As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” — Robin S. Sharma
FYI Just posted my Bali Villa Tour/ A Week in the Life on my channel 🙂
Soo originally, I had this whole sentimental blog post written out for you guys which I’ve been working on and editing for 3 and a half weeks talking about why I’m done with solo travel.
Anyways, I’m currently planning my next four or so trips so that’ll be fun… lol.
I had such a huge block preventing me from posting for the last few weeks because I’ve been so torn. I love traveling, but I’m also really tired of being on high-alert all the time, or being so responsible because of the situations I’m putting myself in, or paying double for accommodations because it’s only me, and spending so much money on food because I don’t have someone with my splitting my obnoxiously high bill. Okay, the last one could be preventable, but how on earth am I supposed to enjoy every vegan spot, PLUS everything on the menu if I don’t order everything?
My original blog post was essentially that I was going to give it all up blah blah blah, and find a home base (probably in Toronto or Costa Rica), and become a real adult. But then South Africa started calling me, and more so Colombia, then Mexico, and well… I’m weak.
For a little while, I had definitely grown accustomed to my new normal. A new city every week, flying, navigating airports, negotiating taxi prices without getting ripped off, communicating through language barriers, scouting for foreign vegan food, juggling reservations… all more familiar than the hustle and grind of getting to work, gyming, running errands, paying rent, and trying to stay afloat until the weekend rolls around.
One of the most important things I’ve read about traveling is that no matter where you go, how far you go, or how long you’re gone, you’re still bringing yourself with you. All the baggage– the good and the bad. Your issues don’t just magically disappear when you set off on your solo “Eat Pray Love” journey… well, they might (fun fact, I went to the healing center in Ubud that they filmed the Bali scene at). But, it does certainly broaden your perspective, if anything. It allows you to look at your issues in a different light. I’ve learned first hand that I can’t just run away from my life; all of the toxic patterns, successes, and downfalls I had at home, came with me here.
Although I wish it were all glamorous and novel-worthy (which the vast majority of the time it definitely is– hence the blog), sometimes I don’t know if the feeling of isolation ever goes away with longterm travel. Who knows, maybe I’m just not doing it right. I’ve made so many new friends, met so many really cool people, but the problem is that someone always leaves. Either I’m heading off to a new country/city, or they are. Some are in school abroad, or traveling for work, or completely, nomadic, or taking a gap year. Whatever the reason is, the time together is always short-lived. Then, there are the friends back home.
It gets a bit difficult to keep track of everything and stay in touch with everyone you care about. Before you know it, it’s just a constant cycle of new friends every 3 days or so. Of course, technology makes it easier to stay connected, at a certain point you just lose touch. You meet so many new people; making new friends at each stop. It’s a beautiful way to live, especially since there’s an insane amount of solo-travelers in the world. But I don’t think that meeting people was the problem, it was more the aspect of keeping people around, which was the issue.
The main reason that I really wanted to take a break from at least solo-travel was just that I needed some stability in my life. If I found a really awesome friend who traveled the same way I did and had nothing really tying them down to one spot, then I wouldn’t even think twice about continuing the journey! Less responsibility, more fun (if that’s even possible), and a deeper sense of security. I also wanted to focus on my love life. I know, gross. But it’s something that I’ve neglected for so long, and I mean… I’m in my 20s, I think it’s time that I actually start to make some more meaningful connections as opposed to running in the opposite direction of every boy that looks at me.
Dating and solo traveling can either be the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to a person or make them undateable.
Guess which one I’ve been?
Solo traveling is a whole new kind of independence– if you couldn’t already tell from the whole “being in a foreign country/ new city on your own, knowing no one and nothing”- thing. With solo travelers, life is always go-go-go, because there’s a massive world out there just waiting to be explored. And although I do consider myself a solo-traveler, I’m also a digital nomad as opposed to the latter. So, everywhere I go, I do rely on WIFI, but I mean who doesn’t? That makes me a little less flexible (pretend that having to stay in Bali or cities dispersed around Thailand for long periods of time is inflexible), than the typical solo-traveler. This also makes me a little less spontaneous, and also less inclined to meet my Tinder match in Nusa Penida right after we both swipe right.
I always try to put in into perspective when I weigh the pros and cons of me returning to Canada and starting the rest of my life vs continuing on with my nomadic life.
Going Home Pros:
- Can stay at home with my family and save a ton
- My parents are nice 🙂
- Free food + my dad is a vegan chef, so everybody wins
- Can also move to Toronto which is cool
- Toronto is very vegan and yogi friendly which is also cool
- Easier to teach yoga at a studio because I’m a citizen & have my certification
- Can grow my community of veggies and yogis at my base
- Get to cook and have tons of time to create and edit content
Going Home Cons
- Canada is cold
- Canada has snow
- I become a hermit for half of the year because I don’t want to be cold outside
- If I move to Toronto (which is the plan if I stay in Canada) I can’t save as much money, V expensive
- Yoga classes are super expensive
- I wouldn’t be traveling 😦
Nomad Life Cons
- Lack of stability if I don’t do it right/ stay in a place long enough to build community
- Don’t get to cook when I’m in most hostels 😦
- Vegan airplane food is gross 80% of the time
- Can be super unsustainable if I don’t plan ahead
- Lose touch with home friends and my travel friends are always… traveling
- On a different timezone than my family and friends
- WiFi is essential to my life if I wanna pay my bills
- Dating life = trash (but this is also a con in my home life so it must be me lol)
Nomad Life Pros
- I get to travel the world. (Obviously, I could just stop here, but let’s continue)
- Traveling yoga teachers are actually a thing, I just need to figure out how
- It is possible to meet incredible people that I would not have access to if I stayed in Ottawa and Toronto
- I don’t have to experience Winter if I don’t want to 🙂
- I get to eat out every day and not feel guilty because a girl’s gotta eat
- Beach, ocean?! Yes.
- Soooo many new vegan options abroad
- Try out new yoga studios and learn from amazing teachers
- Technically, I’m saving money in most situations due to not having reoccurring $5 million rent prices like I would if I were living in Toronto (exaggeration, but hardly)
- Gaining perspective, living the best Eat Pray Love life that I can
- Get to volunteer at animal sanctuaries around the world and see my fav animal babies 🙂
- Get lots of people interested in veganism when they find out I’m vegan!
It’s a rough life out there, I know.
But, it basically feels like the things that are holding me back the most while traveling, are still the areas where I feel like I was lacking the most at home. Having a stable community, having a home base, my love life, growing in my yoga career. I feel like it’s possible to have it all, and without the financial burden at the moment, I am continuously grateful that these are the only tough decisions I have to make. However, I know that if I go home, saving money would be a real stress focus for me, but it may also make it easier for me to establish myself as a well-rounded yoga teacher. Who knows, maybe I’m just looking to deep in this, but I mean who else is going to?! It’s my life.
It’s probably the silliest thing I’ve written about to date, but if it’s was big enough for me to contemplate ending my solo adventures forever, then it’s definitely worth me taking a closer look. How does one find the balance between wanting stable connections, building a community, dating, AND continue to travel at the same time? Is it possible, or am I just being naive to think that I could maybe have it all?
Guess we’ll find out soon enough.