Travel is not for the faint of heart, at least not this much travel. I’m currently at 38,000 feet flying to Hong Kong after spending a week in Australia and New Zealand. I get why people pay the big bucks for business class tickets (not that I did) because you arrive, typically, more refreshed. I just accidentally slept for 4-5 hours, nearly half the flight, and hopefully won’t be fighting jet lag tonight because of it. Orrrrrrrr I’ll be wide awake tonight and a zombie during my food tour tomorrow morning.
Side note: people are more demanding in business class. I just watched some guy yell, “Socks, socks!” at a flight attendant as if it would make or break his ability to enjoy himself before the flight took off.
Australia and New Zealand were wonderful. I can’t wait to share my experiences I had there with my friends. Girl time is necessary and currently, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Having us meet half-way around the world jet setting was the cherry on top. These gals are expert travelers too, so it makes it a cake walk most of the time.
So, my thoughts as I’m about to land in an unknown city, that doesn’t speak my language?
Besides being excited, I’ll be honest that I’m freaking out a bit. I worry about stupid things like not being able to make a call (What’s the Hong Kong country code? Should have looked that up.) or getting so lost that it’s obvious and someone takes advantage of how lost I look by suckering me into a scheme. Or today, in New Zealand, I had to have my picture taken twice through security because the computer didn’t recognize me (based on my passport photo from 6 years ago) so I’m assuming having my hair up was a bad choice. What if the same happens when I land in Hong Kong and they think I’m crazy for wanting my hair in a bun???
When you travel alone, there isn’t someone there to wake you up out of a champagne-induced haze when the flight lands. There isn’t someone waiting with you through immigration to make sure you get through. There isn’t someone there to consult (fight) with over directions to getting to where you want to go. Everything is up to you, you know?
On the other hand, everything is up to you…
I can wake up when I want. I can decide to putz around a pool all day or go shopping for Christmas gifts. I can meditate in the park or grab a drink at a bar. I have to focus on those aspect right now in my current freak-out mode. As my dear friend whom I just traveled with said, “Sometimes you just have to force yourself out of the hotel and make yourself find a new comfort zone. You’ll be okay. And if you aren’t, you can drink a bottle of wine in your hotel room.” Can you see why we’re friends?
I may be confident enough in myself to travel alone, but it certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t fears that pop in. I think that’s a normal part of the process. Just got to keep it real for you guys. It’s not all perfectly wonderful feelings.
I’m going to take a picture of me with the view from the hotel and place it here once I arrive. Then you won’t feel so sorry for me.
Until next time, friends.
9/10 they speak English in Hong Kong. Felt so good to be there after 2 months in China.
Caroline Peterson says
Such an awesome time. And I was good with the English. The MTR is so well organized, I nailed it. Haha.
I was just talking this past weekend with Jeff, Heather and Brandon about traveling alone and how much I love it. Not that I don’t love traveling and sharing wonderful experiences with others…I do, very much. But, when I’ve traveled alone, I always realize how very rarely the decision-making is completely up to me. I can go where I want to go. I can spend as long as I want there without feeling rushed or feeling that I’m burdening someone else by enjoying my surroundings for too long…or boring them with the things that interest me, but not them. And, all of this is not to say my travel partners have done anything to force their choices or schedule on me. But, when you’re with others, you’re always compromising, at least a little bit — and if you’re not, you’re probably a real gem to travel with. *insert eye roll* I recognize that this feeling is largely me worrying too much and not because others are saying anything to make me feel bad. Perhaps it’s a girl thing…the people-pleasers in us, but I’m always concerned about everyone else’s happiness, even when they tell me to do what I want. By being alone, there is no one else I should or could be considering. It’s a really fantastic and freeing feeling every once in awhile. 🙂 Enjoy it!!
Caroline Peterson says
Fantastically freeing. Zero compromising is a great thing every once and a while. I’m glad you feel the same!
Anna | slightly astray says
Have a blast in Hong Kong! Don’t worry too much… if I remember correctly, almost everyone speaks English :). I get on on the fear thing though. I’m gonna try solo traveling in a month and I’m feeling nervous about it. But like you said, you just have to make yourself get out of your room! I hope you have a ton of fun! And a good holiday!
Caroline Peterson says
I had a fantastic time. What a freaking fab city. I’m so glad I pushed through my nerves and got out there and did it! Thanks for the support. 🙂