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Tracey is a travel enthusiast and has visited 37 countries, she has a heavy passport and can’t wait for the next stamp. Her Mum inspired her to travel as she had travelled a lot herself back in the day. Tracey finally had her first international trip in 2009 and queue the travel bug. Today, she still works full time as a CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) and travels as much as she can with two mortgages. Tracey created a website to help put her knowledge to use and inspire other travellers to take on the world.
Suddenly Alone in Europe. Is my Trip Over?
When my best friend pushed me to join him on a backpacking trip of a lifetime in Europe, I eventually had to cave in. We then had 15 months to wait out before we would leave Australia. The time came to hit the road and after five weeks exploring I was a solo traveller.
Long story short, he felt homesick and unexpectedly told me he was going back to Australia. This left me on my own, dumped in Budapest, Hungary. I never would have chosen to go backpacking on my own and I only went as I had a companion, my best friend. It was hard, my family were 15,000km (9,320 miles) away and I fell down in a heap. I faced sadness, loneliness and tears for days as I’d never expected or asked for this.
I spoke to my family for hours every day once he left for the next week, especially my Mum. Needing to find energy and trying to not give up, I was pushing myself to get out of bed and explore each day. You see if you’re an independent traveller you may not know any different, or had a smooth transition. But for me, I never thought of it before and suddenly I was forced into that position. I lost confidence, lost my smile, energy and felt like no one cared about me but my family. I had puffy eyes for days, this was my life out of the blue and what I was going through. After a few days I had friends asking me where my friend was, which I had to say that he had returned to Australia.
All I had was a flight booked from Budapest to Copenhagen and a Russian tour starting a few weeks after that & nothing booked in between, not even a bed. I arrived in Copenhagen and walked to a hostel hoping it would have availability. On my walk from central station to the hostel, my sleeping bag was stolen off my backpack without me noticing. I had to laugh about it, or I’d cry again. I spent a week in Copenhagen and fell in love with the city, but I was an emotional wreck. I had to all of a sudden get used to eating on my own, taking my own photos or asking strangers, I had to laugh to myself with no one to talk to and no company.
My saviour came along with a heart made of gold and an energy that could power earth. One of my girlfriends is half Australian half Swedish and was living in Malmo, Sweden. We weren’t close friends back then (whereas today we are inseparable) but had known each other for years. She noticed right away how deflated I was and I needed a vacation from my vacation. I was only planning to stay in Malmo for one night before this incident, I stayed for 10. During this time we drank, we partied, we cooked, we watched Geordie Shore, pumped tunes , had a million heart to hearts, went out for lovely meals and walks around the city. After a rejuvenating 10 days, I had found my ‘mojo’ again and felt like I could take on the world by myself. I had become a confident independent solo female traveller with a big smile on my face. I spent the next five months travelling around the world until it was time to come back home and keep paying the mortgage.
What about my former best friend, you may ask? Well, he came back to Europe and we did a tiny bit of travelling but we knew we weren’t a perfect match anymore and quickly separated. I was use to being an independent explorer by the time he got back and I loved it! We are not the best friends we once were, but we are friends and still keep in touch. I wish him the best and can’t wait for him to keep exploring the globe like I am.
So, if you have ever wondered if you will be able to wander on your own, you can. You’ll find that strength within yourself like I had to. These days I can (and have) book a flight from Australia to Brazil and travel on my own holding my life in my own hands every day. This mess that I was once in where I couldn’t even smile turned out to be the best part of my life. I no longer rely on others and know that the strongest bond I have, is with myself.
I loved this story so much from Tracey that I just had to ask some questions:
Question 1: How old were you when this all happened?
I was 24 years old when this happened.
Question 2: Do you often get women saying “OMG you’re going alone, you’re so brave, I wish I could do that” and what do you say to them?
I often receive expressions such as OMG you’re going alone, you’re so brave and I wish I could do that. Response:
“You have no idea how amazing it is” There is liberation like no other when you’re an independent woman roaming the world. I don’t have anyone to hold me back and I book to go wherever I want, when I want. I would (and do) encourage any woman, given the chance and opportunity, to go and travel on your own. You will meet amazing lifelong friends and will fall in love with roaming solo.
Question 3: If the “Now Tracey” could sit the “before Tracey” down for a glass of wine, just as her friend left, what would she say to her (you have had half a bottle of wine by this point, so you’re not afraid to give tough love).
You are going to be okay! This is not the worst thing to happen in life and now you have the chance for an absolute freedom that others dream of. You can wake up each and every day and you have no boundaries or obligations to anyone but yourself. You will look back on this one day and realise this was the best thing that has happened to you!
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