When you finally decide to step out of your comfort zone, and travel abroad alone, you’re going to be so happy, and proud, but there’s one thing you should know.
When you travel abroad alone, you are going to want to make international friends, and meet people that speak the language and know the culture.
So, while you’re alone in a foreign country, that’s what you do.
That’s what’s on your mind because you don’t want to be alone all the time, so you start making friends to explore with, learn the language, and make amazing international connections.
And, in the moment, it’s all amazing and great fun, but soon it’s going to be time to say bye to that amazing country and those awesome new friends. And, that’s when the difficult part begins.
. . .
The first hardest part is actually saying bye to your amazing new friends.
The second hardest part is leaving a new country and culture that you started adapting to and loving so much.
The third, and final hardest part is going home, and getting used to seeing everything differently.
. . .
While traveling abroad alone, you learn more about yourself, you make new friendships and you learn to live differently in another country.
And, although all these things are awesome, the worst part is coming back to your home country because your perspective has changed, and sometimes it can feel weird to go back to your old ways. Especially when you had such a good experience abroad; you don’t want to lose this amazing, new version of yourself.
. . .
So, if you ever feel lost after a trip abroad:
Remember that stepping out of your comfort zone and changing your perspective is what it takes to move forward, and change your life. And, now you have friends in another country that you can visit whenever you feel homesick for that country.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post encourages you to step out of your comfort zone, and change your perspective on the world (don’t be afraid of doing something different!).
Look at nature. The mountains, trees, ocean, are not perfect. But, they are beautiful! We look at them in awe, of their natural beauty! Nature’s simplicity, is awesome, and, perfect!
We don’t ask much of it, we don’t complain about it, and, yet we stare at it, in awe of it’s perfection. Even if we notice it’s faults, we choose to look at it’s perfect simplicity and peacefulness instead.
So, why can’t we do that with people (especially ourselves)?
We are always hating on ourselves and all our flaws, and, we can’t stop judging others, but, when we look at nature, we see beauty, and, perfection. I think it’s time we start noticing our flaws as perfect personality traits that make us amazing!
If we can find beauty in nature, we can definitely find beauty in people!
What if your greatest fear is actually what you’re meant to do in life?
. . .
Think about that! Think about the thing you refuse to conquer because it scares you too much. Now, think about what would happen if you conquered that fear.
What if conquering that fear is the breakthrough you need to accomplish your dreams? What if once you conquer this fear you will start to see your life change? . . . I know from experience that conquering your greatest fear can genuinely change your life. I used to be so scared to speak in front of big groups of people (public speaking – my biggest fear ever since I can remember). But, ever since I started solo traveling abroad, I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone so much everyday. I’ve been doing things (like speaking to strangers) that I know past me would never even dare trying because she was too scared. And, now that I’ve started stepping out of my comfort zone, I’ve realized that it feels so amazing when you conquer a fear. I feel like I can do anything! When I think about past me and how fearful I was, I can’t believe how far I’ve come. And, all it took was for me to take one big, scary step into the unknown, and then, everything fell into place from there. Once I decided to take the leap, and travel abroad alone, I realized that if I could gain enough courage to solo travel to foreign countries surrounded by strangers that spoke a different language, I could do anything. . . . In other words, the day I decided to solo travel abroad is also the day that I started conquering my fears (like speaking to strangers in a foreign language), and that’s when everything changed (my mindset, confidence, etc.) My confidence has risen so much so that I don’t even recognize that fearful girl that I used to be, and it feels amazing to have no fears. I say: “No fears” because now, when something scares me, I have enough confidence to make me want to conquer that fear because I know it will be so worth it. It will give me even more confidence and make me feel so accomplished. . . .
So, if there’s something that really scares you, I recommend just going for it. You never know what will happen. Conquering that fear could lead you to your life purpose!
What if your greatest fear could actually become your life purpose?
…So, this post is from 5 months ago when I lived in Chile… I finally decided to share it because it’s from the day I decided to take a spontaneous trip from my “hometown (Quillota)” to the town of Los Angeles.
