When we’re young, most of us have hopes and dreams of things we want to do or be when we grow up. For me, my love for adventure all began with a globe for Christmas from my grandmother. I was only in the 3rd grade and couldn’t quite understand how to “play” with the globe, so I made up a game. I’d close my eyes, spin the globe, and say “I’m going….HERE!” as I stopped the globe on any random place. If my finger ever landed in the ocean, that meant I’d be on a cruise–I always had quite an imagination.
While in school, my friends and I swore we’d travel the world together. And for several after graduation, I’d call my girls and tell them about the places we could go. We’d talk for hours comparing prices and dates.
First, there were restrictions on budget and time. We searched around birthdays, anniversaries, and limited vacation days. In the end, we went nowhere and I was sorely disappointed. This happened so much that I realized I’d never go if I kept waiting for them. My mind jumped back to a book my aunt would read to me as a child. It was about a little hen who wanted help baking a cake; but everyone made excuses so she had to do it herself.
I decided to take the lesson learned from “The Little Red Hen” and I bought a ticket to Puerto Rico. Was I scared? I was terrified! My family said “no!” They all warned me of the dangers, but I was determined to go anyway. When I got there, I was so scared I barely left my hotel room! Good thing I brought books because I caught up on a lot of reading while relaxing by the low-budget pool in my low-budget hotel. When I got back, some people said I was crazy; while others said I was brave. Deep down inside, I felt embarrassed because I knew I hadn’t done nearly as many things as I would have if my friends had been there with me. However, I did learn a very valuable lesson of not letting our fears dictate our lives!
As a solo-traveling woman, I’m almost always afraid! I’m terrified of all the terrible things that could happen to me, but the experiences I have gained by not succumbing to my fears have truly CHANGED MY LIFE!
Yes, I try to be as safe and smart as possible; yet, I also take risks so that I may truly experience life instead of just going through the motions.
Since that initial solo visit to Puerto Rico, I’ve been to many other countries alone. Stay tuned to learn more about them.
Feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from you!