130 days passed on my Italy trip. With solo travelling, au pairing, working on a farm, hiking, attending a flute masterclass, and making new friends, my mind has been expanded more than ever.
Before I set off on this adventure I began to get overly excited to be at the end of the travels and see what type of person I would become, how all my experiences would shape me. Now at the end I have realised that you can never have a true overhaul of yourself, it’s impossible. Rather, you see yourself in new perspectives, new situations, and enhance your strengths and try to cultivate the person from within that makes you happy, while shedding away the unnecessary. It is comparable to packing. You start with your whole closet, all your big toiletry bottles and a few extra things ‘just in case’. By the end you have usually stripped it down to half, taken smaller bottles and only have your necessities and clothes you will actually use and love with confidence. (And even now I look at my suitcase and see I could have taken out a few more ‘necessities’).
Being by yourself a lot you are forced to develop an inner confidence. The confidence that will fire up your courage to say hello to the person sitting next to you, to speak in a new language or to sit for hours just thinking. With no one to rely on or talk to, complaining becomes futile. You are rather searching for the good in the situation or the solution. This made me more grateful for the small things in life, finding joy and appreciating the moment for what it is.
Funding this trip by myself, I have truly learnt the value of money, as well as you get what you pay for. Budgeting and counting my coins has brought a new awareness to me and I believe will prepare me for my future finances.
From pulling (and sometimes dragging) my bags through railway stations, up and down stairs, and along cobbled streets I have become more humbled by my strength and health. With all the negativity of body image taking over social networks, I found my self-love in just having a few glimpses into the capabilities, and not limits, of my body. (Although I did have to dish out a few 1 euros for my weak bladder, but I’m working on it…)
I have had moments when I have felt homesick, moments when I don’t know what to do or how to carry on. These are the moments that tested me and pushed me to a new point of strength. Finding many new and exciting blogs everyday on Bloglovin’, one article stood out for me, reminding me why I took this trip and giving me the courage to push through: The Case for Traveling Alone.
There are many things I have learnt, developed, and become without even knowing. I have come out of this trip feeling confident about who I am, courageous with life, and with a new understanding into many aspects of myself and the lives of others. This trip has been life-changing. Not because I have ‘become a new person’ but because I have seen new perspectives, cultures, lives and situations and I have become increasingly more grateful for who I am and the life I have.