So, it all started March 9, 2018 at 8pm when I decided to start exploring more of this beautiful country. So, I got up and headed to the bus station in Quillota, where I would take the 2 hour bus ride to Santiago.
I arrived in Santiago at 10pm, and waited to take the 11pm bus to Los Angeles.
That means I arrived in Los Angeles around 5am, and up to this time I had not thought of what I’d do when I arrived that early (I thought I wouldn’t arrive until at least mid-day), but I was still on a high from spontaneously deciding to take this trip, so I didn’t think much about it.
. . .
So, I arrived at the Los Angeles bus terminal at 5am, and nothing around was open.
So, I decided to copy the people around me (the 5 other people in the bus station – a family of 3, a women with a lot of bags and suitcases, and a business man).
So, I found a bench in the terminal, put my headphones on, and laid down to take a nap.
But, I wasn’t really tired, so I just listened to my music, and tried to keep myself warm – because at 5am in Chile, the temperature drops down below 10 degrees…It goes from 35 to below 10; which is a pretty drastic difference, and makes one feel the cold (so, I couldn’t fall asleep because I couldn’t stop shivering).
When I saw other buses and people arriving in the terminal, I realized I had been laying on the bench for at least 2 hours, and let me tell you, it wasn’t very comfortable.
As soon as I saw a small glimpse of sunlight through the bus terminal window, I got up and ventured out into town, and searched for breakfast. But, since it was barely 8am, (in Chile grocery stores don’t open until at least 10am), I couldn’t get breakfast for another 2 hours.
So, there I was, in an unknown town with nothing to do but explore, and watch the sun rise(which turned out to be pretty amazing).
And, that’s exactly what I did – I walked from one end of town to the other (it wasn’t a very big town), enjoying this exciting, and spontaneous adventure to Los Angeles, Chile.
. . .
Although, the walk was great, and the sunrise was beautiful, I was still a little cold (I was used to the 35 degree heat), and my feet were starting to hurt (really bad), I continued to explore this town at dawn (the beauty of a new town, this early, helped me forget the cold, and the pain).
So, with nothing open, and being a small town, the streets were very quiet, which felt weird (even in Quillota there’s noise at night), but it was kinda nice and peaceful to experience a small town in another country, this early in the morning.
. . .
After ~2 hours of exploring, just aimlessly walking around, and watching the sunrise (and getting kicked out of a hotel – …see below…), I found the first grocery store to open, and immediately went inside.
But, before even looking for breakfast, I just stood inside realizing how cold I’d actually gotten – being outside in below 10 degree weather since 4am I’d started to adjust.
I eventually started walking down the isles of the grocery store thinking of what I wanted for breakfast… (I had no idea, so, I ended up just buying some staple foods like: bread, manjar, bananas, water, and some Chilean treats…).
But, as I was walking to the elevator to leave, the front desk agents saw me and thought I was being suspicious. So, after they questioned me, I told them I was leaving, and that I just wanted to see the view. But, they still called their manager, which is when I realized I could’ve just asked before I went up (but from what other people said, it seemed like it was ok). After they called their manager, I patiently waited, as to not cause any more trouble, and then they escorted me out (I felt weird in the moment, but at least I got a story out of it from my trip to Los Angeles, Chile when I felt like a little rebel :D).
. . .
With breakfast purchased, I headed back outside.
It was now past 10:30am, so it was warming up with the sun, and people were waking up and going about their day.
As I was standing outside of the grocery store enjoying the warmth of the sun, my feet still screaming in pain, I set out to find a park (or plaza, as they call it in Chile) to sit down and eat my breakfast. And, although I had passed many during my walk this morning, it took me a while to find it again.
I eventually found a beautiful plaza where I finally sat down.
While warming up under the sun and eating breakfast, I just watched people go about their day. It was interesting to just sit there and watch people in this new, small town because for a moment, I forgot I was in Chile. It all just seemed and felt normal.
After I had warmed up and ate breakfast, I connected to the internet (in Chile every town has a plaza with free wifi). I took some pictures of the sunrise and posted them on Instagram, texted my host family to let them know I made it, and texted my family back home to show them where I was.
