Being the baby in the family, I always have been well, babied. And, so I never really have been given the opportunity to travel by myself. Not only that, but financially, to be honest, I haven’t always had the luxury to travel by myself. And when I say travel by myself, I mean everything from taking the flight alone, to touring a city/country solo, and not just for one night, like a week of backpacking, or a two week vacay in Europe, whatever it is, just something where you can explore solo.
When I moved out to San Diego three years ago, that was my first really big independent move. Growing up, I have always been really close with my parents, brother, and sister. In fact, when I was a kid, I told my mom how I was going to go to college at the community college right down the street from our house, because I never wanted to leave home. And even when it came to college, I honestly, wasn’t interested in going somewhere where my parents couldn’t easily come visit. It was still a 4 ½-5 ½ hr drive depending on traffic from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to DePauw University in good ol’ Greencastle, Indiana, but it was the perfect distance where if I wanted to go home, or needed my parents they could easily come visit. Also, they barely missed a single soccer game, because I was within driving distance. It was the perfect taste of being off on my own. But, then after college, I moved to Chicago, and my parents were a 90min drive away. I liked it that way, but the truth was, I never saw myself in Chicago long term, and my mind, body, and soul craved the ocean and the sunshine. And the second I stepped on the beach in San Diego, my soul felt at home. I never felt more like myself, and I never felt more comfortable. I was surrounded by tons of like-minded individuals who loved health, fitness, and the outdoors.
So, I moved out to San Diego, with no job, no friends, and it was definitely the start of my true independence. I still see my family at least 2-3x a year, let’s be honest probably even 4-5x a year. It was a rocky start, I needed a job, and I wanted to make friends of course. But, within a few months, I was employed and started making friends. But, San Diego, somehow was familiar to me. I had visited there before, but it also was right in my comfort zone. It was my dream to live here.
This is the first photo I took when I moved to California.
I am turning 30 in 2 months, and well, I may have moved all the way across the country, but I have never truly vacationed by myself, or gone on a solo adventure. I’m a really social person, but I love being by myself too. I love to just be inside my head, write, explore, get my camera out and shoot photos, and just kind of do my thing. I got a little taste of a solo adventure when I went to Miami back in March. I went to Miami to visit a friend for her going away party. She had lived in Miami since college, and she was moving, and I had never been to the Miami before, so I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to go, because I had heard great things. Since, I was unemployed at the time, I decided to go for nearly a whole week, so that I could explore. She had to work, so it was perfect. I stayed with her, but for the most part, I went exploring during the day. It was so much fun! I just loved it.
That’s when I decided, I wanted to take a BIG solo trip to celebrate my 30th birthday and ring in this new decade. Sooooo much has happened in my 20’s.
- Living in Chicago with some of my best friends
- Started my own personal training business
- Dated a guy for 4 yrs and lived with him for 2yrs, and then broke up.
- Moved out to San Diego
- Got my dream job in Social Media
- Started two blogs (which is now merged into this one)
- Completed 4 marathons, qualified and ran the Boston marathon
- Completed 4 ironmans, 10 half ironmans
- Fell in love a few times
- Laid off twice from work
- Became an aunt
I learned that 20’s are a big decade for change, growth, growing pains, and discovering who you are and what you want.
I’m hoping that I can take all the things that I’ve learned in my 20’s and apply them to my 30’s and truly live the life that I want to live. So, I want to kick that off with pushing my limits and stepping outside of my comfort zone. It is time for a true solo adventure, and that is why I booked a 12 day trip to Thailand!!! I am soooo excited about it. It’s scary and thrilling and exciting all at the same time. I have traveled other countries plenty:
- Spain 5x
- Dominican Republic 2x
- Mexico 4x
- Costa Rica
- Panama 4x
- Canada (I lost count)
- British Virgin Islands (2x)
I speak Spanish pretty well, and so I honestly feel comfortable traveling to any Spanish speaking country. I wanted to go somewhere that would really challenge me. I had been looking for cool getaways on Groupon, when a trip to Thailand stood out to me. But, in addition to going somewhere I’d never been, and somewhere that had a culture I had never experienced, a language I didn’t speak, I wanted to do a trip where I could be active. I love hiking, backpacking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, running, you name it, and there is no other way I would want to see a country. Museums are cool and all, but I’d rather get outside and see the beauty of a country. And well, there is NO WAY I could go on a 12 day trip and not get some type of physical exercise, I would go crazy!!!
I had googled “solo adventure trips” and a National Geographic article came up with the top 5 outfitters/travel companies that offered trips that did not require you to have a partner to sign up with you. The one I landed on and loved the most was: Intrepid Travel. What I loved was not only that they offered TONS of Active trips full of lots of physical activity (you can even rank how physical you want your trip to be, and it sorts trips that way), but it was affordable, they organize everything, and you are with a group the whole time. It’s kind of like camp but in a foreign country. I’m excited to meet new people, and experience a new country and culture!
Some photos of some of the places I’m going to be visiting.
Chiang Mai – intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com
Side Note: I know there is a civil war that is about to break out any second there, and that there are lots of protests going on. I’m also aware that it’s dangerous to go anywhere alone there. My brother’s company has an office there, and he has been there a bunch, and has informed me of how to be safe, so don’t worry. I also will have a group leader the entire time, and the itinerary has already been created, and travel/sleep/activity/food arrangements have already been made, as well. All I have to do is show up, and keep my wits about me. :)
So, in two months, I take off to Thailand for a 12 day “solo” adventure with people I don’t know, in a country I don’t know, and where I don’t speak the language. I’m ready to learn, grow, and enjoy the beauty that Thailand has to offer.
If you are interested in learning more about the trip I’m going on and Intrepid Travel click here.
I haven’t even gone yet, and pretty much I already know I would recommend going on a solo adventure to everyone. I think it’s important for all of us to spend time getting to know ourselves, and feeling comfortable alone. It’s exciting, different, and I think helps us become confident in who we are and gives us a true sense of independence. It also helps us to trust ourselves. So, even if it’s a 4 day road trip in your own country, or a backpacking trip, or a crazy trip to a country you’ve never been to, do it! I didn’t get the chance to study abroad, and well that is one big solo adventure for most people. I wish more than anything I could go back and do that, but we unfortunately only get to keep moving forward, so I’m working on continuing to live the life of my dreams. Life is a journey, a learning process, and all we can do is try to keep making our lives better by learning from the past. It is never to late to be who you want to be, or do what you want to do.
So, go plan that solo adventure trip!
Life is either a daring adventure – or nothing.