Solo Travel Isn’t For the Faint of Heart.
I found out the hard way.
When I decided I wanted to go to Peru, the thought of going alone never once crossed my mind. I thought surely I’d find someone who would want to tag along. One friend expressed great interest and asked if she could join me. Yes!
I was thrilled. I had found a companion.
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t want to embark on this adventure alone. I knew it was gonna be a big trip. At least two weeks. Not something I wanted to do solo.
My friend and I got together one afternoon and planned out our trip. Places we wanted to see, dates we would go, where we would stay. We had the first whole week planned and decided to leave the second week open to random adventures!
It was shaping up to be a trip of a lifetime for me. For both of us actually.
Until this happened….
A week before we were to leave she sends me a flurry of messages telling me she can’t go, she’s sorry, and a whole bunch of other bullshit.
To say I was disappointed, confused and slightly furious is an understatement. I was fit to be tied.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to Peru alone.
And away I went.
I’ll admit, I was scared. Sure I’ve done a ton of traveling in the past but nothing quite like this. I was in a different country, alone, not knowing a single soul and still struggling to speak the language, Spanish.
Yup. I was terrified but determined to make the most of it.
Planes, trains and automobiles took me from Lima to the Nazca Lines to Cuzco to Machu Picchu, back to Cuzco, ending in Lima and then back home to Guatemala ( at the time of me writing this I’m 3 days away from returning home to Guatemala).
And it didn’t come without glitches. Many glitches. I got sick my first week and cancelled one part of my trip. A big part. A flight to Lake Titicaca and 4 days at a homestay on a floating island. My bank account took a big hit on that one.
I rearranged Airbnbs, cancelled and rebooked many flights, frantically trying to figure out train and plane schedules.
Yup. It was glitch after glitch.
I struggled a bit with the altitude but eventually acclimatized. For the first week I barely ate or slept. I had a permanent headache. And I was alone. And realizing I wasn’t liking it one single bit.
Fuck this shit I’m going home
I had many moments where I wanted to pack it all in and say fuck this I’m done. One moment was literally only two days in.
There were many moments I wanted to scream and cry. I didn’t but God knows how I wanted to cry.
There were many times I felt like a total loser.
And there were many times I wish I had my mom so I could call her and she could make things all better for me.
This was tough for me on many levels.
First and foremost, I have no sense of direction and get lost alot. Google maps has proven many times to suck and get me even more lost. #fuckyougooglemaps
So because of this, I get anxiety. I’m afraid to go out alone, though I do it, because I know I’ll get lost. I also know I’ll eventually find my way back to where I’m supposed to be but my anxiety at the time doesn’t know this.
Also because of this I won’t stray too far from my airbnb if I don’t have to. That makes for some awfully boring nights.
Secondly, I’m also very chatty and very sociable but awkwardly shy if that makes any sense at all. I want to talk to people but not too many people. I want to make new friends, solo traveler friends, but I don’t know how.
I want to have someone to chat with over dinner or a hike about crazy traveling adventures but I don’t have anyone. It makes for a very lonely time.
Third. I’m a Libra. I have a really hard time making decisions. It’s always just so much nicer when someone makes decisions for me. Not always, but sometimes. This one I can’t explain. It just is.
And lastly, it’s just really nice to have company. Someone to share moments with. Someone to go places with. Someone to laugh with and also to share in some of the more breathtaking things I got to experience in Peru.
This was a big thing for me, the loneliness part. I spent an awful lot of time in my own head. Evaluating my life, where I see myself in 5 years, where I see my online business by the end of the year, what do I need to do, are there still broken pieces of me that need fixing…?
This went on and on.
I meditated a lot. I journaled a lot. I slept a lot. I watched Netflix and YouTube.
And I did also heal some broken pieces. ❤️
I learned a lot about myself.
But most importantly, I learned that I am a strong woman, no matter how weak I think I am sometimes.
I learned that even though I am strong and independent, I miss companionship and hope to have a special someone in my life one day again.
I learned that sometimes you have to take a step back from life to truly understand it.
I learned that I have a lot of growing to do still and it took a solo trip like this for me to realize that.
I also learned that I suck at being a solo traveler and hope to not do much more of that in the future.
Kudos to all solo travelers
I know so many people, male and female, who love traveling solo. Kudos to all of you. You are the true badasses!
I’m definitely not cut out for it. It’s not to say I won’t do it again I just hope not to.
Honestly, I’m just so much happier with a traveling partner.
But all in all, and complaining and whining aside, I’m glad I came to Peru.
I saw spectacular things, spent nights in magical places, pet llamas, had condors fly inches from my head and finally got to experience a train ride!! ☺
And I found myself. Sort of.
It definitely was the trip of a lifetime.
Peace and love
xo iva xo