After finishing breakfast, and checking social media, I ventured out again.
This time I went to find the mall, and coffee.
. . .
A few minutes later, I walked into the mall (it was bigger than you’d expect for a small town), and immediately headed to the food court to find coffee (I was tired from only 3 hours of sleep on the bus).
I got a great cup of coffee and did some more people watching in the mall to see if the plaza was only a similar feeling because I was tired, but this also felt very normal (maybe even more).
By this time it was ~11am, so there were more people around, and more places open, and everything just seemed normal (I barely felt like I was in Chile – until I heard people speaking Spanish…).
Once I finished my coffee, I headed back to the bus terminal because my goal when coming to Los Angeles was to go to Saltos del Laja (the Niagara falls of Chile – that’s how my hostfamily explained it to me), which is 30mins from Los Angeles.
At 13:00, I finally got on the bus to Saltos del Laja (my bucket list item was about to be checked off!).
. . .
30 minutes later, I arrived in Saltos del Laja.
The falls were visible from the highway, but to get to the base of them, I had to climb down a hill. And, I made it to the falls (bucket list item: check).
The falls were incredible, and I couldn’t believe I actually made it! (the long journey, and little bit of pain & cold were SOOOOO worth it)! If you’re ever in Chile, I really recommend going to Saltos del Laja!
When I got to the base of the falls, I just sat down staring at the falls eating my last banana from breakfast.
I think I must’ve sat there staring at the falls for a good hour because when I left the falls I was a little damp from the mist coming off them, and a big group of tourists were making their descent to the falls.
After saying “Hi!” to the English speaking tourists (it was nice to hear English :D), I decided it was time to get up, and check out the vendor shops I passed on my way down the hill. (I ended just buying a sticker of the falls, and a Chilean bracelet).
. . .
It was a few minutes past 16:00 when I arrived back in Los Angeles, and since the next bus back to Santiago wasn’t until 18:00, I decided to go explore a little more and buy a / some snacks for the bus ride back.
. . .
That night/morning, I arrived in Santiago SO LATE/EARLY (1am), and the next bus to Quillota didn’t leave until 7am (this is when the spontaneous high started wearing-off…I just wanted to get back now that I checked the falls off my bucket list…I was tired…to say the least).
So, what could I do for ~6 hours, this early in the morning in Santiago?
Yup, you guessed it, I walk around and explored Santiago at night/early morning.
My feet were still in a little pain from Los Angeles walking, but I couldn’t stay at the bus terminal because they were closed, and taxi drivers were insisting on driving me to a hotel (and I think they were raising the price). So, because I didn’t want to pay for a hotel room for less than 6 hours, I told them I would just walk to a hotel (that was my “little white lie” for the day…my bad – But, I just wanted them to stop asking me where I was going…so I left). Spoiler alert: I didn’t walk to a hotel!
Luckily for me, Santiago is still pretty alive at night, so I wasn’t the only person in the streets (let alone the only traveler / backpacker in the streets). While walking around for a couple of hours enjoying the Santiago nightlife, I only found one corner store open (where I just bought a bottle of water for my night exploring in Santiago), not much else was open. So, guess what I did next… You’ll literally never guess…
. . .
While exploring, and discovering a lot of landmarks in Santiago, I found a Starbucks!
…It wasn’t open, but…
I sat down outside of it, and used the internet for a few hours (at least it’s not as cold in Santiago, so I didn’t freeze sitting there).
And, I was only an hour away from the bus terminal I had to go to, to take the bus to Quillota in a few hours.
So, I sat there (at this Starbucks on a random street in Santiago) for a couple of hours (from ~3am to ~5am) using the internet (checking social media), thinking about the past 24 hour adventure. And, I started writing this story because this was a very crazy, spontaneous, and memorable experience.
If I had planned this trip, Iprobably would’ve stayed at a hotel somewhere, and had a better itinerary with more stops.
But, it was so last minute that I literally just put some stuff in a backpack because I wanted to check the waterfalls off my bucket list once and for all.
