my mind in words, well not quite that'd be one long story but here's just abit....
Well now being my second month in South America I think I’ve reached a point where I can speak truly about long term - solo travel atleast from my perspective, and in no way do I guarantee this wont change in 1 week, month or year but for now this is my view.
Many people set out to travel with the Ideal of everything being carefree, stressless and like some big perfect fruit salad where everything just magically comes together and I’d be abit of a hypocrite if I said that wasn’t my view before the trip although the reality is that things just don’t fall into your lap and plans don’t always work, buses will leave without you and finding a place to sleep at 1am when it’s snowing really isn’t much fun. It takes alot of time, planning and the guts to take massive gamble on everything in order to get anywhere. Whilst this sounds like hell and at times it certainly does feel like it, the satisfaction, happiness and as cliche as it is that ‘on top of the world’ feeling you get when things go right and you meet amazing people, see amazing things, eat amazing food and get a decent nights sleep without some asshole being just that in the dorm room because somehow they think they’re entitled to the room more so than anyone else regardless of the fact we’ve all paid exactly the same amount! Is all worth it and I think abit of realism, context and perspective go along way in keeping you sane on what I call 'those days’.
I read alot about travelling alone before leaving and to be honest I was scared shitless, it’s not easy at 18 to pack your life into sack to chuck on your back, leave everything you know behind and watch everyone else get steps ahead of you with university and the like, yes I’m extremely lucky to be doing this and I wouldn’t trade it for a university position in the world because I am learning so many other important things here and having the absolute time of my life, but It’s something that takes a little to talk about and a hell of a lot to actually do, and here I am doing it! Of what I’d read constantly there was the “you’ll never really be alone” argument and whilst for the vast majority of days on my trip I’ve met really great people and shared really great times there are going to be days and maybe weeks where you are just that ALONE on the other side of the world and this allows for alot of thinking and time to be spent with you and yourself so learn to like it quick! On top of that privacy is all but abolished you sleep in a room full of strangers in a different bed everynight, wait to shower and get woken up whenever someone else decides it’s time to come back or go out, your things are dirty, feeding yourself becomes a challenge especially for one so make sure to absolutely abuse free hostel breakfasts they’re a great thing.
This is in no way meant to be a pessimistic post, as I’ve said and if you’ve bothered to keep up with my blog you’d see for yourself I’m having a really incredible time here but I think alot of people need to realise for there own or others sakes solo- long term travel certainly isn’t the most relaxing or stressless thing you’ll ever do but it most definitely is the most rewarding, life changing and utterly fabulous thing you’ll ever do ;)
Now a quick update on plans, I’ve kind of stalled down here in El Calafate just because I really can’t decide where to go from here but in just over a month I’ve already visited Argentina, Chile and Uruguay so I guess I’m doing alright… Now it’s time to decide where to rest my head tomorrow, decide whether too see the lakes, desert, city or waterfalls. Everything is in reach, now just to choose…..
we have some sad news. Because our SeaQuotes campaign didn’t get enough “social engagement” (whatever that means), Urban Outfitters will *NOT* be paying for the free all inclusive Pale Sea Creatures Round-The-World cruise. I’m really sorry to those of you who were looking forward to crossing the oceans with us and examining the mopey sea creatures of the planet first-hand. We still want to make this dream a reality so we are currently talking to different sponsors.