It's a rainy morning here in Bali and I'm in bed trying to get my thoughts and experiences captured in writing before they slip away from memory.
I'm halfway through my vacation and I'm trying to enjoy every moment because this experience has been a privilege.
I've been enjoying my time for the most part but I've had to relearn how to be a solo traveler.
|Solo photo in Singapore |
It's been almost two years since I travelled alone and it really requires one to have a shift of mindsets and get comfortable with being alone.
I've had to slow my pace, be more reflective, process experiences differently and just be more about self- if that makes sense. I don't know how to explain but constantly being around people and engaging in conversation so frequently for the past however long has made me forget how to engage with me.
Living in Abu Dhabi prepared me for solo traveling. I lived alone and spent a lot of time in my apartment. It was hard at first but I finally got comfortable with being on my own and entertaining myself. When the time came for me to take my first solo trip, it seemed really easy.
If I met people and hung out with them- awesome, if not I was cool too. I'm usually good at meeting people and I will literally talk to anyone and everyone. I am super open to making connections with people so it wasn't hard to fill the gaps of time with instant friends.
Moving back to New York has been the total opposite. I'm always around my mom and friends in a familiar environment.
This solo adventure doesn't seem as easy, particularly here in Bali. There have been moments where I felt really alone despite the rush of people all around me. It could have something to do with there being so many families and couples around me. I feel as though Bali draws that sort of crowd. I've encountered fewer solo travelers here which I hadn't expected.
I don't remember feeling this way in Singapore or even the few hours I spent in London. It's been a totally different experience from my travels to Holland, Thailand and Vietnam.
Thank god for my driver who picked me up from the airport. If it wasn't for him and a really nice couple I met at my hotel and breakfasted with on two occasions, my conversations in Bali would be limited to the ones with myself, people trying to get me to take their taxis, ordering food and telling vendors in the market "no thank you". Lol.
Don't pretend I'm the only one who has conversations with herself.
Thankfully, I'm getting back to being comfortable and it really isn't as bad as it sounds. I'm using my alone time for relaxing, getting massages, reading and working on blog posts. I have a cooking class scheduled and I'm really looking forward to that.
I'm getting my life together mentally and thinking about my plans for the rest of the summer.
My biggest tip for anyone who wants to embark on a solo trip is to find ways to keep yourself entertained. Bring a journal, book or iPad when you go out.
Take time to relax and chill.
I feel more anxious about being alone when I'm constantly on the go and having experience overload because I feel as though I should have someone to share everything with.
When my mind is relaxed and my thoughts have slowed down I actually find that I enjoy being alone. I get to just chill and watch life unfolding.
There's a certain magic in experiencing things in your own time and on your own terms.