Solo travel is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I am naturally quite shy around new people and I really like to keep pushing myself to open up in new situations; this is a big reason for my desire to do the solo trip. I decided on Fiji as it easily linked with my trip to New Zealand and I have heard a lot of amazing things about the people of Fiji. I went through waves of anxiety, excitement, doubt and hopefulness about this leg of my trip. The constant advertisement of Fiji being the perfect honeymoon destination wasn’t helping to alleviate my fears of leaving my fiancé at home to be totally alone and lonely in paradise…
My 11 days in Fiji started out with a 7 day island hopping trip in the Yasawa Islands. These islands are beautiful! And it turned out to be a really great place to meet other backpackers too! I made friends on every island hopping portion and it was amazing to hear other people’s travel stories… My list has got a lot longer! The best advice I picked up was from a woman who told me that the best way to answer the “Have you been to <insert country>?” question is always with a “Not yet!”
The last part of my Fiji trip was a 4 day homestay with a family on the main island Viti Levu in the town of Nadi. When I was in the back of the car heading to the homestay I started to get really nervous – what if it wasn’t a family that wanted to interact? What if I ended up in the middle of nowhere with no transportation? I spent the better portion of the ride attempting to calm my anxious brain. But guess what? Within seconds of arriving I felt welcomed by this amazing family and I got invited to go to a family event in the capital city with them for the weekend. I really got the local Fiji experience and it was more than I ever could have hoped for!
The best parts of traveling solo? Meeting new people for sure! When you are on your own you just have to put yourself into new situations with new people and even simple conversations at the boat dock were very interesting and exciting for me. I also love just being able to do what I want without having to compromise. Spend an hour reading? No one is waiting!
The hardest part? When things go wrong and you have no one to lean on for support. The great bug bite incident (I won’t get into details but I have some residual fears about bug bites from a really awful bed bug incident a few years back) was one where I had to really talk myself down from the panic I was feeling at 3 am when I was so hot and itchy and all alone. I would have given anything to have someone there to just distract me from the moment. Another hard part – well more just boring I suppose, is the actual travel. There are only so many laps you can walk of an airport before you feel like you’ve seen it all…
All in all I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for facing some fears and having an amazing time doing it! Now it’s off to pick up our camper van for a New Zealand road trip… I know, it’s a tough life I’m living!
Pingback: Better Late Than Never… | Tale of Two Teachers