I’ve been asked by Tim to do a guest post on his blog. I was really flattered, but at the same time, I’m my own biggest worst critic and a huge perfectionist (my moon position is in Virgo, if anyone wonders, I know you do, and whilst I’m at it my sun sign is in Aries and ascendent in Sagittarius, you can Google all about moon in Virgo and you’ll see what I’m trying to write, and if you have the same position as me, I know what you’re going through girlfriend).
But as with anything in life, you have to deal with the sides of yourself that you are not so fond of and at least try to get your shit together.
So my journey actually begins in Brisbane, Australia, where I stayed with my friends and hung out in 2.5 months, but as my tourist visa á la 3 months was starting to go out it was time for me to explore more of Aussie. Through my dad’s contacts he found a place for me in Sydney where I could stay, it was his best man’s sister place, which he grew up with as a youth. A Skype-call with my mum and the rest of the family back in Sweden, a phone call later to the lady in Sydney and everything was sorted out.
The world is my playground and I’m free to walk it however I like to.
On the 15th of January I flew to Sydney and I instantly clicked with their daughter Deanna. We spent most of our nights smoking and talking, and I said to here that after Sydney I’m gonna do a lot of solo-traveling.
If you’ve ever said this to someone who has a little bit of a skeptic you’ll know what kind of face-expression I saw.
”But aren’t you afraid?” ”What if something happens to you?” and yes it’s true, shit happens (as Tony Abbot said) but no, I’m not afraid (hearing the song I’m not afraid by Eminem, I know you are). The world is my playground and I’m free to walk it however I like to.
You learn a lot about yourself when you travel alone.
”But wouldn’t you like some company?” Yes, some company by some good friends would be appreciated, however, this was not a something necessary, cause I don’t mind being on my own, in fact I love being on my own. You learn a lot about yourself when you travel alone, what you need, and what you don’t need, what you like, and what you do not like, what you want from others, and what you want from yourself and the list goes on.
So I went to Melbourne and stayed at hostel, which was okay. It was my first hostel experience and unlike others who love the hostel experience because you get to connect with others people from around the world, to me it was kind of ”meh” not saying I hate people (well sometimes I do, but don’t we all?) but all of my focus was on myself and my experience traveling around.
So one of the days I booked one of my first tours where a guy comes and picks you up in a bus with others, we went out to the 12 Apostles and stopped along the way. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with doing these kinds of tours, but that tour was a huge reminder of how I like to do things my way and how I MUST do things my way, in order for me to be happy.
I need to be the one in charge of myself.
My friends usually joke around with me how I’m so harsh/ dominant, but it is literally my way or no way. I do not care about listening to others, I need to be the one in charge of myself and don’t deal well with others telling me what to do, but it also means a lot of freedom for me, which I value highly. With this new experience I decided that that was my first and last tour trip ever.
On the 28th of January I flew to Ayers rock and only booked a bus to get me from point A to B, and nothing else. I am so glad that I chose to do this, because I got to do my own thing, and did not have to share a glass of champagne at the Uluru-sunset watching place with the other jam-packed-tour-buses-people and then later take a photo with people who you don’t know posing a happy ”fake”-smile (no I’m not jelly, happy at that moment that I was by myself).
After my 2 days in Uluru it was time for me to go on my next adventure: NZ. I flew on the 30th of January, thinking that my flight connection was only going to be a couple of hours but I accidentally booked on the next day on the 31st (always check your calendar how many days there are in the month).
I wanted to reach the next step on my solo travel.
So there I was in Melbourne airport freezing my ass off, and I only had summer clothes with me (I could at least have packed a pair of jeans). From January 30th 5pm to January 31st 11pm …. Travelling isn’t always as fancy as many like to portrait, especially not when an old slimy grandpa from Hungary tells you the story of his life at 3:20am in the morning. I quote “I was 20 when I met my first love. The war had just started in Europe, and she was 17, from Sweden. If she would have spread her legs a little bit more, I would live in Sweden now instead of Australia”.
Oh how I sobbed on the airplane, I was going to miss Australia a lot… but anyways, I arrived in Auckland, tired as hell and haven’t slept for two days and check in at the hostel wasn’t until 2…
The day after when I managed to get a little bit of sleep I went out in Auckland a little bit to explore the city, but I had this idea in my head that I wanted to reach the next step on my solo travel.
So after 4 days in Auckland I went out to pick up my rented car (oh the panic that got to me when I saw that it was an automatic car and I’ve only been driving manuals, it’s not hard, it’s just that you’re so used to having 3 pedals and switching all the time).
I did this little mini-road trip on the north island of New Zealand, visited Hobbiton, Lake Taupo, Kerosene Creek, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Thermal Wonderland in Waiotapu.
I gained so much more confidence.
It was so uplifting doing this road trip all by myself (not to mention that the nature in NZ was like medicine for my soul). I gained so much more confidence, knowing that I can feel secure in my own skin, and manage all by myself, trust in myself, I knew that I was independent before, but this really proved to me that I’m capable of so much more.
One of my best moments was at Kerosene Creek, waking up in the morning and walking down the little path to this beautiful thermal creek out in the nature laying down and letting the warm water embrace me looking up at the sky and being so thankful for everything that mother earth has to offer and that I made it here all by myself.
I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way. – Frank Sinatra
Sandy is a 21 year old Swedish girl, idealistic, an optimist and a philosophical dreamer. She loves to travel and to explore, but at the same time longing for the day she can become a crazy cat lady. Sandy has a big sense of humor.
How do you think about Solo Female Travel? Is it something you would try or did you even already make your own experiences? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.
Universal Traveller – Luxury Adventure Travel