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For many, the thought of solo travel is scary. For me, it’s comforting.

I took my first ever solo trip when I was 30. Not only was I single, but I was unemployed and unsure of the next steps in my career. I felt lost, I felt unfulfilled in life and I’d be lying if I said this was what I pictured my life to look like at the age of 30. I thought at this point in my life I’d have it all figured out…married or at least close to it, kids in the near future, and moving further up the ladder in a career I loved. At least, that’s the picture society had painted for me and I was naive enough to believe it.

But, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), things had not gone according to plan which made it easier for me to continue to pave my own path and be a risk-taker because, frankly, I felt like I had nothing to lose. My life didn’t look anything like I thought it would look like so why not keep venturing further down the path of discovering the unexpected? And with so much in life feeling like it was out of my control, one thing I did have control over was booking a trip and traveling.

Don’t get me wrong…the thought of solo travel was definitely scary, but what was even scarier to me was adding to my list of regrets surrounding travel. The two major regrets already on my list were that 1) I didn’t take the summer before I started full-time at PwC to travel which could have been funded by the money I made during the crazy busy season I worked during my junior year of college and 2) I hadn’t made it to Europe since I’d gone with my parents when I was 22. However, thanks to these regrets it was easier for me to pull the trigger on booking my first solo trip. I was more than ready to see the world and I wasn’t going to let not having anyone to go with stop me from going.

Although I initially joined the trip to see the world and experience another culture, the trip surprised me in ways I could have never expected. Suddenly, I discovered a world where the things that mattered in my everyday life didn’t really matter at all. In this environment, I didn’t feel judged by what my job title was, if I own or rent my place, if I’m coupled up or single, or if I have or want kids. Bragging rights of my trip mates were not how great of a job title they had, but rather how many countries they had visited and what trips they had on their horizon which was a breath of fresh air as well as completely inspiring.

Solo travel and small group trips became my saving grace during my 30s, an unsure time in my life where I was trying out a bunch things, but nothing seemed to be sticking. The most sure I felt of myself was when I was boarding a plane and heading on my next “alliventure”, which never failed to be a place where I could just be myself. And the more trips I took (13 trips and counting), the more people I met just like me…travelers, explorers, and free-spirits. The stories of their journeys inspired me and I’d come back from my travels with an even longer list of the destinations I wanted to visit.

I’m almost 40 now and my life looks exactly like it should, but still doesn’t include many aspects that are considered the norm by society’s expectations….I’m not a wife, I’m not a mother and I’m starting over in a completely new career. But through travel, I’ve found a sense of belonging and I’ve learned to embrace my free-spirited nature. And, it turns out, not all who wander are lost.

I can help you embark on your own journey of self-discovery through travel! Contact me today and follow along on my journeys @alliventures_travel.

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