Disclosure, this is not a post with fun photos (womp womp). This is a post about the first three weeks and the mental journey not seen on your phone and computer screen.
The first three weeks as seen on my blog and Instagram may look like the time of my life, but to be quite honest, they were actually quite the opposite. The first three weeks of adapting to the new personalities, environment, lifestyle, really did take more time than I had imagined. There were moments of pure sadness, loneliness and depression to where if you asked me two weeks ago when I would be heading home, my answer would have likely been “probably in a week or so.” It wasn’t until I got to Manila, checked into my Airbnb for some quality “me time” that I started to feel comfortable again. In speaking with my mother it was brought to my attention that maybe thus far my issue has been that over these last two months I have not had as much “me time” as I am now accustomed to. My time recently, even my last month in Los Angeles, was spent with loads of people at every turn and filling any empty space in my day that I had with plans. It may not be the same for everyone, but I got extremely comfortable with having my own apartment back in Los Angeles and a space to call my own. I was not completely happy nor felt like myself the first three weeks of this journey, but don’t get me wrong, there were definitely spurts of fun in-between the hard times. Yet as soon as I walked into that condo in Manila I instantly felt at home. (No I will not be moving to Manila, just making a point). Hostel staying may be for a lot of people and is definitely a great option financially, but I now understand that that way of travel is not for me. It is possible that at one point in my life it would have been right up my alley, but I have developed this love for alone time and personal space that unless you get a private room in a hostel, it just doesn’t exist.
I felt a turning point on day two in Manila where I was able to accept that I did this trip to figure out what needed to change in my life in order to be happy. If I went home now nothing would have actually changed in my life. I would have gone back to the same routine and what would this trip have been for? What would have been accomplished? Other than seeing things I haven’t seen before… nothing. Nothing would have changed. Have I seen things I will likely never see again? Absolutely. But those things are not why I am here. I am not here for the pretty sunsets and fun photos… this trip is a lot more than that. I do believe that if I continue on this journey something will be discovered about myself. Let’s be honest, hopefully more than one thing will be discovered at this rate. However, with that acknowledgement I know I can’t go home yet. I know I have to power through the loneliness and hardships that go with solo travel and continue on.
Next Stop – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines (Yes, El Nido. Lets hope they don’t cancel my flight this time.)