Travelling alone was one of the best decisions I have ever made. For me it put a completely different perspective on travel & taught me more about myself than I ever thought would be possible!
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Deciding To Do It!
Until last year travelling alone is not really something I had ever thought about, until that was I split from my long-term boyfriend. We had travelled loads together & I had done loads before that – I still wanted to explore & even though the thought of going alone made me nervous it was also something completely new & exciting! We split in the June & I had a month booked off work over the Christmas period, there was no way I was just going to stay at home for a month when there was a whole world waiting for me to explore!
I sat & thought about where I would like to go, I had seen a lot of Asia before & although I loved it I really did want something different. I thought about doing the Trans Siberian Railway all the way from Moscow to Beijing but the Siberian winter just wasn’t quite calling me! I had been to South America before to Peru & Bolivia & at that time had really wanted to see more! Then there it was, less travelled than other South American countries, somewhere everyone was saying you needed to get to in the next 5 years – Colombia – that was it, that was where I was going!
Once I had decided I was going to go to Colombia, alone the next step was to tell my family & friends. Although I was nervous, I was also very excited about the whole thing but understandably those closest to me were more than a little concerned. Everyone had been so supportive around the months of my break up, always there making sure I was ok & now there I was declaring that I was off to do something where the quite clearly thought I would be in danger!
So the questions came “Is there not anyone else who wanted to go with you?” ” Can’t you wait until you meet someone else?” Will it be really dangerous?” ” Are there loads of drugs?” “Are you mad?” and just plain old “Why Colombia?” – If I’m completely honest similar questions had run through my head, but I’ve always been one for fighting your fear & living for the moment so I was going for it no matter what!
Arriving at Bogota airport at 3am, alone I started to think that maybe everyone was right, maybe I was crazy! I arrived safely at the Cranky Croc hostel, got a good nights sleep & the next day went down for breakfast, the hostel was fab & I instantly met loads of cool people & continued to do so throughout my trip! From Bogota I headed to Salento, in Colombia’s coffee region and stayed at the most incredible EcoLodge right in the middle of the jungle. Kasaguadua was run my an English guy & a Colombian guy who have spent the last 10 years or so building this amazing place, it was one of the best places I have ever stayed & the surrounding area was stunning – I was definitely falling for Colombia.
When arriving in Colombia I thought that I would also like to visit Ecaudor & the Galapagos Islands so I booked a return flight to Quito & planned on spending 8 days there, until that was my total love for Colombia kicked in. The more I travelled, the better it got, it just had the most amazing vibe! The scenery everywhere was just breathtaking, it was so untouched in comparison to some other countries I had travelled & there was so much to see. I travelled from Salento to Medellin then on to Cartagena, it literally blew my mind, I was having so much fun & the sense of freedom from travelling solo was immense! I was in Palomino on Colombia’s Caribbean coast the day before I was due to fly to Ecuador when I decided that I just couldn’t leave Colombia, I was having such a good time & loved it so much that the thought of leaving was just too much, so I cancelled my flight & continued on my Colombian journey heading back to Cartagena for New Year then right up to the beaches of Capurgana & Sapzurro & finally back down to Medellin for a few days before flying home.
Best Decision Ever
Travelling solo was one of the best things I have ever done. I met so many awesome people some of which I will remain friends with for life, saw so many amazing sights & had so much fun! It was totally worth breaking through all of the doubt & fear I had encountered beforehand as the end result was such a profound sense of freedom & independence, it has literally has changed me forever. I would seriously recommend to anyone thinking of doing it to just go for it, sometimes there are a million & one reasons why not to do something, especially if you have no-one to do it with. I will not lie travelling alone can be challenging but you will meet so many people along the way, it changes something within you & opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities!