11. My First Solo Trip

10:43 AM

If you have been following me on Insta then you might have seen that I made it back from my first ever solo international trip!!! 

Before I shared that people seeing my insta posts were probably like “ehhh she’s only posting single photos when she’s married” haha. When in fact, I was traveling S O L O and having some difficulty with finding someone to take my photos. Haha – more on that later.

Why did I go solo???
This has been a frequently asked question. If you know me, this was out of my comfort zone. Before this trip, I have never eaten by myself inside of a restaurant. Like ever. And now I waned to go to a new continent alone. It’s crazy. I have been to other trips kinda solo but I met up with a group like when I went to Italy as a senior in high school and when I went to Barcelona a few years ago. This time, I was completely alone! I didn’t know anyone! Why did I do that?
Let’s go back four months ago, my husband and I were planning an epic summer trip. I should also mention that my husband’s available days to get off work are the almost exact opposite of mine. It’s hard for me to travel when he can travel and vise versa. However, we have an open window in the summer when our epic trip was going to happen. However, some unexpected things came up – (I mentioned it in this post) and we had to postpone that trip indefinitely. I was bummed but I knew we were making the best decision to postpone it but it still sucked. Just being honest.  
I was so inspired from a Facebook travel group that has countless girls that have traveled solo to so many different countries. Traveling solo has been on my bucket list but I never expected it to happen this summer. I did some research and it became something I feared to a possibility. Someone I would consider a life mentor who has accomplished amazing things recommended traveling to South America. I did some research and I felt really good about Peru. I rearranged my budget and set an approximate date.
Then I got anxious and didn’t book anything. I decided to wait a month before booking anything. During this time, I researched and found good, bad, and ugly things about solo traveling.
The month was over but I still hadn’t bought the tickets. It made me so nervous. At this point, I hadn’t told ANYONE that I was planning a solo trip. Haha. I think I was afraid that people would make me back out. I finally told one of my friends and she encouraged me. Then, I booked the Machu Picchu tickets! I will explain that process in a future post!
Right before buying the airline tickets, I called my husband. I thought I was going to have to convince him that it would be safe for me to go alone or that we might argue – but no! He was really supportive! In fact, after he dropped me off at the airport, he told me how happy he was for me. He knows how much I love to travel.

Another question people might be wondering is, why I didn’t invite someone to go with me?
Well, I thought about it but honestly it was a last minute trip. When I looked up the costs, I didn’t think it would be fair to ask anyone with such short notice. If the trip had a cost of a few hundred dollars, that’s one thing.
I also really wanted to do thing solo.

Where did I go solo?
I knew I wanted to travel and I knew I wanted to go somewhere different. I chose Peru! It was a great place for my first solo trip for some many reasons : I speak Spanish, I have never been to South America, the people in the Cusco area were so nice, Machu Picchu is a very popular tourist location, and the time zone is the same as in Texas!

The Good::
Feeling brave, grateful, independent, and trusting in God every minute of my journey. Look I travel most of the time with my husband and family. They spoil me so much which honestly makes me lazy and usually means I put my guard down. They help me plan, pick somewhere to eat, help me carry my things, keep an eye out for me, drive me places, etc. Because of this, I have developed some bad habits. I usually purposefully don’t pack things because I know someone will have extra. I pack late usually the night before a trip. I’m not blaming them, I take full responsibility but I didn’t realize that I was developing these bad habits until this solo trip. Man, if my family and husband had seen me carry, load, and haul all of my luggage by myself – I assure you that their jaws would have been on the floor. Haha. It felt so good to be prepared, packed, and independent. I feel so free like I can do anything! In fact, when I got back, my dad said something about how he now knows without a doubt that nothing will stop me from reaching my goals.

Since I was traveling solo and it was my first time in Peru, there could have been multiple  opportunities for misfortune. I learned to trust God even more. I leaned on Him and his provision. I was incredibly grateful on the train ride to Machu Picchu to the point of tears. I was really blessed – not because I made it safely to Peru, to my hotel, to the train station 2 hours away, but because during the delays, missing my flight, my photographer standing me up, feeling sick due to the elevation – I was growing my faith and trusting in God. I am blessed because of Him alone not because of the “good” things happening.

The Bad::
I make the journey to one of the Wonders of the World and no one is with me to take my picture. Talk about first world problems. I knew this was going to happen so I planned ahead with a tripod and a remote trigger! I just had to deal.

The Ugly::
Thankfully, nothing major but loneliness. After my first day in Machu Picchu, I had this amazing experience, I relaxed in the lobby, returned to my hotel and realized that I just completed the highlight of my day and I feeling really lonely. It was my first time feeling like that. I guess on the other days, I was more concerned with getting everything ready for the next day to think about it. I was also having so much to worry about that. I guess that I felt so lonely that night because I didn’t have someone around me to share that experience and the next day required hardly any planning. I didn’t let the sad feeling keep me from enjoying life. I mean, I was on the other side of the Equator in PERU. I went out and really enjoyed the town.

Overall, I am so grateful for this experience. I’m not going to lie, I was so happy to see my husband and family when I got home. Am I already planning another solo trip? Guilty as charged!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
Much love, Ana

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