Before I went on exchange I asked some friends of mine some questions about solo traveling. You can read the piece here, and watch my video answering similar questions from halfway through the semester here. Now I am back in Canada and settled in and I want to share with you my answers to the questions I had before I left .
The first thing I was curious about before I left was expectations. Now finished exchange, I would say it exceeded my expectations. I had high expectations but I went in with an open mind and very much just went with the flow when I was there. I think this is a big part of why my trip exceeded expectations. This ties in to another question I had which was what was unexpected. I did not expect to be so easily able to go with the flow . I can be a bit of a control freak and I love when things are organized. However, when I was in Australia I was not as bothered by things being unorganized or spontaneous. Sounds cheesy but something about the fact that I was in freaking Australia relaxed me a little, for lack of better way of explaining it.
The next thing I had asked my friends about was fears before they left. My biggest fear before I left was feeling disconnected from back home being so far away. At points this was a bit tough, but it was nice that my family made an effort to keep me in the loop. I knew I would be sad to miss my sisters final year of highschool but she gave me so many updates I did not feel nearly as far away as physically I was.
As far as emotions when I was traveling by myself there was a mix. I went on a 4 day trip to brisbane completely by myself, and the first day I was actually quite lonely and upset. It was weird to have nobody to talk to and I did not like it. I learned here that solo traveling might not neccessarily be for me and I think in the future I am going to always try and have at least one travel buddy. That being said solo traveling is so different than traveling with family or friends and I think it is all about the trip length and the activities you have planned. An emotion if felt awesome was actually proud, I was and am proud of myself for what I overcame when in Australia. I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and speding a lot of time by myself both in Tasmania and Brisbane.
Before I went abroad I was really scareed to eat in a restaurant alone, and I am proud to say I did do this once. Maybe would not do it again but I’m proud of myself for facing the fear. I still do still believe though that eating alone is worst than doing other activities you might do traveling alone, that and and maybe trying to get a stranger to take a nice photo of you.
Hence why you master the art of taking a selfie solo traveling.
4 thoughts on “One more exchange post”
Solo traveling can often be a mix of excitement and fear! I too don’t like sitting at a restaurant table eating alone. It’s probably one of my least favorite things. Whenever I need to do that I usually bring along a good book or magazine and catch up on reading while waiting for my food to arrive. Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone!
Sounds like you learned a lot about you during this exchange to Australia. Travel is such a great tool to help you learn about likes and disliked as well as overcoming fears.
So very proud of you that you attempted several Solo type adventures from Eating Alone to taking a road trip to Brisbane. I know it can be a little weird but I find that if you travel solo, especially at your age, you should always stop by the local hostels. You don’t have to stay there but often they have tons of people of all ages from around the globe all wandering about and many are very easy to talk to and connect with. Darcee & I are probably a bit older than you but we LOVE checking out local hostels because they often have a bar inside that is open to the public and also they often organize tours where you can meet up with other solo travelers and voila..instant friends!
As for the eating alone, yeah that can seem a bit lonely. That is why I generally try to sit at the bar rather than a table. Tables can make you feel all alone on an island but at the bar, you can strike up a chat with the bartender or even the people next to you. We have met so many travelers and locals alike by opting for the bar rather than a table.
But either way…congrats on a great Bucket List Adventure. They say it is Better to have Lived for Just One Day but as a Lion rather than have Lived 1,000 days as a Lamb! You definitely lived like a Lioness!
Thanks for the advice! Hostels are a great way to meet people!
Such a great experience you’ve had from travelling abroad.