The Life Lesson I Learnt Whilst Travelling Solo

September 26, 2019

We all want to go travelling so that we can discover ourselves. Or at least that’s what the movies teach us. They teach us that the only way to become the real, enlightened version of yourself is by taking a thousand-mile hike across America or by travelling to the other ends of the earth on your own.

So, obviously, that is what 26-year-old Elisha in the midst of her mid-twenties crisis decided to do.

I took three weeks this summer to travel across some countries in Europe on my own. I had a couple of visits along the way from my boyfriend whilst in Barcelona and my friend, Fran, whilst in Italy, but other than their company for a limited time, the rest was spent on my own with my own thoughts.

If you want to know the reasons why I decided to take this trip on my own then feel free to read my other blog all about the reasons here. The Reason Why I’m Going Travelling On My Own

Elisha travelling solo in Sintra

So, what did I learn whilst travelling solo?

Obviously, there are a whole load of revelations that I made in regards to the logistics of travelling and that will be a totally separate post… But here are the surprising things that I learnt about myself in the midst of my trip.

I was SO looking forward to getting away from everything back home, relaxing, being really productive (write stories, make plans for my life etc.) And you know what, after about a day of worrying about how I could make this trip sort my life out, I decided to just CHILL TF OUT and let it run its course. So I officially went on vacation mode.

Sure, I made so many lists and used train-time to make plans and come up with ideas, but as soon as I was in a location I completely threw myself into sightseeing and food.

Elisha travelling solo in Florence

I stopped putting pressure on myself to have my life revelation and I just let the trip run its course. Inadvertently, I eventually realised I was learning without even noticing it.

I am fine at being on my own but only for a limited amount of time.

I am someone who takes themselves out for lunch, if nobody wants to see a show or go see a film at the cinema then I go by myself, if there’s an event happening and nobody is available then I will check it out solo. I find it very easy to be by myself.

And I guess I’m lucky in that way because I’m quite confident due to my drama background, so I can chat easily with strangers and am very content people watching and reading a book.

BUT.

There is a big difference between spending a day or a few hours by yourself to spending the majority of three weeks by yourself.

Elisha and her boyfriend in Barcelona on Montserrat mountain

The best moments on my trip were when I spent it in other people’s company. The days where I took a tour and met other people were the most fun I had. The people I shared drinks with in bars, the Skype sessions with my best friend whilst sat in a beach-side restaurant, climbing the Montserrat mountain in Barcelona with Richard and walking around scorching-hot Rome with Fran. Those are the moments that I remember fondly.

As I walked around the incredibly beautiful gardens of the Royal Alcázar of Seville, all I wanted was to be able to discuss it with someone and fan-girl all over the Game of Thrones film locations together.

I realised that I am good at being on my own. But not for long periods of time.

Travelling solo permanently is not something that I want to do.

I had been contemplating for a while cracking out my laptop, starting up a digital-based business and travelling the world as a digital nomad. It looks and sounds so appealing; having beach-side cafes as your office and travelling the world whilst working.

But I missed home so much. Three weeks actually ended up feeling VERY long. I guess this one goes hand in hand with my last point… I need company. I need my loved ones to feel happy and share in the awesome things I’m getting to experience. It’s not as fun doing them alone.

So, digital-nomad life… not for me. I’m happy taking my holidays and really appreciating the switch-off time.

Elisha travelling solo in Seville

I love my life as it is.

I missed everyone back home, I missed my own bed, I looked forward to getting back to work and going to my favourite coffee shops. I realised I am so lucky to have a life that I am excited to get back to.

I always thought I would be the nomadic type (since I’m a textbook Sagittarius) but I’m actually a home-bird. I guess that’s why I’ve ended up gravitating to living back in my hometown. I never thought it was how my life would turn out but I have found my happy place and it is my home.

So why am I chasing this other life that actually isn’t right for me? It is for others, but I am actually so content with where I am.

Life is about the people you love not about the bucket list you check off.

So, in conclusion, my travelling trip ended up teaching me a lot about myself and what I need to keep my soul happy. It’s not to say that I won’t go travelling solo again, but in future I think I’ll do it for shorter periods of time.

I need to stop chasing a dream that may have never been right for me in the first place. Travelling solo around the world is such a wonderful experience, but I’m happy to do it in small doses gradually over my lifetime with other people by my side. Where I am right now is exactly where I need and want to be.

Elisha sat on the grass in her hometown
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