Last January, I traveled alone to Costa Rica for a 4 day weekend. The months leading up to the trip, every time I would mention it, let it be to friends or co-workers, the reaction would be the same: are you crazy? Why would you do that? I would laugh it off every time. But how, you ask, did I decide to book a trip by myself in a foreign country with minimal to no knowledge of their culture? See, initially I was supposed to take this trip with a good friend of mine after our college graduation. However, I ended up going to Haiti that summer and was not able to make the trip. Fast forward to a year and a half later, after having worked a total of 18 hours on black Friday in a fast paced store, my mind was set: I was booking my trip that night! I needed to get away so badly. Continue reading “I TRAVELED SOLO BECAUSE : ANNE-LAURA IN COSTA RICA”
Honestly, it was not really my choice to travel alone through Europe during my stay in Paris. Since it was my first time in Europe, I wanted to visit several countries before returning to Montreal. But no one was as available as me to leave for a week and visit 2 countries simultaneously. So I decided not to wait and fly to Lisbon and Barcelona alone. At first I do not deny that I was really scared. That would be my first time in places where I knew absolutely nobody and where I would need to learn to manage alone. And, reflecting on it now, it has really been one of the best experiences of my life. I cannot wait to experience it again.
Traveling alone allowed me to know what is actually means being free. When traveling alone, we make our plans ourselves, so we do not have to wait for another person to valid our decisions. It is just about going ahead and exploring.
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau.
I remember the day I arrived in Lisbon. I met some very nice girls at the hostel and was able to visit the city with them. The next day, one of them asked me to go to Sintra. At first I was very hesitant because I had not spent enough days in Lisbon. She insisted so much that I did not resist, I went with her to Sintra, which is 40 minutes from Lisbon by train. Wow!!!! That’s the word that I kept pronouncing when I arrived at Quinta da Regaleira, a truly magnificent castle with caves, lakes, waterfalls, gardens and incredible towers we visited once we arrived. I am so grateful to her for inviting me because it was the best place that I have visited on the trip. The pictures do not do it justice but the memories will remain forever. She was delighted that I liked it. And if I was with a friend, she would probably never have invited me or maybe we would never have spoken in the first place.
In Barcelona, I still found myself alone in a hostel. And there I met two girls who were traveling together and with whom I discussed a bit. They immediately invited me to spend the day with them riding bikes. I immediately accepted because I’ve been to Barcelona the day before and I wanted to ride a bike in the city. It’s easy to bike in the city but I was really hesitant of getting started alone. So I visited the city of Gaudí by bike. Frankly, it’s one of the moments I will never forget. I know that cycling is common but it is not the same at all when you’re in a city as beautiful as Barcelona. I also spent a nice day with the girls and in the evening they took me to the magic fountain of Barcelona to experience this incredible show with a set of light and water games that illuminates the Plaza de Espana.
So you’ll tell me that finally I traveled alone but I was never alone at the end. Oh yes!!! I met a lot of great people on my way. People from everywhere and they were all amazing in their own way. People I hope I will meet once again in my life. People who invited me to visit their countries. Some incredible travellers, which have their own stories.
Traveling alone also helped me discovered myself more. Know that I can only rely on myself for the choices and decisions in the future. Know that I will always do what I am happy to do instead of trying to please others first. It also allowed me to know my capabilities and limitations. Knowing that I am brave enough to take the road alone. Knowing that I do not have to wait for someone to validate my choices in life.
“Some journeys in life can only be traveled alone.” ― Ken Poirot
Why did I travel alone?
I must admit it was not my first choice. When I decided to take a day off work and go spend a weekend in Portugal, I of course wanted my friends to go with me. Since it was a last minute decision no one was available and I seriously thought about cancelling my trip. I did not want to go all alone!
Why not cancel the trip and go another time when my friends are available? I did not want to spend a whole weekend alone with no one to talk to. It would definitely be boring and I would regret spending the money. I truly believed that it would be dangerous (remember the movie Hostels?!) I seriously thought that traveling alone was not worth it since I won’t have anyone to share those moments with.
A week before the trip, I was still staring at my computer screen and seriously debating whether I should book this ticket. Then I started thinking that just one weekend alone could not be that bad! I’ve done worse before, right? Continue reading “I TRAVELED SOLO BECAUSE : MARLA IN PORTUGAL”
Last summer , I wanted to explore a new culture, meet new people and try new food . After doing some research, I accepted an offer for Riviera Maya, a well-known resort in Mexico for 3 months. I was so happy and excited! The day was approaching to start the new adventure and of course I was getting scared, normal reaction for someone who had never been anywhere else but Haiti for such a long period of time before. I did not know what to expect. I just knew I was going for an internship in a well-known resort far away from home. Continue reading “I Traveled Solo Because… : Farah-Jane in Mexico”
There are so many atrocities happening in the world that “being human” is often linked to negative characteristics: Selfishness, greed, envy, jealousy and more. Humanity is considered lost by many. Some people even prefer to have pets instead of having to deal with human beings. As a traveler, I find humans to be the most interesting thing to observe. I travel because I want to fall in love with humanity in different ways. Because humans fascinate me and also because I think that human contact can help those who seek it, to discover so many things about life. I have met people who have completely shaken my world and who have somehow made me a better version of myself. It is not about the years in your life but the life in your years. Your existence makes sense because of experiences you make and these experiences will often be brought to you by people: Strangers who will come into your life and challenge you to think. Here are some reasons why I think that traveling solo makes you more human. Continue reading “Why traveling solo will make you more human”
Hello travel lovers!
I am back to my tropical home, Haïti. Being in Costa Rica for a week has been so great! I’ve had the chance to visit 4 different cities in a week! I sure didn’t waste my time huh. I got to see and experience many things and my trip was long enough to do a lot and short enough to leave me wanting more. Overall it was perfect! Continue reading “Quick guide through Costa Rica”
Remember when I announced this new category on my blog where writers from around the world would be able to write about their solo dolo travel experience? Well, here is the first post! This new category has the purpose of encouraging you to travel solo whether it is for a week or a gap year! Cheers to a life full of adventures.
Whenever I engage in a conversation regarding my past traveling experiences, I must begin where it all started. So many beautiful memories made, locations visited, people met and exquisite food tasted… I could easily write a book about it all, but today, I want to write about my first experience of traveling alone, and the fears, joys and lessons I learned by doing so.
What? You went ALONE!? I would never be able to do that! You are so brave
This is the typical reaction I get when I say that I have traveled solo dolo. The look on some people’s face! It’s like you suddenly grew 6 heads. I am not going to pretend like it is the easiest thing to do because it is not but what I can tell you is that once you push yourself once, you become addicted…at least this is my case. I still remember how I felt at 19 years old, boarding on a plane from Finland to Barcelona! It was a mixture of stress and joy! I was ‘breaking the rules’, I was doing something crazy, I was taking risks, I was LIVING. With my hat on, my little green carry-on and my passport, I was doing something that my future self would thank me for later on. Continue reading “5 reasons traveling solo as a young woman is the best thing you can decide to do”