1 You will cry sometimes
No matter at which point of your travels, it will happen. When I left for my first trip by myself (5 months around the world) I had my first breakdown even BEFORE I left.
It was probably around 2-3 weeks before I was about to board the plane that I was partying in Hamburg with some friends when my purse got stolen (Note to self: never leave your purse on the floor and start dancing around like a maniac in a bar like I did that night.)
I remember sitting outside the bar, crying and calling my mum, telling her that I wouldn’t leave for my trip because if something like that happens to me at home already, what else would happen during my trip?
But I left. And it was the best decision. Not only because I had the time of my life but also because I realized – bad things can happen anywhere, no matter how far developed the country is.
But of course that wasn’t the last breakdown. Saying goodbye is always hard, to your friends back home when you start your trip, to the fellow adventurers you meet along the way but also to your freedom and the adventures when you go back. But it’s okay. Shit happens and as long as it doesn’t stop you from leaving again and again you will get through it.
2 You will lose things
Yes it happens. When you talk to people who went travelling you will hear crazy stories. People getting robbed, losing their backpack, losing their passport. I for myself only lost two things – my flipflops (I got over it pretty easily) and the key to my locker in bangkok. The last only cost me my dignitiy in asking the hostel-guy to saw open my lock (which was INSANLY loud by the way) and waking up everyone in my dorm up. (It was 3 pm and everyone was sleeping – what are the chances, right?).
But no matter what you lose, even if it’s an essential like your passport or your backpack. You will get over it, you will meet the greatest people helping you as good as they can, supporting you and being there for you. There could be a little breakdown happening (I guess no one would be calm after losing important stuff on a solo-trip) but think about it: It will make an amazing story for your grandchildren. „Kids, did I tell you about the time I lost everything I had in Cambodia?“
(Don’t get me wrong, it also happens when you are travelling in a pack. But let’s be honest – It’s easier to have a well-known shoulder to cry on than someone’s you just randomly started talking to at the police station.)
3 You will change your plans
Planning a trip is hard. Where do I wanna go? What do I wanna see? How much time do I want to spend at a certain place? Don’t panic, you will change your plans anyways. There are places which blow your mind away and you just don’t want to leave that place and the people you met there. So you just stay. There are places people tell you about where you never thought about going. So you spontaneously book a flight or bus to experience all the adventures you’ve been told about. And that’s all travelling is about. Especially when you are alone. Experiencing what you want to experience, make your own decisions and definitely question the plans you made. Because sometimes you just gotta say …
4 You will hang out with people you’d maybe never talked to back home
In one way or another we are all picking our friends very carefully, considering interests and personality. It is rare that you see a guy with dreadlocks, a girl with a Tiffany necklace and a soccer player sitting together at one table (no offence to anyone). While you are travelling that happens all the time, just because Travel is the one interest that connects the most different people. And it’s great! Maybe that guy you are sharing a room with or that girl you just started a 3 day trekking trip with won’t become your best friend. Maybe a few weeks later you don’t even know their name anymore because you never bothered to exchange your Facebook and you’ve already met so many new people. But you can learn from them. And they can probably learn from you. You just have to give them a chance.
But the last and most important thing that will happen for sure – you will have the best time. And you will enjoy every second. Without any regrets.