The first thing I noticed upon landing in Paris several years ago, alone, with one suitcase and a fuzzy photo of the girl I would be meeting upon arrival (to sublet her room), was that I didn't have anyone to rely on. It was all me and it was terrifying. But as the days wore on, and I took off every day to explore, I got less and less terrified. Finding where I wanted to go became a no-brainer and asking for what I wanted was indeed turning into second nature. I didn't get lost -- I found every museum, gallery, cheese shop and metro stop with no problem. I did what I wanted and when, without worrying about whether it was "the best idea" or if it was what I "should" be doing. Very different than at home.
Going in alone
|Hiking the Bolivan Plateau, Laos|
A more open mind
Lately I've been travelling with my boyfriend so not solo, but there's still some very distinct changes that come over each of us when we're away. At home we have routines, the places we always go and the places we talk about going, but never do. We're creatures of habit and don't often try new restaurants and bars, or make spur-of-the-moment decisions. But when we travel, we're up for anything. I realize on a limited trip there's an innate desire to make the most of the time you have, but it still amazes me that while traveling we won't think twice about going into that bar, or trying that restaurant or going on that hike and (in the boyfriend's case), jumping off of that waterfall.
Finding a balance
So far, I've only been able to retain that travel-confidence in very small bits. I know everyone's mentality on vacation is different, whether spending a week at an all-inclusive resort, or several months abroad, but I would love to figure out a way to hold onto some of that magic that happens while away, once I get home.
How are you different while travelling? Do tell!