grow.
I set off on a six week journey through Europe, on my own. My biggest challenge to date.
I was sh*t scared. All the worst case scenarios running through my head. But this was the time to be pushed and get outside of my comfort zone.
Why six weeks? Why push yourself so far out of your comfort zone?
Here is why every woman (actually everyone), if they are able and want to, should travel alone (according to me)...
We all want to be confident, to feel sure of ourselves and everyday some of us find ways to fake it. When you're travelling alone in countries you don't know, you need to find that confidence somewhere.
You look deep down and you find that confidence that's been hiding. The confidence to make the first move and introduce yourself to someone new. To sit in a restaurant by yourself for dinner and read a book. You learn to be confident when finding your way from A to B, because you don't necessarily want to look like a lost tourist (but we all do).
You find the confidence to be alone, because at some point of travelling alone, you need to be ok being with yourself.
Panathenaic Stadium Podium - Athens, Greece
We all want the power to do great things. We want the power to stand on our own two feet and accomplish the unthinkable. Travelling alone can, to some people, be the unthinkable. Travelling alone, makes you feel empowered. Each new city you go to, you learn a new metro system. Each new city you visit you immerse in a new culture. Every new little step, is actually a big step and each time you feel empowered.
You walk back to your hostel at 12:30am after a beer tour and you don't feel scared. You miss trains and take wrong buses, but you always find your way. You shock people when you tell them you're a female travelling solo, but feel empowered and you shine with confidence.
You are strong and you are conquering all of your internal barriers.
Schönbrunn Palace - Vienna, Austria
When do we stop learning? Never. If we stop learning, we stop living. Every single day when you are abroad, away from every day routine and habits, you learn. You learn which way to walk to get to your hostel. Which metro to take to meet the tour you booked. Which bus takes you in the completely wrong direction than you planned. You learn new "hello's", "good morning's" and "thank you's", you learn what not to wear and where not to walk (don't walk on bike paths in the Netherlands).
You learn to absorb everything. Every little thing, you take in. You share it with friends. You say "When I was in Berlin, you put beer bottles next to rubbish bins, or on the footpath, so that the homeless can collect them and exchange them for money".
You learn different worlds, worlds you never knew existed.
Soviet Army Memorial in the most history filled city I've been to - Berlin, Germany
Most of us seem to struggle with loving the person we see in the mirror. We are always searching for "ourselves". We are always looking outward to society or to other people to help us find love.
When you travel, you find yourself. You find the love you're looking for. When you travel alone, you learn to love the one person you are always with. You learn where your patience starts and ends. You learn where your anxiety is manageable and where you will literally cry in a metro station.
You learn to love every piece of the very person that pushes through each and every day.
You learn to love you.
On Ponte De Dom Luis I - Porto, Portugal
Travel awakened my soul. I grew in unimaginable ways. I will forever continue to explore, because when I do, I am confident, I feel empowered, I learn and I love myself more than I thought possible.
Tegenungan Waterfall, where I could feel the energy from the waterfall flow through my body - Sukawati, Bali