This STORY was published a few years ago on my former blog: Blonde Gone Travel. Some things may be outdated.
Let’s be real: this blog wouldn’t be here without my Erasmus experience. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my 5 months in Barcelona. And I’m pretty sure I would not love traveling alone if I hadn’t had the chance to do it while I was in Spain.
I went out to see the world for the first time by myself in September 2013. It was the right place, the right time and the right people had crossed my path. Basically, the right things had happened and everything fell into place. It was now or never.
I was ready for a big change. And boy did I get one!
The (in)famous disease called wanderlust. Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t call wanderlust a disease. I call it a blessing.
I hadn’t heard of it before I actually started traveling. A lot of people want to see for themselves if they’ll get bitten, but I found the name for my virus a couple of months after I was “infected”.
Taking the step to travel alone has opened my eyes to a whole new world – literally and figuratively. I see a lot of things differently now. I’ve changed and – in my humble opinion – I think for the better. I’ve become more confident, I’ve learned about people and I know how to take care of myself (besides that I still can’t cook or wash my clothes, but I have survived until now, haven’t I?).
I have always been wary of people in general. I don’t trust people easily and, basically, I’m a total introvert. I’m not saying I’ve become an extrovert just because of traveling, but I don’t shun strangers as much as I used to. This is for a great part thanks to my student job as a promo girl in Belgium (a job in which you have to actively start talking to strangers). But trusting people was still incredible hard – unimaginable almost – to me.
But like I said, I met the right people that summer. They taught me about Couchsurfing (what it is and how to do it), but I also learned that they are the couchsurfers. And I liked these people, so who was to say that I wouldn’t like the others?
Can you imagine how big a step this was for me? To not just talk to strangers, but go live in a house with them for a couple of days, while I was all alone in a foreign country? It was hard, but I was lucky. I was lucky that my first experiences traveling alone and couchsurfing were as close to perfect as possible. This is when it happened: wanderlust.
I can’t get enough of traveling. I’ve fallen hard, I’m still falling – I love traveling alone.
How was your first time traveling alone? If you haven’t done it, would you ever?