“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.”
Where do I begin? I’m back from Spain and still on a high from those 12 days of solo bliss. I’m finding myself having withdrawals and also difficulty to get back on track now that I’m home. It’s been harder than I expected to fall into my normal routine again. This happens to me every time I come back to the states, but this time it feels different. I don’t really know how to put it into words. I’ve loved all of my travels and each country that I’ve visited for its own reasons. They all hold a very special place in my heart and always will. I have to say though that this experience in Spain is a top contender for my favorite one. Each solo adventure does something different for my mind, heart and soul. It teaches me something new every time and exposes yet another layer that I either didn’t even know I had or that I lost touch with somehow along the way. It always forces me to dig a little deeper. Spain ended up being my most challenging trip and because of that it made the journey that much sweeter.
When I’m away on my own, my mind always seems to be so much clearer. I feel like I can actually think and focus on one thought at a time. It’s a little easier to breathe. It gives me this sense of mental freedom that I don’t exactly get here at home. It’s as if I’m no longer a prisoner of my own emotions. I got so many messages while I was away and many people said that they could see how carefree and genuinely happy I was. Some even told me that I was glowing. It really does bring out the best version of myself and gives me that freeing feeling that I so desperately need. It puts everything back into perspective and I stop worrying and caring about the insignificant things, like curating my IG feed. I just LIVE and I live in each and every moment. I do it for me. I’m pretty sure I have said this after all of my solo travels, but it really sucks that I can’t experience those same feelings when I’m home. I try, I really do. I try not to get so stressed or too overwhelmed with life, but it happens. I’m going to try harder this time though because I need to hold on to that a little bit longer.
Traveling is always such a great escape and even if those feelings are temporary, they’re still amazing to experience. Maybe that’s why I crave travel so much and so often. Maybe that’s why traveling by myself is becoming so addictive. Some may see it as a form of running away, but I see it as a form of running towards something else that I want out of life. There’s this whole world out there that I want to experience. It takes me away from everything and everyone that I know and while I of course love my family and friends so much, that distance and time apart is honestly needed sometimes. This trip made me realize how much I enjoy my solitude. I don’t know if that seems weird or crazy or even a bit selfish, but it’s true. I do. The more I travel alone, the more I know deep down in my heart that I am not meant to live here forever. I’m meant to be someplace else. A lot of you messaged me and said I was so brave for traveling to Spain by myself. I honestly don’t know if that makes me brave because I am not fearless. I just think that my motivation to do it is greater than any fear I may have. That’s the way that I want to live.
As you guys know, I’m now certified to teach English in any country in the world. I thought about this so many times while I was in Spain. Literally just 4 days in, I could already see myself living there and teaching English in the near future. It just made sense to me. Part of me felt like I belonged there. When I first took the TEFL course, I didn’t have any real plans for when or where I would teach. It was just this idea meant to be an opportunity for the future. Lately though, I can’t help but wonder if it’s meant for me to do this sooner than later. When I was in Seville, I met this girl who worked at one of the local shops. I told her that she spoke English so well and she got so happy. She thanked me and said she’s been learning it at school. I told her how I am certified and she kept telling me that Spain would be a wonderful place to teach. Was that a sign? I don’t know, but she definitely gave me an extra push in that direction. I know that it probably seems there is so much that I want and I want it all at once- this blog, this business, writing my book, traveling, teaching. Why can’t I have it all? Why can’t I do it all?
I kept looking around me at all the people in Madrid, Seville and Barcelona and I saw so many couples. There were so many people kissing and holding hands. It was sort of a reminder for me of who I don’t have yet and at times I did honestly feel a little lonely. On the flip side though, it forced me to ask myself the question of whether or not I even want that right now. It reminded me how pretty much everyone closest to me has already found who they’ve been searching for. It’s always been different with me though. It’s not that I don’t want that kind of love for myself. It’s not that I don’t want to meet an incredible man, get married one day and share our lives together. But, I think this whole time I’ve been searching for something and not someone. Each time I travel alone, it brings me a little closer to finding whatever it is that I’m looking for. Spain did that for me.
There were a few moments on the train ride from Seville to Barcelona where I kept thinking about everything that happened in my life to bring me right there to that exact moment- all the good and bad, all the loss and success. It made me realize that I am who I am today because I lost my father. If he was still here, I honestly don’t think that I would have had the same motivation and inspiration to live my life the way I am living it. I don’t think that I would have ever taken a solo trip or be running my own business full-time the way that I am. In a crazy way, I owe all of this to him. His death helped me to become the best version of myself. It’s still so hard to accept his loss and I miss him every single day, but moments like being in Spain makes me understand that God had a different plan for me and my life. I feel my dad’s spirit with me. I felt it in Spain. I’m showing him the world that he didn’t get to see. I can’t wait to see where I end up next and I know he’ll be with me every step of the way.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that solo travel truly is life changing and the more you do it, the more you will continue to learn about yourself. It keeps helping me grow and evolve into a better person- the person who I want to be. These 12 days in Spain were some of the best of my entire life and I will forever hold on to them. I loved sharing every bit of the adventure with you guys via my insta stories and can’t thank you enough for the incredibly sweet and supportive messages that you sent me during this trip. You have no idea how happy it makes me to know that my solo travels have inspired many of you to take your own. I hope that you do embark on this new journey of self discovery and empowerment. This is the kind of influence that I want to have on others. To live your best life. To step out of your comfort zone. To go after your dreams. I don’t care how many followers I have. I care about the connection that I have with those who choose to follow my journey and I think that connection is a strong one.
Stay tuned for travel diaries coming next week for each city as I will be sharing more details and photos from my whole trip as well as answering questions I received about traveling alone. Thank you so much for reading this. I love you guys! Have a great Memorial Day weekend. ❤️