When I started my blog four years ago, I wasn’t able to go to a coffee shop on my own, let alone solo travel the world. The reason why I will always treat my blog as my baby is because it helped me push the boundaries of who I am as a person, and it made me grow tremendously. I wasn’t always an outgoing, confident person; on the contrary, I exhibited occasional codependence behaviour and even in the first two years of blogging that behaviour was present in most of my decisions. I always needed someone to do things with which is a beautiful thing, but it left me with a little space on my own and with no time to get to know myself and discover my real truth and purpose.
What I came to realise is that if you don’t know yourself well, you will be stuck in a place where you continuously put others in front of you, idealising them and doing more for them than yourself. One trip, in particular, was what tipped the scales and truly transformed and given me the strength I needed to get out my comfort zone and travel alone.
It was two years ago on a month-long trip through Asia with one of my best friends from childhood. Even though I love this girl, and she has been a big part of the first half of my life, I have learned that we are different people. It didn’t feel good to realise this, and it made us grow apart. We didn’t argue or anything but we soon realised that we don’t have a mutual understanding which resulted in our friendship dissolving.
There were other situations in my life where I travelled with people and didn’t feel nice during or after the trip, and I decided that I need to do something about it. I was at the place where I clutched to others to travel with me because I needed to get photos for my blog and Instagram, and I put them before myself, which never resulted in my happiness. I had to motivate these people to be my friends which is something I don’t want for myself. I would work so hard to organise a trip for another person that ended up not showing any gratitude towards me, which always ended up hurting my feelings.
It wasn’t their fault, but it was me offering a different vibe to the one that was truly me. This mindset resulted in me attracting situations in my life that didn’t feel right. I had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I’m so grateful for it because it gave me the strength to finally face my fear and go solo.
I finally took the plunge and booked myself on a two weeks long island hopping trip in Greece with no one but myself and my tripod. I didn’t plan anything but the accommodation and flights, and this trip truly changed my life. It was the first time where I felt connected to myself and who I am meant to be. It was the trip to kickstarted my growth on Instagram, and I felt good. I felt good about the decisions I made, about my activities and about the people I met. I even had a brief romance with a rather good looking Greek boy on the island of Paros. I felt high on life, and this newfound path that completed me like nothing else I’ve ever done before was something I knew I was meant to do.
A month after this solo trip, I packed up my tiny room in East London and decided to move to LA on a whim. I moved in with a girl I met on Instagram, and I remember standing at LAX with two big suitcases waiting for her and thinking she will not show up and guess what she doesn’t owe me anything so I can’t hold it against her. But she did show up and ended up being someone I consider a great friend for the rest of my life. I love her so much because she broke me out of my limiting beliefs and mindset that was stopping me from reaching another level. I spent the summer with her and made friends for life, lived real LA life and learned the meaning of an LA boy and a beach bum. It was the best summer of my life, and I will cherish it forever. It honestly changed my life.
I just returned from a solo trip to Amsterdam and Paris. I met a friend in Paris who helped me with photos, but in Amsterdam, I entirely relied on my tripod. I have to say that the past week helped get me to a separate path and even further allowed me to get to know myself and I’m no longer afraid to share my story. I’m not scared to say what’s on my mind, to follow my path and evolve. I’m not stuck, and I feel empowered. I know that those who are like me will also feel empowered to step out their comfort zones, embrace the unknown and get closer to their truth and purpose.
I live 80% off my life separated from my ego, but this is because I embraced the pain and eliminated everything and everyone that didn’t serve my higher purpose. It may sound selfish, but I know that I couldn’t be light and give love if I didn’t protect my energy and put in clear boundaries. Travelling alone was a big part of this realisation and way of my new life. It gave me the time to get to know myself better and to love myself that much more to be able to reach a place of self-assurance and confidence. I welcome and thrive in fear now wheres in the past I would avoid it by all means. Every time I embrace fear, I grow and reach the next level and guess what it feels freaking amazing.
I genuinely want the same for you. Stop going around in circles wishing others will change; the only thing you have to do is decide that you want to feel good and commit to it every day. Going solo abroad gave me this confidence to do more of what feels good and stand up for what truly fuels your soul with light.
Do you feel the same?