The start to my solo travels was a bit unexpected. Cliche, perhaps, but definitely unplanned.
Travel was always a passion of mine, but it never occurred to me to do it on my own. Until one day it did.
When my husband of less than 3 months told me we had made a “mistake” to get married, my entire world was turned upside down. I didn’t know what to do or where to go next. I also didn’t realize how much of myself I had put into that 9 year relationship…until it was over. Who was I without my other half?
And so began my journey of self-discovery all over again at the age of 31.
I went from a blushing bride, to a newly single woman, living at home with my parents, and questioning everything. That’s when I decided to do something completely controversial: I said adios to my old life and booked a one-way ticket to South America.
Solo travel literally changed my life.
My “former life” was MBA corporate marketing girl, playing by all the “rules” and planning everything to a T. My “new life” encompassed feelings of freedom and adventure…nothing and everything was part of the plan. I backpacked solo (and jobless) for one year. It gave me the courage to live life on my own terms. Now I’m living in Mexico City, running my own coaching business, and getting paid to travel and write! I had no idea I would end up here. But I am so grateful that I did. And I have solo travel to thank for it.
Everyone should have the opportunity to travel solo.
I didn’t just wake up after my divorce one day and decide to do it. It was a bit more subtle than that, and honestly, I was just taking life one day at a time. Going through a divorce isn’t easy. Some of you may know already know that.
Part of my healing process was getting in touch with my spiritual side. I went deeper into my yoga practice and started meditating. I found a holistic therapist. I also made sure to travel. I took a girls’ trip to Nicaragua and had weekend getaways. Like everyone said, things actually started to get easier over time…but it still felt like something was missing.
Solo travel can help you find whatever it is you are looking for.
I started to get curious about what truly made me happy. (You know, the deep work.) So often we find ourselves going through the motions in life without ever stopping to think about what it is we’re doing or why. Are we waking up and going to a 9-5 job because someone told us we’re supposed to, or are we doing work that not only pays the bills, but also fulfills us? Are we getting married because everyone else is doing it, or because that’s the kind of partnership we truly desire? I began to question #allthethings.
Sometimes it takes a jarring moment to wake us up and realize we had been living someone else’s dream. Now that I had gotten the hard part out of the way, I was ready to live MINE.
My corporate job wasn’t making me happy any longer, and in my heart, I knew I had to leave. I was ready to leave both the corporate world and the country. I had always wanted to live abroad, but never did it because I didn’t want to leave my partner, and honestly, because it sounded scary.
It was finally time to go out and explore who I was as a woman on my own. And with that, I embarked on my first solo travel experience ever and took a flight to Quito.
Solo travel is a thrill.
I spent nearly one year backpacking from Ecuador to Mexico, and WOW! What an adventure! I survived my bus getting robbed at gunpoint in Colombia (yes, guns were actually shot on my bus!). I volunteered with children. I built houses. I climbed volcanoes. I spent days on remote beaches. I slept on a cargo ship. I learned how to salsa. I collected some of the most memorable experiences of my life (so far). But most importantly, I lived outside of my comfort zone and started to find myself as Asia Dawn, an empowered single woman who could do it all on her own.
Solo travel gave me confidence and clarity.
A very special moment for me was waking up in a tent, on the beach somewhere in the Choco jungle of Colombia, on what would have been my two year wedding anniversary. I could hear the ocean. I could smell the sea. I could feel the sweat beading on my skin as I shed a few tears. Tears for my past life, and tears for my new life on the road as a single woman. I was really f’ing proud of myself. My heart hurt much less than it did one year ago, and I felt freer than ever before. I was finally starting to feel grateful for everything I had been through.
Solo travel healed me.
Travel has been the one constant throughout my life that makes me feel unlike anything else. It makes me feel free, empowered, and excited about life. I get into a curious mindset as I meet new people and immerse myself in different cultures. I get pushed outside of my comfort zone just enough to keep things exciting and keep me growing. As far as I’m concerned, each day has the potential to be life-changing, as long as we are open to it.
Solo travel opened me up in ways that nothing else ever has.
As a solo female traveler, I live in the moment and open myself up to new experiences along the way. I may be “alone”, but I never feel alone. If I choose to settle down somewhere (or with someone) one day, I will still continue to have my solo travel time. It’s so important to me, and we must continue to do the things in life that make us feel alive. If not, what is life for?
Solo travel is F*CKING AMAZING. And it’s totally attainable.
If you are curious about solo travel, I am here to tell you to stop wondering and start doing! You won’t regret it! You will grow in ways that may surprise you. You will learn so much about yourself. You will laugh. You will probably cry. You will undoubtedly have whatever experiences it is that your soul is calling for.
Solo travel doesn’t have to be scary.
If you’re thinking about doing the solo travel thing, I hope I can serve as an example for you. I hope you are starting to see that it IS possible. That you don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to do it. (I lived on under $30/day.) That you don’t have to have it all figured out. (I went from a type A over planner to someone who adopted the go with the flow mentality.) That it’s perfectly acceptable to do what YOU want. Be a badass solo female traveler if that is what calls to you. I know that’s what calls to me.
Solo travel will empower you.
It’s my message and my passion on International Women’s Day to empower other women to experience what has already given me so much. If you’d like some guidance as you prepare for your travels, I am here for you.
Don’t let fear hold you back any longer.
Ladies, you deserve to live a life on your own terms, just as I am doing today in Mexico City. It may have taken me a divorce and heartbreak to figure it out (insert cliche and Eat, Pray, Love moment), but I am so grateful for all of it. Knowing what I know now, my former life wasn’t mine to live any longer. I was destined for so much more.
Solo travel allowed me to discover who I truly am.
With love and besos from Mexico City,