Is solo traveling for me? 

There are a number of reasons why people chose to travel solo. It could be as simple as none of your friends want to go, or you just want to travel. It could be something more meaningful, like you want to go on a self discovery journey and find yourself, or prove to yourself you can do it. You might even be running away from something, or just want a change, something new or want the freedom. The reason you want to travel solo is yours. However you will undoubtedly grow as a person, learn so much about yourself and what your truly capable of. Traveling will open your eyes and can be one of the best life lessons you will ever receive.

My favorite part of solo traveling is the ultimate feeling of freedom, there is nobody to answer to but yourself. (that can be hard enough at times.) Every decision you make is yours, right or wrong everything is your choice. You chose when to move onto the next destination, when to go on an excursion, you decide if you want to lounge around on a beach or trek up a mountain. You chose when you want to be sociable or not. If you travel in a group, sometimes you need to compromise and even sacrifice what you want to do in favor of what the group wants. In groups trips are organised to accommodate you all, when your solo traveling you pick and chose when and what you want to do. Everybody in a group has an opinion and wants to do different things but when you’re a solo traveler it’s all on you.

A common misconception is traveling solo means being on your own all the time; it doesn’t. Even though you are solo and will be alone sometimes, you will come across people every single day. From the airport flying out to your destination, to the hostel or accommodation you’ve chose, to activities you do. You will meet a mixture of travelers and locals it’s just up to you who you want to make friends with; there is no obligation. Ask any solo traveler and they will tell you how easy it is to make friends traveling.

When going solo try staying at hostels instead of hotels and AirBnBs. Hostels are an unknown entity if you’v never stayed in one, you just don’t know what to expect or what goes on in them. You might think of a hostel as just a cheap place to sleep but they can become much more. Hostels are not hotels, so don’t expect hotel quality. Hostels are more communal, good to meet new people which is great for solo travelers, the best of friendships have been formed in hostels. What you can expect is shared spaces, social hubs, shared enmities and like minded people, there will undoubtedly be other solo travelers there too.

Hostels can become the cornerstone of your traveling experience; I know people who had a better time in a hostel and the people they shared it with rather than the place they were in (myself included). Sometimes the hostel can become the closest thing you have to a home and give you some much needed comfort. When arriving in a hostel be open minded, be receptive to what’ going on; anything and everything can go on in a hostel.

Solo traveling can be one of the best experiences of your life. It all depends on your attitude though.  It’s what you make of it. People will feed off your positive energy and vibe. Just be yourself because deep down who cares what people there think of you cause most likely you’ll never see them again. So get out there and make a fool out of yourself! Dance like there’s nobody watching! Most importantly be yourself, and remember that normal is boring! 

Here’s a couple tips for solo traveling:

  • Travel smart, act like you know what you’re doing even if you don’t.
  • Enjoy your travels, take your time and don’t get stressed over little things.
  • Pack light but practical (You’re carrying that backpack everywhere you go.)
  • Be open minded, adaptable, receptive to change and be willing to grow.
  • If things go wrong, look at it as part of an adventure not the end of the world.
  • Be prepared for anything to happen.
  • Put yourself out there to make friends. You don’t need to spill your life story just be open enough to make friends.
  • Don’t be a travel snob.
  • Keep important items like passports on you when traveling from one place to another.
  • When you’re feeling lonely, try to not let it take over you.
  • It’s your trip, you do what you want with it and how you want.

Are we “traveling to escape reality?”

As I continue my journey of traveling around the world I come across a question I am often asked by friends, family, and even strangers.  “What are you running from?”  Many think I travel to escape reality which is true.. But not the way you think.  You probably think of all the comments us frequent travelers have to hear all the time.  People who travel a lot are restless souls, never happy with what they have, not ready to settle down, afraid to make real life decisions and all that.  They think we are a bunch of unsatisfied, escapist runaways who put off living life until well, as long as possible.greece1

I do agree we travel to escape reality but why does that have to be bad thing?  I believe that nearly all of us are running but for many different reason.

Some are restless souls trying to find happiness in external things like adventure and experiences.  In other words, they’re trying to escape from who they are right now hoping to change.  Some are dreamers running away from society hoping to find an escape somewhere else or to find an answer telling them that life doesn’t have to be the way people force it to be.

Traveling is one thing you can do to free your mind from stress and other negative emotions.  But more than that, it gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself and things around you.  You may want to travel with your family, closest friends, or even alone. abu

For me I am traveling to escape the reality of being normal.  But what does that mean?  It means that I refuse to live the same routine day in and day out.  Society today wants us to work the same old 9 to 5 job, get married, buy a house, start a family, grow old and die…  For me I want to “do more than just exist.” When I’m old I want to look back at life and say man, what a ride that was.  I want people to look at my life and say “what an inspiration he was, he definitely lived a good life.”

My goal is to inspire as many people as possible and make an impact no matter how big or small.  For the longest time I wasn’t happy with myself.  Life was kicking my ass until one day I up and left.  I found through traveling it was easy to start over.  And that I did..  I made a life for myself worth waking up for every morning.  So in a sense you can say I “ranaway” or I was a “coward for not facing my problems” but I did it because I was tired of life beating me down and doing nothing about it.  I decided to make something of it.

