I was really excited when my dear friend over at Fruits, Nuts and Running asked me to be a guest blogger on her blog this week. I am a huge fan of travel and the outdoors and have really been enjoying her posts over there. Be sure to check her out! Here’s the post I wrote for her 🙂
In 2008, I accomplished my longtime dream of becoming a college graduate. While in school, I saved my pennies wisely and planned a trip to Tibet after graduation. It was an adventure I had dreamed about for a long time. I did tons of research about traveling in the region and had everything in order. The only problem with my plan was I didn’t have anyone to go with me.
My boyfriend had no interest in traveling overseas, nor did I have any friends who had the money to take on such an adventure. However, I wasn’t about to let this stop me. I booked a solo ticket to Beijing, China and figured it would all work itself out in time. My plan was to start in Beijing and work my way to Lhasa, Tibet.
After casually announcing my trip plans to family and friends, my words were met with a lot of fear, anxiety, and concern. I listened to person after person express their shock and question whether international travel was the safe thing for a solo female to be doing. Deep down I knew they were saying these things out of genuine love and concern; however, it still made me sad for them and I refused to let their fears become mine.
A few days after graduation, my husband drove me to the airport and I boarded a flight flight to Beijing. Alone.
I spent the next 3 weeks having the time of my life. I visited the birthplace of The Dalai Lama and met his relatives who have kept the place going over the years. I hiked a portion of The Great Wall and had a blast shopping in Beijing’s famous Silk Market. My favorite experience was the week I spent on a guided vehicle tour of the Himalayas. Never in my life have I been surrounded by so much beauty and emptiness all at once. I felt surrounded by God.
I also made a bunch of friends on the trip and that’s the silver lining of solo travel. It forces you to make conversations with people you might not have otherwise interacted with. I made friends from all over the world, some of whom I still have contact with nearly 8 years later.
I look back on that trip now and I am so glad didn’t let the fear of doing it alone get in the way of going. I would have missed out on some of the greatest experiences of my life and I’m not sure another opportunity to take that trip would have presented itself. As George Addair once said, “Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” So travel often, friends. Travel with others. Travel alone. Just chase your dreams and travel!