In 1999, it began...that yearning, to go out there and explore. I had just finished University, and now had some new found freedom available to me. I could feel it, this fiery energy within, and a quiet voice that was getting louder by the day to travel and experience something new.
My first reaction back then, was that I needed to find someone to go with. It seemed the norm or right thing to do. So I asked around, here and there. Some people said maybe, others said no I can't, or i'm not ready and broke. There were plenty of excuses. Then there were the ones that gave me hope and said YES, ill let you know soon, please WAIT! Of all the answers, the last one, affected me the most. I waited one month, until it occurred to me, that I actually didn't have to. I could go alone. That this journey was not meant for others but for me, and that I shouldn't wait any longer.
That was the last time I waited. Within weeks of this decision I had bought flights and coordinated working Visa's to spend one year in Australia, solo. Leaving with $200 dollars in my pocket, and a open mind hungry for adventure. This was my first solo trip and a life changer and certainly wasn't my last. Becoming an advocate for listening to that inner voice in following my bliss to create my unique story.
For me, solo traveling has been a a priceless education. Giving me that chance to truly connect with myself, others and everything that surrounds me. Learning first hand about other cultures, histories, geography, and humanities of the world on a daily basis has been invaluable experience to have lived.
I can't recommend it enough. It will change you, knock you your ass, and bring you back up. There will be tears, pain and yes laughter, lots of it. Sure you may go out there alone, but you won't be solo for long. This is coming from numerous trips taken since. There are always plenty of people and things out there to connect with. The good thing, is, there is a choice. You hold the key to that master plan and have the freedom to do what you want, when you want, with whomever you want and for me, this is golden.
This photo was taken by Jaime Armengol, a fellow solo traveler and photographer that I had met earlier that morning. Captured while we were on a golden flaneur stroll along the Malecon in Havana. It was November 26th, and one of my last days in Cuba. A day that has now become significant date in history as Cuba announced the passing of Fidel Castro that evening.
It is this moment and so many more that I am happy that I have lived. Make your mark and don't wait....