Confessions of a 20-Something Frustrated Traveler

March 31, 2017


The independent thing it's not all fun as I thought it would be. The time when you graduate college or land on your first job, that's usually when life hits us hard with responsibilities, tough challenges, difficult decisions to make, and don't forget about the bills. It's also the time to give back to our parents who have made sacrifices for us for we won't be standing right where we are today if it weren't for them. So it is safe to say that at twenty-something, we are in the most crucial years of our lives. It's our time to make decisions that will either make our lives or break it or the turning point of our lives, as you might say. Adulting ain't easy.  Also at twenty-something is when we feel the most curious and adventurous. Excited about what awaits us in the future. We start to seek our purpose and long for the happiness and love that we deserve.


That being said, I'm now torn between working hard to have a better future and living life to the fullest. Because life is short and I might not have the luxury to do the things I'm able to do today in the future, like travel and adventure. I know that the first option is important, and it should even be a priority. That is if I ever want to live a luxurious life. Obviously, option one is the most practical option, and everybody knows that. Who would not want to live a life of wealth and comfort, right? And yet my heart aches for the latter. I want adventure.

I want to see more of what is out there, I want to see the world from my own perspective and not from somebody else. I want adventure and exploration. I want to discover new things and meet new people. All my life I have believed that my life goal is to land on a decent job after college and maybe get a promotion or two, be rich, have a wonderful family and live happily ever after. But when I got a glimpse of what awaits for me outside this city I live in, I realized that there's so much that I am missing out! I always had this ridiculous thought that everything I will ever need is right here in this city that I call home. But the more places I get to visit, the more I realize that I am missing out on so much experience that this city can never fulfill.

After one backpacking experience, I got the travel bug and I've been itching to go places since. I have been dreaming of places and countries to go to ever since I can remember. My bucket list is just filled with countries and locations to explore to, and perhaps a few of the extreme activities that I want to try.

Primarily, my reason for traveling is to just make an escape. To run away from the stress that life hands me or just to take a break from routine. Traveling made it easier for me to cope up with my life's dilemmas, it was all therapeutic for me. Either traveling helped me or it just made my situation worse. Because now, I'm addicted. It's like my own personal brand of heroine, quoting Stephenie
Meyer here. You've been warned, the travel bug is real.

"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

Funny how what started out as an escape - ended up being more of a necessity for me. The need to go is strong. Keen as it may be, I still don't have the guts to go alone. I keep on looking for the courage  to travel solo, but to no avail. Fear and anxiety is eating up my urge to go.  In fact, I keep on making up excuses not go solo. That is why I always had a travel buddy, whether it's my friends or my boyfriend. And I'm afraid that they are already getting tired of me asking them to go places every now and then. Because duh, they have their own priorities and I mean, that's okay. But honestly, I'm also growing weary of waiting for them to be awesome and go on an epic adventure. When will I ever find the courage to go by myself?


It just frustrates me that no one around me understands how it feels like to have the itch to travel. Come to think of it, it's not just an itch that needs scratching. Let me remind you that it's not only places you discover when you travel. It is discovering new experiences, new culture, and most importantly, discovering your true self. Traveling is the thrilling adventure of life. It's the fearlessness of the unknown. And you will learn things about yourself that you never knew you had. I travel because I want to see both of the world and myself, hoping it will help me become the best version of myself.

I will start with fearless. I solemnly swear that I will stop waiting for someone to do awesome things with me. I have to be strong enough to do and enjoy the things I love with my own company. I can't let fear hold me back of doing something amazing. Here's to traveling solo!



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21 comments

  1. It's true, just when you think you're free of responsibilities (academics), another one comes along (work). I've learned to balance my earnings so I can give back to my parents while still travel. However, almost every plan I have with my friends are drawings 😂 And so I also have to learn how to travel on my own and not wait for them.
    I feel the same. I travel to see more of the world because it's just so beautiful. I also learn and experience new things while traveling. I've always heard from older generations that we, millennials, prioritize travel over working and settling down but I don't really see the problem? 😂 I think it would even make us more prepared when we finally settle down if we travel first because we've learned how to handle ourselves in different places, independently.

    xo, Gillan

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    1. I completely agree with you! I learn a lot when I travel, not that I've done it too many times but I have. It may not be about acads but damn, life lessons are so much important, you know. And you can only learn as much when you are outside your comfort zone. :)

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  3. I can relate to this post so much!! Try going on small trips alone first - weekend, long weekends relatively locally / domestic and then head overseas! At the end of the day, you can't wait around for people and you should so what you feel like! Even if that is by yourself

    Nat // Dignifiable​

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    1. Yes. I'm taking baby steps on this travel solo thing. I have a trip this month and I hope it will push through. So deep breaths and crossed fingers!!! :)

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  4. Nika, I feel you girl! This post speaks to me on a spiritual level haha. I've always felt like I wasn't meant to stay in one place and work my ass off. I want to get out there and see what the world has to offer. Just like you, I'm running out of people to tag along with me too. It's getting a bit frustrating that my plans to travel are being held back by either the people I invite to go with me or by my anxieties.

