In two weeks I’ll officially be on a plane on my way to making one of my dreams come true. After my backpacking trip across Central America in 2012, I set my eyes on South East Asia as my next bucketlist backpacking adventure. Unfortunately, as is so common, life got in the way.
In 2013, I couldn’t go because I just started a new job and only had two weeks vacation. You can’t do it all in only 2 weeks!
In 2014, I couldn’t go because I was getting married and didn’t have the extra time or cash to do it.
Finally in 2015, it’s happening. I’m going to be backpacking South East Asia for 10 weeks! For the first 4 weeks I will be backpacking solo for the first time ahhhh! Week 5 my sister will join me and in Week 8 my husband will meet me in Bali, yay!
Every time I think about this trip and the fact that I’m actually going to be on a plane going to the other side of the world I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of mixed emotions. I never really expected this and so I’m going to share with you something you won’t really find on many blogs: What to expect while preparing for your First Solo Backpacking Trip.
You did it. You clicked confirm purchase and your tickets are bought. There’s no turning back now, unless you want to lose that money you just spent. You’re really doing this. Yes. You’re going on your backpacking adventure!! Excitement rushes over you like a waterfall. You’re still in disbelief but SO excited about the adventure that awaits you!
BOOM! It hits you like a ton of bricks. Out of no where, no warning. Anxiety rushes over you like Niagara falls. Are you really doing this? Alone!? You’ve never travelled alone. What’s it going to be like? How are you going to do this? Why did you click confirm purchase?!
This is a slightly different feeling from anxiety although the two share similar qualities. You start to think about the worse case scenarios and google all of the bad things that has happened to backpackers where you’re going. What if you get lost? What if you can’t make friends? What if a bomb goes off while you’re in that tourist attraction? (yeah that happened a little while ago in Thailand…and I’m going to Thailand) What if it’s nothing like what you read about? What if you miss your flight or can’t get a hostel? What if? What if? What if?
How are you going to do this alone? What if someone tries to kidnap you? Can you go out at night? I don’t want to be alone. I can’t do this.
I’m going to miss (insert significant other’s name here) soooo much. I don’t want to leave my friends and family and the comfort of home. Tears start to well up in your eyes.
Planning the trip has commenced and you’re so excited about all the things you’re going to do!
Planning the trip has commenced and you’re so annoyed by all the research you have to do!
You’ve come full circle. You’ve realized that you’re in it and there’s no turning back. You’ve accepted that being scared, uncomfortable and vulnerable is all a part of the growth and learning process. It’s part of the reason people say everyone should travel alone at least once in their lives. You’re doing this. And you’ll be just fine. And when in doubt, just breathe. Many people have done it before you and there will be many after you. Enjoy the ride!