This is a slightly different post today from my second guest blogger. I feel very privelleged that the lovely Gabriella Sophia from Haute Future wanted to write on my blog about her amazing trip. I have been following her blog for a long time and it is so varied and extremely interesting, this post makes me want to pack a bag and travel!!
Going on vacation is always fun, right? You sit with your friends or family, leafing through travel magazines or webpages just trying to find the right holiday for the group. You send your fellow travellers web-links of places you absolutely must visit when you reach your destination. You plan who will be taking the hair straighteners, or the Cadbury's chocolate (because we all know chocolate from abroad isn't a patch on our own purple wrappered bars...) But what is planning a vacation like when you're going all by yourself, leaving your friendly familiar security blanket behind?
When I planned back in January that I would travel North America alone for six weeks, my parents thought I'd lost my mind. 'What do you mean you're going alone? Where will you stay, what will you do, who will you be with???' I'd booked the vacation on the thought that I would fail my degree and hence wanted to be as far away from summer graduation as possible, and now I was starting to panic. Had I really lost my mind?
Fast forward five months and I didn't fail my degree. In fact, I managed to acheive a perfectly respectable 2.1 classification, but I wasn't going to cancel thousands of pounds worth of travelling just because I'd surpassed my expectations...
So on the 17th of June I found myself sat all alone on a BA flight to Los Angeles, with worries and concerns of how I'd carry my 17kg of pack on my back without any help for the next six weeks. How would I manage travelling alone to the furthest place I would have been to so far? My pulse raced as I felt the plane's engine rumbling into action. And yet seconds later, as the plane left British soil, I knew I'd done the right thing.
Travelling alone was quite possibly the best thing I've done with my life so far and I would recommend it to anyone who has any sense of adventure, independence and chutzpah. The people I met, the places I saw, the activities I did were made all the better because I was travelling alone and didn't have to think about what anyone else wanted. I could lie-in until 1pm hungover in Vegas if I wanted to, if I felt like spending five hours reading on Venice Beach I could, I could even have gone skinny dipping in the lake in San Antonio if I'd really felt like it, and no-one would have had any say in the matter!
There were no parents there to frown upon me if I'd had one drink too many, no jealous friends forcing me to leave the club if the sexiest guy in the place wanted another dance. Imagine that kind of freedom abroad! And when you're in a country as developed as the USA, there are none of the concerns that you may have travelling solo in other destinations. Almost everyone speaks English in the USA. Apart from in the National Parks (hole-in-the-ground toilets at The Grand Canyon anyone?) the facilities are modern and clean. If you forget your shampoo, its not the end of the world because the nearest pharmacy is only about as far away as the nearest Starbucks. NOT very far.
To conclude, I'd advise anyone to travel the USA solo. The hostels are mostly well kept, the shops are fantastic, and the culture is a lot richer than you would anticipate. Highlights included sharing a mud-hut with a family of Native Americans, singing on the same spot as Country music's finest at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, eating jambalaya in New Orleans, reflecting on the life of Martin Luther King at his assasination site in Memphis and taking pictures of exhibitions made famous by the film Night At The Museum in New York's Natural History Museum. I've come back a more mature, well-rounded and interesting person because I travelled alone, I just know it.
So, where will you travel solo?
How beautiful is this lady and not to forget brave!! Please check out here blog she is going to be writing lots more posts about her travels, I CANNOT wait to read more!!!