This Ireland-England-Spain before I’m 30 Trip o’Dreams has made me think a lot about traveling in general, and me traveling specifically. One of the things I’ve loved most about traveling has been meeting people and figuring out things about yourself, and it’s very different when you’re all alone as you do this. I think especially as a woman traveling alone.
For example, I feel brave and stupid all at the same time. The ‘if something happens’ looms over all my decisions. What if I lose an eye? Break a leg? Get mugged? But I am comforted by the fact that I speak the language of all three countries I’m traveling to on this adventure.
And things have come a long way since my Central American backpacking jaunt – I have my iphone? Hostels have wifi? Free computers? It’s pretty sweet that I can check in with my boyfriend and post to instagram. There’s bummers about that too…we come to the hostel after being on the bus and sight-seeing all day, and just like in America, head to the couch and check out facebook, I’m checking into places on Yelp, texting each other, etc.
I don’t think I’m a shy person, but traveling alone, I don’t really have the option. When I need to figure something out, I can’t brainstorm with someone about what to do, I have to actually ask people. Which as a woman, is a bit scary sometimes. It’s nice to be older and chubbier and perhaps dressed more modestly than my CA trip, as I haven’t once felt like an object of desire for any of the men here, and certainly not for the young crowd of travelers and revelers I’ve found in the Irish pubs.
So, no one to brainstorm with, no one to panic with when you realize you’ve left your meds on the plane, or the luggage is taking forever and you’re sure it’s never coming. No one to talk you out of a stupid purchase, or talk you into a great one.
And then there are the selfies. I have a general dislike for most selfies. I’ve unfriended or blocked people on instagram/facebook who have an endless parade of selfies that I can’t bite back my judgement about. But when you’re traveling alone, you want that picture of you in front of that dang castle. What’s a girl to do? Girl must selfie. poop.
But I’m getting over it with the help of my new friend Hope…she’s been traveling alone over a year and we’ve been working through ‘what do you do with your arms in a selfie? how do i get rid of sunglasses reflection? whats the proper face for ‘I’m in front of a really cool castle?”
And lastly, no one to save you from creepers….you must be strong all on your own! Slainte :)