I want to talk about my experience of doing a solo holiday, the ups, the downs, and what it all taught me. A guy questioned me if I had friends since I was on a holiday by myself. I know what you’re thinking, what an asshole. I saw nothing wrong with going on a holiday by myself especially since I have been independent for so many other things. Yet, going on a holiday isn’t what society would consider something you do on your own. But when have I ever done what was typical?
At the start of the trip it was a little hard, my mind was getting the best of me and I could feel my body shake because there was a rush of thoughts in my brain and I did not stop to relax. My anxiety and feeling isolated was getting to me. I wondered if I would be able to make the 7 days?
I thought I was not going to be able to be on a holiday on my own; how could I have thought I could do this? What I didn’t say in my post about my first impressions was my first night “out” on my own.
I got all dresses up, I was using Tinder (don’t even) to try to meet people but they were of course not having it, all talk no action, and I was being very hold back (what’s the word?). But what I did was decide to go to the hostel bar get some food and then go to this place called the Apple. I wrote with an OTTD ” All I got is myself so I minest-well kill it” But as I went down there to sit in this large beer garden eating my food I got from one of the stands, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, hardly any one spoke English (which was fine), they all had there groups and a guy spilled his drink on my white pants. I went, ran, back to my room, changed, and I new I couldn’t let this anxiety of me win. So I left headed to the Apple place and it just got worst. I felt awkward and weird, like this little girl lost without her mom or something. I felt eyes on me, I felt like I didn’t belong. My anxiety was hitting me hard, I chugged my drink and again ran away back to the hostel. I had to stop for food because I was shaking and felt like I could fall over. When I got back I called my dad telling him what happen and how I couldn’t believe I could think I could do this.
I soon learned I was putting myself in the wrong situations and it wasn’t until I figured out the right places to go that my mind calmed down.
I realized being on my own didn’t mean I was lonely or alone; it just meant I could easily spend time with myself and enjoy myself. We spend so much time on our own doing things that are seen as what you should do on your own, like read a book, as an example. I personally feel like that’s all good and fun but to really get something for yourself you need to go out and be adventurous and let your wings soar. Become your own character, which I did when I told someone my name was Rogue (the main character’s name in my thesis).
Traveling by yourself you really begin to realize who you are, what you are capable of, and what matters and whom.
I try to limit my phone time, because I do spend a lot of time on my phone but I also wanted to share my experiences. I didn’t want to get wrapped in what others were doing, or doing without me. Instead, I would text my fam-fam sharing the little moments. I would sharing bits on social media, snapping what I would doing to my friends. There were moments when I put down the phone and didn’t share anything, allowing myself to just be in the moment.
I recommend for anyone especially young women to go on a trip by themselves. But to do that you not only have to be smart, strong, and independent. I am not saying at 16-19 to run off on your own because that isn’t the time to do it. You have to go through the woods before you climb the mountain.
Before we get into this next part- this blog is my words, my thoughts, my style, my travels and it will sometimes get personal and this trip had some personal aspects to it as well that I would like to share….
The trip was good for me because it prepared me for what was about to happen when I go back home. Before I left I had to pack up my things and was getting ready to move down to Gtown for the month. But, I still needed a few days in the city to work on my thesis so I was returning to an unorganized, all over the place situation. That did not help my overwhelming stress level that was already building because of what I am going to say….
If you read the last Bristol blog I did kind of say it. But, I’ll say it again, my life is in a transition.
I felt years ago that I had nothing left. I needed to find what was missing (ironically that’s the theme of my thesis). So I went off, asking strangers to become friends, loves, flings, family, memories. I went to a new place and made it my home. It was exciting yet so hard at the same time….
I spent two and half years avoiding the question when are you leaving. I was trying to stop the thoughts that I was temporary when I was right there. I was trying to form a life with people and a place that I did not grow up in. Basically, I was trying to find my place in a new world. Even though that new world felt like this was where I belonged, reality kept knocking.
And this is what can happen with a wanderlust lifestyle or moving yourself across the world to a new place. It has nothing to do with anyone or anything- it is because there is a metaphorical clock ticking off the time. For example, being asked to go on a trip with friends in October- would you be here for that?
I have many times have said I am happy, and I am. I have gotten to experience so much while in Ireland. I got to become part of a wonderful family, form relationships, create memories, and make an impact. But, the hardest thing I was trying to do was to just experience life as it happened, live a life but felt like so much was stopping that. Some others may have experienced it differently, but this is what I have felt/learned/experienced.
During my holiday I have taken the time to reflect on my time in Ireland. I’ve had many great times with people, with this place and I have so many great memories. Despite the bad/down days I love it here this is my home. However, even though it kills me to admit it I know what I want and I will not find it here. I’ve been running away for two years, trying to find what was missing, and it was the thing I was running from was what I needed, myself.