I had no idea how much you could learn and how much you could gain personally by blogging. I posted my first blog on October 8, 2010 and have blogged during every camping trip I have taken. I have received many comments on my posts and enjoyed every one of them. I began this solo adventure a year ago when I purchased my motorhome and it has been incredible, lots of travel, and extremely eye opening. But it was not without upsets.
I guess I had high expectations for this last sojourn to Texas - some from the people I would meet and some from the places I would see. That's not always a good thing. I will say that I was disappointed many times on this trip. From getting sick as well as watching my poor little Xi Shi suffer to being unable to camp where I wanted to and spending too much on campground fees. These are things that I had not anticipated would happen. However, I am thankful for some of the things that did happen.
I learned how to care for my coach in a manner that I did not know before. I felt safe in every place I stayed. I met nice people and their beautiful pets who they adore. I saw sunrises and sunsets and moon rises over the water that I've not seen the likes of. I saw a different way to live that might not be for me but is interesting and fascinating all the same.
It was hard for me to use this time for sensing any kind of sign or feeling from the ones within. The most difficult part was remaining centered when confronted with negativity. This is draining to my psyche and I tend to avoid those types of situations. However, I did encounter a few.
I generally go to the beach for rejuvenation and most of my attempts at that were hindered by one thing or another. The ocean is very powerful and fills the void in me that only it can fill. It is my drug of choice. Confronting obstacles while trying to accomplish this task is upsetting, to say the least.
The Top Things I Would Do Differently On My Next Journey:
1. I will not have high expectations of people or places in the future.
2. I will probably do better with less planning of activities or events.
3. I will travel at a slower pace next time.
4. I will learn how to tow a get-about vehicle (golf cart & trailer).
5. I will boondock more.
6. I know that people are strange when you're a stranger - and I will not feel the need to associate with such in order to enjoy myself.
Things I've Learned About Myself Since I've Started RV Solo Traveling:
1. To value every person who takes the time to teach what they know about RVing. There is so much to learn and share in the travel community.
2. To always be myself. I'm not afraid to express my own voice and to say when I like something, have mixed feelings of a place or person, feel lonely on the road, or how I've evolved through travel.
3. To chase my dreams. I only live once! This blog has been an eye opener since it has exposed me to many free-thinkers out there whom I hope to meet someday.
4. I will spend less time online. Social media has so much power but just being online doesn't cut it. Connections have to be made, and a sense of community has to be created. My fellow travel bloggers are great at this, and I admire them so much for their impressive work.
5. I am not as much of a loner as I thought I was.
6. I do not want to be a perpetual nomad. Travel will always be an important part of my life, but I need a home base and prefer a slower pace when it comes to travel.
7. I am capable of much more than I ever imagined. Although I was confident going into this and did entirely too much research to prepare for this trip, I have been in many situations I did not expect.
8. I think I have more to learn about myself. When you take yourself away from a comfortable situation, a normal routine, an established group of friends and family, you are automatically focusing more on yourself. You think about your life more. You think about what is important to you. You take fewer things for granted.
9. Traveling solo for me is an introspective journey. I want to absorb more, experience more, react more, and share more. Traveling solo is the perfect time for deep introspection. Traveling alone can give us some of the answers we've been seeking and help us discover the meaning of all our un-clarified thoughts. Look at it this way, this is the time for me to be ME. It’s my world, my time, my adventure.
10. I am not always up for the challenge. Life on the road can give us so many challenges that test our innate patterns and reactions, our emotions, our likes and dislikes. Technically, I found myself in solitude.
11. I need a better measure of my patience. Traveling, either by myself or with friends gives me a better measure of my patience. You learn to have patience with the things that are out of your control (like delays, weather, etc) and you learn not to waste your patience with the things that don’t deserve it (like certain attitudes, intolerance, etc).
12. I'm learning how to be confident about my RV. My confidence will grow as I see how things that depend on me become accomplished. It’s extremely satisfying to see all that I have accomplished so far – be it traveling to "X" amount of states, or doing a hike cross-country, or sunning at the best beaches in the country. It's whatever turns you on.
13. I'm learning a greater tolerance on things being different. Traveling exposes you to different cultures and mentalities. When traveling alone, I get an even greater exposure since I don’t enclose my social self with my group of friends. I get to talk more freely with locals, have deeper conversations, and even appreciate better many different perspectives. To experience a different culture openly is to understand it and tolerate it, even if I don't agree with its beliefs.
14. I enjoy having a greater independence. Traveling alone comes with greater responsibility. Everything depends on me. But at the same time, my independence gives me greater flexibility.
15. I'm learning more about love and compassion. This could be one of the most important things you get to learn about yourself when traveling solo. You travel for yourself, to re-discover yourself, to experiment with your life, to explore what’s in you. Whether conscious or not, traveling alone serves as a catalyst for the love for oneself... thanks to the constant ease of introspection.
There are many more ways traveling solo can have an impact on me. But, just because I travel solo doesn't mean I will "transform" myself into a whole new person. Some do, but most don’t. It all depends on how open and receptive you are while traveling and how you decide to interact with your changing environment. Change doesn't come instantly, it is slow and progressive.
Lets say that traveling "plants the seed." At first you won't notice anything different, but eventually you will start seeing things in a different way, will desire things in ways you didn't expect, will change certain priorities, and without knowing, you are a different person. That change is a whole process, a personal learning process... a journey.