So I guess you can say us travelers are “running away from reality” but in the end its not a bad thing.  If you are happy then who cares what you are doing.  The bottom-line is to live your life the way you want to because in the end all you have is yourself!!  Don’t be afraid to go against the waves, you might be surprised to what you find on the other side of it. Screenshot_20170703-204822.png

Belgium waffles, chocolate, and blackouts.. 

There are many things Belgium is known for like their mouthwatering waffles, delicious chocolate, and you can’t forget about the Belgium beers.  If theirs one thing they do right, it’s beer.  I’ve tried over 60+ different beers when I was there for 8 days and not a single one was bad! But you have to be careful because not only are they ridiculously delicious, they’re extremely strong which may lead blacking out, making bad decisions, and a massive hangover…

I was in Belgium on business for 8 days a couple months ago.  Which if you ever get the chance to go, do it!  Brussels, a city bursting with energy and is full of life! Bruges, a fairy-tale medieval town with jaw-dropping beautiful architecture and filled with so many canals that it’s referred to as the Venice of the north.  And then there is Ghent, a university town and cultural hub that is just filled with bars everywhere you look! What more could you ask for!? Right?! 

So as mentioned I was there on business and one of the locals I was working with recommended going to this street in Ghent that is just a mile long of bars.. A dream come true in my world.  I decided to check it out with a couple of co-workers while we were in Brussels.  After a 30 minute train ride and 15 minutes of walking we finally made it. It was everything I expected to be.. People just walking around drinking, bar after bar after bar, beautiful women, and half-priced drinks.  I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know where to start.. 

Untill I noticed a sign that said 1€ you call it till midnight. We walked in and immediately started double fisting with shots of tequila between.  Before you know it my one friend was on the DJ booth taking shots with a bunch of randoms, the other was on a barstool just Dabbing like no other, and I’m doing flaming shots and taking advantage of every minute of the happy hour. So once it hit midnight we proceeded to the next bar and the next and the next.  Next thing you know I’m at my sixth bar by myself dancing on bars and chanting whatever they were chanting, the other one was lost wondering around in the street, and the other got kicked out for face planting trying to open a door that wasn’t there… 

Eventually we all found eachother. All of trashed out of our minds wanting to just go home and sleep but the trains didn’t start running again till 4am and it was only 2am.  So we were in a pickle.  Pay 100+ euros for a taxi or stay and keep partying and catch the train.  So we did what we thought made sense.. Drink more and catch the train!  After that I couldn’t tell you much.  I don’t even know how I got on the train but we made it! 

Were on the train being drunk idiots, having a good time and before you know it all 3 of us were passed out cold.. Only a 30 minute train ride.. Not one of us woke up for 2 hours.  So it’s Friday morning people are trying to get to work and then there’s me.. Passed out taking up 3 seats, snoring, and drooling on some guy thats just to get to work.  Finally one of them wakes up and realizes it’s daylight and were passing stops that don’t seem familiar…

Were now in fucking Germany!!🇩🇪 15 stops pass where we were supposed to go. We all woke up confused as hell, still drunk, and we have everyone starring at us like were assholes..  Now there’s been times where I blacked out and woke up in a different city or state.. But never another country. Not sure if I should be proud or ashamed but it was one hell of a night! Just a little side note if you go to Belgium or Germany don’t try to keep up with the locals.. They’re fucking crazy and can drink like there’s no tomorrow! Oh and if you’re taking a train have a designated soberish drunk friend to stay up so you make it home! Just remember drink responsible and by responsible I mean don’t spill it! Cheers! 

Embrace your weirdness, be yourself!

Throughout life we all do some outrageous things just to fit in. Like wearing tight jeans to fit in with your skater friends or baggy clothes so the people who thought they were “gangsters” liked you or even acted a certain way around specific people. We change ourselves to be cool, popular, and known. You pretend to be something that isn’t really you. And for what? To have others accept you for who you truly aren’t…

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Don’t be scared to be yourself. Never change who you are so that other people will like you. In the end the only thing that matters is your happiness and inner peace. Who cares what people think about you. If they don’t accept you for who you are, then they truly aren’t your friend and don’t deserve you. You are unique! You were made the way you are for a reason.

Majority of my life I pretended to be something I’m not. Until one day I took a long hard look in the mirror and realized I’m not happy, this isn’t the real me. From that day on I started living my life how I wanted to. I didn’t give a damn what people had to say about me or who liked me or who didn’t… and honestly this is the happiest I’ve been my entire life. I love that I’m weird because being normal is just boring. Embracing it is what made me into the fun, wild, friendly, caring, and passionate human I am today.

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Be yourself and the right people will love you. The world is full of friends just dying to meet you. Embrace your weirdness, for it is what defines us. Its your life. Make the most of it. Dress however you want. Be as weird as possible. Do what makes you happy. Be crazy, be weird, don’t be afraid of what anybody thinks!