What I Learnt From Two Months Solo Travel in Australia

Saturday, 7 July 2018

girl jumping on beach in Australia

I can't even begin to explain how good it feels to be sat down at my laptop, with an iced coffee in hand, typing out my first blog post of the last three months. For a little while, writing was starting to feel like a chore to me, but after a short break, it now feels like a luxury which I couldn't wait to get back to. I'm so happy to be back to blogging! I have so much content ready to go which I'm excited to share with all of you.

And why has it been so long since I last sat down to type out a post? Well, if you don't follow me on any social media and were lucky enough not to have been spammed daily by my photos and tweets, you may not know that I've spent the last 2 months on a solo travel adventure up the East Coast of Australia, and it was amazing! I learnt so much about myself, the people around me and the world, that had never previously crossed my mind, and I've come home a much happier and more relaxed person.

Most importantly, 2 months of travelling alone has shown me how capable I am at succeeding. Trust me, I know that this is the most cliche phrase in the book, but the term 'feel the fear and do it anyway' couldn't apply more to my trip. From the moment I booked my flights to Australia, right up to the moment that I hopped off the plane in Melbourne and started walking towards my first hostel of the trip, I was terrified. My flight or fight urges were constantly kicking in and telling me to just run back in the opposite direction, back to familiarity and what I knew.

The thing I quickly learnt about being on the other side of the world from everything and everyone you know, is that there's pretty much nowhere for you to run to, so you're forced to face any fears head on and just go with the flow. It sounds terrifying (and initially it was!) but putting myself in such an anxiety inducing situation actually forced me to do things I would never have the courage to do back home, and made me realise that so many of my anxieties could be beaten if I just tried hard enough to push through them and feel the fear. I actually ended up feeling less anxious and stressed over my 2 months in Australia than I ever had at home beforehand. Little things like sleeping in a room full of strangers, having to organise how to get from one place to another with no phone signal or convincing yourself to say yes to scary experiences soon becomes easier. Solo travel seems like an absolutely terrifying feat, and in the build up, it really is, but once you're out there and doing it you'll realise how capable you are.

Another stress I had before I went travelling was that I was going to get out to Australia and not meet a single person. I'd never stayed in a hostel before and was worried that it wouldn't be my type of atmosphere and that I'd find it really difficult to make any friends throughout my trip. The truth of the situation though, is that once you walk into the doors of a hostel, you're entering another world which operates on different rules to the one we're all used to. Travellers in hostels, and travellers in general, are determined to be your friend. There's none of the awkwardness that talking to strangers in usual day to day life usually offers.

You're just a bunch of people from all across the world, thrown together in the same room, united by a shared desire to explore. Relationships with other travellers are quick and intense, partly because none of you have anyone else to talk to, and partly because you skip so many stages in the usual friendship process. You can meet someone on the shuttle bus on your way to a hostel, and 2 hours later be sat together having dinner, talking about where you're from, where you're going and why you're here. You have incredible experiences together like watching a sunset, hiking a mountain or swimming in a waterfall, which instantly bring you closer by the sheer intensity of their beauty. It's such a weird dynamic, but one that I quickly fell in love with. I made so many wonderful friends throughout my trip who I now can't wait to visit all across the world.

I can't even begin to explain how happy I am that I decided to push myself and go on a solo travelling trip. The East Coast of Australia was a great place to do it, because so many people are travelling the exact same route as you, so you end up making friends who can accompany you further on your route. You're never really alone while you're travelling, and it's such a happy feeling. The things you see and people that you meet are unique experiences that you can't really explain to anyone else, and once you're home you feel like something is a little bit fuller inside of you, which wasn't quite there before.

I've got so many thoughts and tips gathered together from this trip, and I already can't wait to start planning my next adventure. Keep an eye on my blog over the next few weeks for city guides, do's and don't's and anecdotes from my Aus trip. If there's any content which you'd like to see in my upcoming posts, leave a comment!

"Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling at all."

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