“Wow, you are so brave”, “I could never do that”, “Are you sure you want to go?”, “Why are you going on your own?” “Be careful, won’t you?”. These are all responses I had when I told people that I was quitting my job as a Deputy Editor of two magazines to go to South East Asia on my own for six months. This blog post is about why I quit my job to go solo travelling, which I thought might be of interest to others thinking of doing the same thing but not sure whether or not to take the plunge.
It is true that if you spoke to me about solo travelling a couple of years ago, I would have looked at other female solo travellers and thought: “I could never do that”. The thought of travelling alone when you could go with someone else mystified and scared me, and I just thought that I was not “that type” of person that could travel alone. I don’t know what changed, I think it was going to Bali with my friend where we met lots of female solo travellers, plus I fell in love with Bali. I wanted to see more places like this, and I promised that I would see it on my own. It is true that I did ask one of my friends to come with me, but when she said that she wanted to focus instead on saving for a house, I resolved that I would not let it stop me. In hindsight I am glad that she said no, because I think travelling on your own is so much more of a challenge and I am proud of myself that I managed it. I finally realised that I was “the type” who could be a solo female traveller, although I probably always was – I just didn’t know it yet. But also, I think the main thing to remember is that, yeah sure it’s called solo travelling, but you are hardly ever on your own unless you choose to be.
Some other posts you may be interested in reading:
- What clothes to pack for backpacking – the ultimate guide for girls
- Travelling South East Asia during Corona Virus (COVID-19)
- Backpacking photo diary: Bangkok, Sukhothai & Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Making it home from Asia during Coronavirus
The three currencies of life: time, money and energy
I also came across a YouTube video by travel blogger Clark Kegley where he discussed the three currencies of life: time, energy and money. He split life up into three stages: being young, being an adult and being old. He explained how when you pass into each different phase, the amount of time, energy and money that you have fluctuates. When you are young you have a lot of time, a lot of energy but not a lot of money, when you are an adult you have a lot of money, a lot of energy but not a lot of time. And finally, when you are old you have a lot of money, a lot of time but not much energy. It illustrated to me that even though I will have more money as I get older, I will have less time and less energy respectively. This really clarified for me that if there was any time to go, it was now. You can see the video below, and although it is from 2016 it is really interesting.
I loved my job working as a Deputy Editor and I was lucky to work with two Editors who I respected and got on with. But I felt like I was stagnating there, I couldn’t see what my next move within the company would be, especially when I applied for an Editor position and didn’t get it. What I found vexing was that the company could not provide me with a satisfactory reason for why I was “not ready” for the position. In all honesty, if I had got the Editor role then I would have stayed. But this made my mind up for me.
For me, it was now or never and I thought that I should go while I was still young and had no mortgage to pay, because of course as soon as you have a mortgage your opportunity to go travelling long term vanishes, unless, of course, you are loaded.
It was my final days at work when I started to panic. Was I making the right decision? I had quit my job and told all my friends I was going, so now I actually had to go, there was no turning back! But I still got on that plane and flew to Bangkok and guess what? I never regretted it for a second!