Traveling the world can seem expensive and dangerous!
It’s a life-learning experience.
Regardless of your perception behind traveling, there are certain things you pick up along the way from forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. When you take that vacation and step away from your everyday routine, not only are you releasing stress but you also gain wisdom along the way. With this blog I’ll talk about a couple of things that I picked up from traveling alone and how it’s changed my life.
1. Going With The Flow
Before going to New York City, I did a lot of research on the map of NYC and it’s five boroughs. I had lived in Downtown Chicago my freshman year of college, so I knew what wandering around a big city felt like. However, having said that I also knew how risky it could be, getting lost. So I made sure I knew exactly where I was going and the transportation I was taking to get where I wanted to go.
Upon my arrival to JFK airport, I took the AirTran to the Jamaica Station. I had been using my phone to direct myself to where my Airbnb was located so I jumped on the E line to travel up to Rego Park in Queens. A couple stops into my ride I decided to get off the train to check out this top rated pizzeria that apparently was only blocks away from the train station. As I exited the station, I entered the street trying to figure out the navigation system on my phone. I was not far from where I had to go but I just had to figure out what direction to walk in first. My phone’s reception must’ve been weak because it wasn’t picking up on where my current location was.
As I gave up on the assisted directions, I tried to figure out the map on my own. It didn’t seem too complex however I had to walk to the end of the intersection to make sure I knew what two streets I had been standing by. As soon as I walked over to the street signs I noticed my phone stopped reacting to what I was pressing, which shortly after, the phone froze and turned off. I knew it had been at 38% so I didn’t think it would turn off anytime soon. I had a portable charger but my charger port on the bottom of my phone had stopped working properly so I had to mess around with the cable in order for the phone to remain charging. Which meant that in order for my phone to charge I would need to stay still.
Since I kind of had an idea of the street I was looking for and where I currently was, I decided to just wing it and trust my instincts. As I struggled to put the pieces together in my head, I realized I did know my way to the pizzeria. Soon after, I made my way to the store front of the location. The place had a sign in front that read, “closed today till 5pm.” Although the Internet claimed they were open at 10am today, the closed restaurant proved otherwise.
As I looked around for a nearby restaurant, I realized I had been so excited to walk around South Queens, NY; that I had lost my feeling for hunger. I ran across a street sign that pointed me north and decided to continue walking with a positive instinct that I knew where I was going. Five miles later, I ended up in Rego Park!
I knew where I was because I came across this rocket ship and realized I was at the New York Hall of Science, which is in Rego Park. Along the way I came across a lunch buffet that had various food choices including pizza.
I’ve learned to go with the flow allowing me to see and experience more than I had planned out for myself. Fully embracing my journey.
2. Appreciation For The Moment
During my stay in Los Angeles, California I had a specific placed marked on my “To-Do List.” The Griffith Observatory is an interesting place where they have a Hubble telescope and an interactive museum in the basement of the observatory. Although they had me sold at Hubble telescope, I was also very interested in checking out Griffith Park. Griffith Park is a trail that runs alongside of the observatory and has various peaks where you can overlook the whole city. I took a Uber from my Airbnb around 4pm, since it was Sunday there was a lot of traffic driving up to the observatory, I had my driver drop me off at a location right before the traffic thickened. I walked up the remaining distance since I was moving at a faster rate than the cars.
Once I reached the parking lot for the Griffith observatory, I took a left and entered the trail for the park instead. With music and a warm breeze, the walk had been very peaceful. Several miles and hours later, I found myself on a peak above the city with nothing but silence and serenity. The sun slowly lowered as the city began to shine. Although the night brought the cold, I had stayed to enjoy the view. As I sat there fully appreciating the unbelievable scenery, I thought about what life would be like if I was able to appreciate more than just an incredible view.
I realized then the importance of trying to find the “incredible” in every moment, learning to appreciate it all.
3. In Tune With Myself
At first, I was scared to travel to new places by myself, venturing off to New York City or Los Angeles with the possibility of getting hurt or robbed, maybe even both. Remaining safe and chartering into new areas does not always run smoothly. You’ll stumble into bad neighborhoods and you will also find friendly ones as well. But learning to navigate through them is what it’s all about. This same concept can also be applied to life because you will experience both good and bad but being able to move through them and learn from it is what’s going to get you through it all with added strength. In every place I visited, I ran across times where I had choices to take a left or a right; to visit a certain location or to go somewhere else. I made decisions constantly that shaped my future but being honest and constantly communicating with myself helped me take the journey that was rightfully meant for me.
Although I am nowhere near finished with traveling alone. One necessary skill I have picked up along the way is learning to be in tune with myself. Constantly checking out different cities with no reason but to explore requires a strong desire to travel. Traveling alone is not for everyone and it is not your only choice to appreciate traveling; but if you do prefer it, then you have to understand that being in tune with your self can be the difference between having a memorable adventure or just having a mediocre time.
Learning to communicate with yourself will help you not only through traveling but also through life. From my experiences traveling I noticed I would talk to myself about how I felt or even funny instances that would make me laugh. From a shallow perspective, it would seem absurd that I do so but as I begin to fully understand why I do it, I notice it has helped me a lot in finding out who I am and also what I want.
Learning to be in tune with myself has helped me find comfort within and allowed me to grow to my full potential.
These lessons have helped shaped me into the person I am today. As I continue to journey to new places, these skills will reach new levels giving me more strength along the way. I am eager to see where my life takes me.
Lastly, I appreciate everyone reading along and I hope there is plenty of information to take from this blog!