What I learned from travelling alone for 5 months

I travelled in Asia for five months. Just me. And my camera. And I loved every second of it. I have always wanted to do such a solo backpacking trip. At first my significant other wasn’t too fond of the idea, but later he realised that it was my dream. And the thing is: you should never give up on a dream.

So there I went. On my very own. Well, not entirely, since you’re never alone when you are backpacking, unless you really want to. When travelling in Asia I found out that all backpackers stick together and watch out for each other. It’s like a family, a travel family. The atmosphere is so friendly and relaxed… I absolutely loved it. But the great thing is: at any point you can just say: screw it, I’m going to do my own thing now.

I did that quite a few times: just take my camera and walk around, taking photos where I wanted to, without having someone impatiently waiting for me. Go to that little cafe to try a piece of cake, even though I just had lunch. Go see a movie in the theatre, just because I felt like it, without someone judging me because it’s not really a “travelling thing” to do.

At home there are always people who expect things from you, every single day. While travelling, that’s not the case. It’s nice to catch a break from expectations and do your own thing for a change.

I also learned a thing or two while ‘on the road’ with my backpack.

Value what you have

It sounds a bit like a cliché, but it’s true: you value your own home a bit more. A comfortable bed, a hot shower every day: many people in the countries I travelled to, don’t have these basic things. And the bad thing is: we do have that luxury and we often take it for granted. So it’s nice to get away from all that for a while, just to be able to appreciate it more when you come back

Be ‘offline’

Nowadays everyone is sort of permanently attached to their cell phones and social media, but life is not happening in that little piece of technology. So no, there’s no need in being available via phone all the time, Society has standardized it though, and that means some people will get annoyed when they cannot reach you when they want to, but I don’t care. It’s still my personal choice to be available.

Result: most of my WhatsApp groups are on silent mode and I practically deleted my Facebook account.

It’s your choice

Almost everything in life is a choice. You don’t have to work, you CAN work. You can also decide not to work, but that means you don’t have any money to spend. Think about it: you can say ‘no’ to practically everything in life. Of course there are (some serious) consequences, but still, it’s your choice to say no. It’s kind of liberating when you realise this (even though you won’t use it very often).

To elaborate further on the previous paragraph: we put way too much pressure on ourselves. Full time job, a household, friends & family, a nutritious meal every night, working out… We are 10 times more busy than our parents and grandparents, but there are still only 24 hours in one day. How is this possible? Good question.

So is it really a big deal when the laundry is not completely done yet? Is it that much of a problem to eat pizza or fast food two days in a row? Nope, it happens. And that’s fine.

Travel alone Nicaragua gopro

Do what makes you happy

I always liked writing and travelling, so by combining these two hobbies in this travel blog, I have found my true dream job. Ok, it’s not really a job, and it may never will be, but that’s fine. The thing is: I’m working on my dream, and that’s a nice feeling. It makes me happy.

This doesn’t only extend to a job. It’s very much applicable to the daily life. Try to also find happiness in smaller things: cooking you favourite meal, watching Netflix on a rainy evening, invite some friends over to just relax and chat, going for a nice run on a sunny day…. you get my point.

I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. You only have one life, so enjoy it as much as you can 🙂

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