The Wanderlust is Real

I got home from Thailand on October 26. It was a grueling flight home – I was sick, it was about 18 hours long, the food was terrible and my neck pillow was the absolute worst. We got to the airport, hopped into the first cab that we saw and made it home by 6pm local time. At which point, my mother looks at me and asks, “where to next?”. I couldn’t even help but give out an exhausted sigh and said, “I think I’m good for the year”.

And yet here I am, 3 weeks later, getting jittery because I don’t have my next adventure planned.

Maybe it sounds clichĂ© but being in my mid 20s (exactly – I turned 25 while over in Thailand) with a stable job with a 28 day rotation, I need some type of excitement in my life. In the schedule that I’m in right now, there are 7 days that I am not scheduled to work (and before you go get your panties in a knot, there is a week that I work 6 out of 7 days). In those 7 days off, I typically pick up some overtime, do some groceries, hang out with friends and whatever other little jobs that I neglect while I’m on my schedule. That 7 days off though makes it the perfect opportunity to go travel.

One of the reasons that I’m not trying to plan my next travel adventure is because I’m in the pursuit of looking to buy a house. And being in Thailand for 2 weeks and not being able to look at houses before or after then probably caused me to lose out on a few bids. My original plan anyways was to wait until after Thailand to start very seriously looking for a house but this adventure just isn’t the same as looking up a million sights to see in a new country or trying to learn a new language. And the market right now is almost too fast for me to keep up and having only my income is not exactly working out in my favour (#singlegirlwoes).

Some of the places that I’m hoping to go next year is Costa Rica. I just really have this idea about surfing, volcanoes, laying at the beach… I think it could be the perfect combination of vacationing and travelling all in one beautiful destination.

Hopefully my wanderlust will calm down a bit and the housing market will work out in my favour so I don’t feel this nervousness about being in the same place for too long. In the mean time, I guess I should plan some day or weekend trips to keep myself afloat.

Anywhere that you’re planning on going to this year??

The Independent Traveller

wanderer

So I recently got back from a solo trip to Iceland. I was there for 4 days. I stayed in a hotel, did excursions with groups and then went for dinner and whatnot on my own. It wasn’t my absolute first time travelling on my own – I went to Montreal for a few days over my birthday when I was 21. The trip to Iceland itself was incredible – the sights were breathtaking, the capital city is filled with cool shops. The place was amazing for my inner hipster.

But I’m probably still most surprised with the number of people who were surprised and proud of me for travelling on my own. I wish I had kept count of the number of people who praised me for travelling on my own. Some of my friends, my family, people that I met on the trip, they were all mildly shocked but encouraging of travelling on my own. A lot of people expressed that they wished they were that brave to do the same.

Not everyone was overly encouraging or even acknowledged someone travelling on their own. My one negative experience was trying to get my luggage after being in the Blue Lagoon. For an extra fee, you can have them store your luggage, which is incredibly useful if you’re coming or going from Iceland (the Blue Lagoon is an ideal adventure on either of these dates due to the close geographic range to the international airport). There was a family in front of me in line and after they had been given their luggage, I was clearly right in front of the teller but the man behind me must have mistaken me to be part of that family since he tried to give his ticket. Simple mistake, yes? Well, I happened to look back at him as I gave my ticket to the teller and there was no look or mention of remorse. He almost looked surprised that I was just on my own and this was where my expression became less than amused and turned into a glare of such.

Travelling on my own reminds me that I am able to be a leader but also able to make my own path. I don’t need to always follow the prescribed social agenda that is provided by society. There are changes that can be made and alterations that can be pushed. Not only did I do this by travelling on my own but also while on some of the excursions, I didn’t just look at the sights that were in front of me. For example, at Seljalandsfoss, one of the waterfall attractions in Iceland, I followed a path away from the main waterfall to find a hidden waterfall. I have super cool pictures and amazing memories of how I got back on the bus with my hair soaked (you literally get up and close with this waterfall) and everyone else was asking where I went. I showed them my pictures and they were all in awe. It just shows how sometimes it’s worth it to take a gander away.10665165_10154031324163792_7208869639227575773_n.jpg

Travelling on my own also made me more approachable to other travelers. I made friends with other travelers. Whether this was because they felt “sorry” for the girl standing on her own or because they needed that little break from their current travelling partners but it was a cool opportunity to learn about other people.

I think me travelling on my own reminded other people of taking the path that’s less traveled. Not experiencing something just because you’re the only one that wants to do it. Or willing to make time for it. It’s not apologizing for who you are. It’s being a “wild one”.

 

 

Trip Planning

A girl that I worked with at my previous job just got back from what looked like a magical solo vacation. I’m not 100% sure where she went but I see that there were beaches, great food and what looked to be like a great time.

I have done some solo vacationing… for my 22nd birthday, I went to Montreal on my own for 4 or 5 days. And while I was alone, I wasn’t lonely.

So my wonderful friend’s latest instagram posts have re-inspired me to look at doing some trip planning. I have full time hours at my job and a flexible schedule that includes a week off per month (but before you hate me, in exchange, I work weekends and night shifts haha). So I’m trying to plan a trip within a week. This has left some of my options somewhat limited but I think it can be done.

My latest destination in mind? Iceland. At the beginning of March.

There are a few reasons for choosing this country. One of them being that this country is incredibly safe which would mean that my mother would not be overly concerned with me being by myself. Another of them being that there seems to be enough to do within a 5 day period that I wouldn’t be stretching myself thin but will still be able to get a great experience out of those five days. As much as I would love to see other parts of Europe, I think I am going to try to save those for the summer or early fall when I would be able to enjoy the weather more. Iceland has a climate a lot like Canada so it wouldn’t be a total shock. Another reason for the timing would be in order to see the northern lights. For some reason, this is just something that I really want to see soon. Iceland is also a great country for hiking and beautiful landscape pictures, even though it’s cold. Even though it’s cold though, don’t be shocked if I go swimming in one of those thermal baths! How cool would it be to say you went swimming outside in March? I think it would be awesome!

I’ve been reading, pinning and Googling random and different phrases about Iceland to see what adventures I should choose to do and what the cost might be. I’ve used Tripomatic as a way to organize myself along with finding other peoples’ blogs about adventuring in Iceland. I found a great review about a Hostel which is a cheap(er) means of sleeping and showering and a way to meet other people. There also seems to be quite a few tours that will come pick up at the hotel in the capital city so I’m still debating about the necessity of renting a car. Flights look to be very reasonable but the rest of the shopping and food in the country is pricey but hopefully worth the experience. It’s amazing how the act of planning a trip can be as exciting as doing it.

Maybe it’s a combination of being restless and the wanting of a new years’ resolution but planning this trip has made me feel more grown up and looking forward to something. Between getting my new job in the middle of the year last year and getting used to shift work, I wasn’t able to travel anywhere last year. I’m hoping that 2016 and onward will let travelling be a possibility. And even if I don’t have as many friends in the same position, both monetarily and schedule wise, that’s not going to stop me from exploring different cultures and getting to know myself. My friend posted about the importance of travelling alone to get to know yourself and though she’s a year younger than me, her wisdom reminded me the importance of using my time and money for myself.

Any readers have any recommendations of things to do in Iceland in March?