A different island beach in Southeast Asia
For most of this year I had planned to road trip across New Zealand’s South Island with Jack – but now Jack’s boss has denied him time off and now it’s just me. Which is fine, really, because I love solo travel and I think everyone should try it at least once. However, it means the South Island is out simply because 2000 kilometres in two weeks is a great deal of driving for just one person, and I have enough experience driving in NZ to know that we have some pretty hairy roads, even without the added stress of driving them in a 20-year-old car that may or may not make the journey. Yes, there are ways around that – rental cars and buses and sharing the journey with other backpackers, but we’ve had a taxing winter down in this part of the world, and this girl wants some sand, sun and a pretty sarong to revel in.
So with a nod to my first solo travels in Southeast Asia that begat this travel fixation, I’m heading to Bali, Indonesia next month with a little trepidation and a whole lot of elation. It doesn’t seem to matter how much experience I have travelling solo, I always feel a little jittery about going somewhere new. It’s all up to me to get from A to B, to watch my own back, to get out of my comfort zone and introduce myself to other travellers (whom in my head already have their own clicks within the hostel), and a general fear of something going wrong.
While it’s normal to feel a little apprehension before solo travel, stacked on top of these fears and thrills is guilt that I’m leaving my boyfriend of nearly five years behind to continue with the daily grind for a few weeks on his own. It’s almost cruel.
The decision to travel solo is never an easy one, there are always a million and one emotions and thoughts, tos and fros of whether we are doing the right thing that creates a tug of war in our heads for the entire lead up to our trips. But to stay would be silly, and besides, I’ll be joining my old ‘go to companion’: Solo Travel.