Yes, I did it! I did the thing scaring me the most, traveling by myself. It isn’t that bad. Actually, it is pretty awesome. But how come? When I was still in Amsterdam, I knew I’ll finish my studies at the end of January and before starting my first job I really wanted to go away and have a proper break. I just felt exhausted from studying and working the past few years. I wanted to go for a few weeks and I thought it is really hard to find a travel buddy especially in February.
Additionally, I heard already and read about lots of people travelling alone, so I thought I need to give it a try. Or rather, I wanted to have travelled at least one time in my life on my own. Hence, I just booked a flight to Bali at the beginning of December and this is how it all started.
I think, what scares you the most might also bring you most joy because there is some kind of excitement. I was super nervous before starting my trip to Bali. But so far, it has been amazing and incredible, and I haven’t regretted anything. I absolutely believe that everything turned out the way it supposed to be.
About solo traveling
You can do whatever you would like to do and that is the best. You are your own boss and you don’t have to make compromises. I know, sometimes it can be a bit lonely when there is no one around to instantly share your moments. But you know what, this is how you meet lots of new people. When traveling by yourself you are forced to speak up and to be open otherwise you will end up alone.
Only you to blame
What I’ve also learned by travelling by myself is, that you should always trust your gut feeling. That way you get yourself to know way better too. Moreover, you cannot blame someone else when something is going wrong, because there is only you. This also made me realize that some situation aren’t that bad actually. I try to stay more positive and to take it easy if something annoys me or is not going the way I wanted it to be.
Since arriving in Bali, it is no wonder that a (small) accident or rather injuries happened to me. In my first week, surfing afflicted quite much. I had for instance a really bad sunburn, two times a surfboard hit me on my neck and on my back, I had pain in my right leg and just felt exhausted from it.
But I had the hardest time when I twisted my ankle while walking on the path in Ubud. I stepped into a small hole and then it just happened. First I didn’t realize the pain but one hour later I figured something was wrong with my foot. I was still on my own but I managed and I’m really proud of that. Also I was so fortunate because a doctor was in my dorm and she treated me properly.
When you travel by yourself you also experience everything more intense. You have more time and I feel that your body has more resources to suck it all in because you are not distracted and totally present in the moment. For instance, when you are walking in the streets you can just walk and see your surroundings without being sidetracked. You can walk wherever you want and take as long as you want (or for example take as many photos as you want – like me) too. Another example is, being alone in a café/restaurant is a completely new experience for me. I love to observe people when I’m on my own. This is what I hardly do (or at least not as carefully as I want) when I’m with someone. It’s actually quite funny to see what all those people do and how they behave.
Meeting new people
It is extremely easy to meet new people in Bali because there are lots of solo travellers here. Especially when you are staying in a hostel there is a high chance that you just meet someone who wants to hang out. Sometimes you really need to choose to be alone.
Another tip, just be open and approach people. So far, I think all the people I spoke to were willing to start a conversation with me.
Do whatever and go with the flow
Since you are not committed to anyone, you can do whatever you want to. No one will blame you if you go to this café or hang out with those people. Also, you can make your own itinerary and do what makes you happy. What is more, it is also so nice while traveling to just go with the flow and to just be open to new people. You never know where it leads you and what happens next. For example, once I was just walking with a friend on a street and then we met a friend of hers and then we went with her and in the end we ended up at the beach in Canggu where we also met lots of new people.
Time to think
For me personally, my Bali trip is special and very important because it also gives me headspace to think and to figure out what I basically would like to do with my life after my university graduation. I’m quite calm in Bali because I need not worry about everyday life, which is far away anyways. The island also relaxes a lot due to the sun, the people around me and the activities I do.
I also strongly believe in the fact, that you are the creator of your own future. I have plenty of option to choose from at the moment. Therefore, it is totally up to me where I will go. I mean I’m aware of the fact that it will still take time and that basically only time will tell. But being away from Europe also makes me realize what and which places I actually miss.
Hence, there is only one way for me to figure out my future and that’s called try and error. I try to be open to new opportunities and take those which feel right. As a consequence, I’m definitely moving to Vienna and start my position as a tax consultant and see where it will lead me. The more I think about it the more excited I actually get so I think it was the right decision so far. (Also I already found my dream apartment, so I’m even more excited now.)
Lastly, I feel like my life is currently a collection of unexpected moments and I don’t know where it goes. Nevertheless, I think it is pretty exciting.