Sometimes the best trips are the ones that happen spontaneously. (And, this is what that was because I will truly never forget this trip!)
Happy ending to this crazy trip:
After using the internet at Starbucks, the sun was starting (just barely) to rise, so I made my way to the bus terminal, and took a bus back to Quillota, and I made it back to my host family’s home at 11am (just in time for a nice, delicious breakfast – which was cereal…but it was the best cereal ever :D).
And, after breakfast, I immediately went to sleep (I was super exhausted from only 3 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours, and sore from all the walking). I slept that entire day, until 20:00 (but it was so worth it!).
It might have been a crazy / unplanned / painful / exhausting / spontaneous trip in the moment, but, I will never forget this trip because it was one of the best, and most eye-opening trips I’ve ever taken (alone).
If you read this until the end; Thank you for reading this long post about my adventure to Los Angeles / Saltos del Laja, Chile!
I hope it inspired you to take a spontaneous trip somewhere new (I recommend doing at least a little bit of planning).
What was one of your craziest adventures? (comment your story below)
-LiveForAdventure! 🙂 (I definitely lived for adventure on this trip!)
So, it’s been a week since I’ve posted anything. And, I know 1 week isn’t very long, but to me it feels like it’s been long enough. (I’ve been trying to post twice a week, but clearly that didn’t happen!)
And, I guess I’m mostly just disapointed in myself because I really don’t have a valid reason for not posting this past week, until I was inspired to write the following:
What are they for?
Why do we make excuses?
We tell ourselves, and others, that we messed up, and we’re sorry.
But, we don’t do anything to change it?
We just excuse ourselves, and “promise” that it won’t happen again.
And, then, guess what?
It happens again!
How do we stop this bad habit?
I wish excuses were actually a way of being certain that people would stick to their word and keep their promises. But, that’s not how it works.
People will make as many excuses as it takes, until they learn the lesson(s) from it.
And, even though this post is my way of pardoning my lack of posts lately, it’s helped me realize exactly why I haven’t posted in a while.
I could say that it’s because of work, or that I had a busy week, or I was just enjoying the summer, etc. There are so many excuses I could invent to “explain” my lack of posts. But, I’m not gonna pretend that they’re all the full reason because that would be a lie.
Altough some of those excuses are still valid, the main reason I haven’t posted is because I haven’t been super inspired to write lately.
…You see, I started this blog with the goal to inspire people to travel, but I haven’t been doing much traveling myself lately (because of, well, you know; Work).
But, that’s all gonna change very soon! 😉
And, that’s all I’m gonna say in this post. But, just know that I am working on my next awesome post (a post of an adventure of my trip to Chile from a few months ago).
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post inspired you to do something instead of making more excuses!
How was your week? (comment below; I’d love to hear read about it)
Today is my birthday, and I don’t know how to feel because I try to do this thing every year; I try to spend my birthday in a new country every year, so I can remember that birthday, and that country.
But, for the past 2 years, I’ve spent my birthday in my home country.
And, it does make me a little sad because it was truly a goal of mine.
But, it’s also totally fine.
I think I’m kind of fine with it because another goal of mine is to eventually move to a new country for an ‘extended’ period of time (longer than my usual trips).
So, I think that’s what I realized in the past 2 years of having my birthday at home.
Soon I will accomplish that goal (of moving to a new country), and I’ll have multiple birthdays in other countries – I just have to be patient, and happy with where I am now.
Plans change a lot, and that’s okay because sometimes plans change, and something better ends up happening that could never have been planned.
Anyways, I know this was a short post, but I wrote it mostly as a reminder to myself: To not always get so caught up in my plans for the future, or needing to achieve all my goals right away because I know I will get there eventually, and achieve all my goals and then some.
So, I hope if you read this until the end, you will also realize that you don’t need to get frustrated or discouraged if your plans change on your journey to achieving your dreams because it’s for the better,; something better is ahead.
Thanks for reading!
Have a great day, and continue to strive toward your goals no matter what life throws at you! You got this!