First Things First: Traveling solo!
Hello!... This is the last post I write from Mexican lands, since today I’ll move indefinitely to Finland… shocking news!! Also, it’s the only post published on a day other than 9, needless to say, this moving process doesn’t even give me a break.
After all the previous warm-up announcements… hahahaha now it’s time to finally welcome you to #FIRSTTHINGSFIRST. You can already feel the December holiday vibes coming up… and surely you must be making plans with your pals or family to go on a trip. Perhaps at this point, you haven’t even booked a place because we ALL have a friend that always leaves our messages as “seen” on WhatsApp groups, and when we are about to book the hotel or get those plane tickets, the typical comments start arising: “oh, my cousin is getting married and I can’t make it on that date” or “what if we better go somewhere else”; “I hate the beach”, etc.
The point is that the odds that the plan will fail are high and you will be left doing nothing at the end because you never managed to agree on anything. But you don’t always have to depend on others to go on a trip, put together a cool plan and get out of your comfort zone.
Some years ago, I decided to travel on my own to the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the beginning, the idea of this adventure scared the **** out of me, because I kept hearing comments like: “you won’t meet anyone, why don’t you go with your friends?”; “Who are you going to live with?”; “aren’t you afraid that something happens to you for going on your own?”; “South America is dangerous for women”, etc. And as always, I didn’t give a crap about what they said, and I decided that I wanted to do that trip on my own terms: myself and my soul.
And that’s how I lived one of the most challenging experiences of my life that has definitely helped to become more independent and have more confidence in myself. During this trip I met incredible people like my friend Elisa aka “Romminator”, an American more Mexican than tacos al pastor. I had a thousand adventures with Elisa, going out to the “bowling” (night club in Argentinian) in Buenos Aires, partying in Mar del Plata all day and night and organizing Mexican parties in our flat in Alto Palermo.
And like Elisa, on the way I kept meeting people that to date I still keep in touch and whom marked my life in a very special and positive way. But of course not everything always came out perfect, and there were days in which I just wanted to give up because I got the typical homesickness and was dying to get in my mother’s arms. But at the end, everything was worth it, it literally was the trip of my life. So, if you’re about to live a life adventure on your own, I recommend you the following #FIRSTTHINGSFIRST that you should bear in mind:
Safety first… Literally your safety always comes first. During the planning and execution of your solo adventure, it is very important that you avoid putting yourself at any risky situation that compromises your physical or mental integrity. And if the foregoing is unavoidable, then in a very flight-attendant-giving-instructions-before-a-flight kind of way, “identify the emergency exits and fasten your seatbelt to enjoy your trip”. I recommend you take a look at the safety reviews of the places you’re going to visit and where you plan to stay, this will help prevent rather than regret.
Let life flow… No matter how much you want to plan every little detail of your trip, surely you won’t be able to fulfill the itinerary to the letter. Avoid getting frustrated if this happens and give yourself the chance to be surprised by life. You cannot control everything and everyone, and there will be things that don’t depend entirely on you for them to be carried out. Identify them and do not be traumatized if they don’t go as you pictured them in your head, because I assure you that everything will be even better.
Trust everyone and no one… You’ll meet all kinds of people, with good and bad intentions. Since you’re on your own, you’re more vulnerable to people wanting to take advantage of your situation. Be friendly and stay open to making friends, learn to say “no thanks” and not share every little detail of your life to someone you just met.
“Mijita, you’ll thank me later”… As my mom once told me, one day we will value all those pieces of advice we’re given since we were little. Although they seemed to be taken out of a broken record, they will be of use in life more than you can imagine, especially in your solo adventure. For example, do not trust strangers, take good care of your belongings, store your documents and valuable stuff in a safe place, don’t walk alone at night, etc… basically use your common sense. Put into practice all the good advice they give you so that your trip is amazing… especially what your mom tells you, since she has a supernatural power to predict when you’re about to fuck things up… hahaha
Expectations vs reality… be clear about the expectations of your trip, make them down-to-earth and be prepared to do everything by yourself and for yourself. On this trip, the only person that matters is yourself. Don’t be afraid to go to eat alone or even drink on your own, since these solo moments will raise your confidence levels and make you have clear expectations towards real life.
These are the most important #FIRSTTHINGSFIRST to travel solo than in bad company.
Don’t forget that the first 9 of every month there will be a new post. So now you now, if you want to keep reading this first-time experiences diary, remember: when was the last time you lived something for the first time? Until the next post… written from Finland!