In late November I left New York and went on my first solo trip ever. Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia. Honestly, I wasn’t too worried about traveling on my own. But I would have felt much more prepared had I known…
That despite going solo, the actual moments of solitude nearly equal zero.
That at some points of your life you just smell bad and you have to deal with it and so do the people around you. And it’s fine.
That insect repellent is always, ALWAYS worth carrying around, just as well as a good book or a snack or two. But the repellent people…!! Even Dolly Alderton wrote about it.*
That sometimes, you have to break the bigger picture into small fractions, just to remain sane at the moment. Don’t try to get the distance. Zoom in. Focus on the ground you’re walking on right now.
That careful preparation can be useful – but it can also be utterly useless.
That doing things you SWORE you’d never do might be the only way how to cope with the lack of careful preparation.
And that the lack of careful preparation can actually make space for joy & creativity. (Coming to you from the ultimate goody-goody – trust me)
That remembering you’re solo implies you’re the only person responsible for yourself. For your wellbeing, your fuck-ups, your happiness. No matter how tempting it is to just go with the mainstream flow, you have to be comfortable ditching it anytime, should it compromise what you need.
That wearing the right shoes is crucial.
That looking forward to your everyday routine instead of dreading it might be a sign you’re doing something right.
That going big is often easier than going home. And that new people might be pure gold, but the support that has always been there is priceless.
…. that worrying is pointless because I’d been on a solo trip long before I stepped foot in that plane.