    Fortunately, after years of contemplating, I'm finally planning a solo backpacking trip to South East Asia this year. If you ever finally decide to travel on your own (and in South East Asia!), send me an email. I'd be glad to tag along! :D

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    1. We gotta be strong, girl! We can't let our anxiety or anyone, for that matter, hold us back any longer. Ooooh good luck on your trip!! I can't wait to read about it. Tell me how it goes, okay? And yay!! You'll get an email from me, for sure! :)

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  5. This was me back in 2014! I got tired of waiting for people to go with me, so I went and booked trips even without companions. It was scary at first, but I've gone on a couple of solo trips since then and it has been so liberating. Knowing that you can go places and do things by yourself is one of the best feelings I have ever felt, and it's given me a confidence boost to pursue the things I've wanted to do. :)

    Teesh ♥ || Adventures of Cupcake Girl

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    1. Congrats on overcoming the fear! I can't wait to know the feeling of thay kind of freedom, seriously!! :)

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  6. Girl!!! You put words on what I'm feeling this past days too!! On my way home some random day last week, I was thinking of ditching my Friday work (again HAHAHAHA!) and hop on a bus to Baguio ALL BY MYSELF! Try lang diba? Just be random and spontaneous. It's okay to be scared girl, it means na what you're gonna do is something big. Pero let's go fight this anxiety to go solo travel! Kaya natin to girl.

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    1. That's me most of the time!!! Hahaha and Baguio is ALWAYS the destination too, maybe because at least I'm familiar with it and it's far away from home but not too far, playing safe ba. So much for an escape. Hahaha. I hope we do overcome this soon! And someday, we'll hop on that damn bus and just go without looking back. Char. Haha. who knows we might bump in on each other sa Baguio!! :)

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  7. Thanks for speaking on my behalf, Nika! Haha jk. But seriously though, this is what I've been feeling lately too. We were raised to follow this specific routine but ended up wanting more. I started doubting myself at first. "Maybe it's us (millennials) who's wrong for defying the rules and not following the typical graduate on time-get a job- have a family." And I'm just glad there are others who are going through the same phase. Traveling solo is also on my bucket list and I hope to fulfill that someday soon. 💓

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    1. Exactly!!! I felt guilty then for wanting such freedom but then I realized, why? Why is it wrong to prioritize something that makes you happy? So yeah, I decided I'd prioritize my own happiness for a change. Cheers to traveling solo! Kaya natin to ;) 💞

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  8. Just when you thought you are free from all the responsibilities, it will hit you right away that you are not! Life ain't easy, I must agree. I was recently employed last January and I thought when you are already working, you can do all things that you want because you already have the money. However, this is not true all the time. Before spending money on anything, you will ask yourself if it is worth spending. In addition, saving up is not that easy too (especially when you are always hungry like me). We are just 20-something but we must be wise in everything especially in saving up and spending. Sorry, I think I just ranted. Haha.


    Xeph | engineerxeph.com

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    1. Agree, saving up is hard! When I first started working, all I did to my paycheck was treat myself. I kept telling myself that I deserved it! Hahaha good thing I'm done with that stage ;))

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  9. This is so true! Adulting just sucks. I hate that moment where you finally get to have your paycheck but then you're torn between saving it up or spending it on travel and adventures. And oh, don't forget the bills! Haha. Anyhoo, thank you for posting this. Very relatable.

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    1. Right? Right? Thanks for dropping by :)

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  10. This is such a good read, Nika! More so than before, I have been going places I never would have thought I wanted to explore. Although, I don't think I can travel alone yet. Haha, IDK I'm too scared!!! Anyway, I'm looking forward to your solo travel series soon! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm looking forward on my solo travel as well, still gathering some courage though but I have plans na :)

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  11. But does it really have to be a choice—working to have a better future and enjoying adventure? I've always believed that it can go together. Do we really want to rush things: go around the Philippines and visit all the provinces in a year, be able to travel around the world before they turn 25, etc. The question should be: why do we really travel? Is it to show the world that we have traveled to this and that place in a certain period of time? That we have conquered this number of mountains in a year? That we have been to this number of continents in a year? That we have done an epic “20 provinces in a month" or such? But really, shouldn't travel be something we want to enjoy? Something which our soul can savor and take in? When we rush through provinces, or cities, or countries, all we will be left at the end of the day are photos. But when we take our time and slow down, we will be left with great experiences and knowledge of the culture and people of the places we have been. Plus, we will not be left burnt out traveling. So from someone who has been traveling a lot for many years now, an unsolicited advice would be work for a better future and enjoy adventure at the same time. It can be done, and when you do that, you won't feel guilty and scared about your future while you are traveling. After all, andyan lang ang mga lugar na yan eh. They will not leave. They will wait for you, iha, so you can enjoy them guilt-free ;-)

    O di ba, ang super haba ng comment ko haha

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  12. I'd love to travel solo as well but I am too chicken, plus as much as I love doing other things solo I do love having someone there to share memories with when I'm travelling. Saying that, if I had an opportunity to travel and it was go alone or don't go at all I would totally go by myself and not hesitate! I completely know what you mean about the travel bug, it's like once you travel once it just sticks with you and you crave that experience again.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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