2 Month Reflection- Mental Health Travel Blogger

2 months today I left home to start my solo adventure and become a Mental Health Travel Blogger. Leaving my family, boyfriend and most importantly my doggo behind to go ‘find myself’ in Fiji and Australia

The first month had its obvious challenges, new culture, different timezones, lack of chocolate! But even though the first week away I ended up in Fijian hospital with sun poisoning, 2 months on I’ve learnt a lot and have finally accepted a small bottle of coke over here is £5+

Hostel living is hard… being surrounded by people 24/7 is very tiring. For someone who struggles to sleep as it is and with sleep being an important factor to keep my mental health in order, having to deal with snorers, sleep talkers!! and that drunk gal that comes in at 3 in the morning, it is a struggle. Ive tried to sleep in earphones and I just cant do it. What I’ve started to do and at the moment has worked well so far is to book a smaller person dorm, or some hostels have female only dorms which are a couple of dollars more expensive.

Another thing I’ve struggled with in hostels is the eating/food situation. My diet is so poor at the moment, alongside food anxiety and lack of good food, which is noticeably affecting my head. Communal kitchens are normally okay, but when you have a pea shaped space in the fridge for your food… you cant really keep much. It means my diet is microwave rice, noodles (just because they are easy to make, not because they are cheap!) and pre-prepared pasta. All these meals means I’m in and out of the kitchen within 3 minutes.  I don’t know what it is about the communal kitchens that give me such anxiety but it is something I need to figure out because I need to start better!

My issues with using other peoples cutlery and plates etc. (especially in hostels when peoples version of ‘clean’ is very different) I have solved this by buying paper plates (which can be recycled) and plastic knives and forks (which I reuse – not trying to kill the planet) so that I can just use my own things.

Living out of a suitcase is shit, going in the shower and then remembering you didn’t bring your towel with you is shit and being in a 10 bed dorm with 2 plug sockets is shit… but it all creates the experience, right?

But one of the saddest things I’ve realised is that even though people ‘travelling’ are very nice people (the majority), you quickly realise nobody has your back and yes whilst everyone, especially solo travelling, is looking after no.1, there is a noticeable lack of loyalty or support. Like I said, you are surrounded by people constantly but I have times when I feel so alone. As if nobody is actually ‘there’ for me. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to burden every Tom, Dick and Harry about how I’m feeling but people genuinely don’t care about you and thats kinda sad. I guess its something i’ll have to get used to and I know I have people at home that do care so maybe that is what is important or maybe I just haven’t met the right people yet.

Another thing I’ve learnt is, toxic people are everywhere. Turns out it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, toxic people will be there to try ruin your day. My solution to this was to remove myself from the situation and cut them out of my life, exactly like what i would do at home. My time travelling is too short to spend with vile people. Beauty of travelling I guess, can literally pack your back and move onto the next place.

In all honesty, I feel I’m doing pretty well. The obvious bad days are here but I guess they always will be. Im starting to learn how to deal with certain situations and even though it may include a teary phone call back home, I have started to pick up things I like doing that make me feel better. Being by the sea, going for a walks, taking photos and ticking things off my bucket list….

Oh and I’m also getting very used to wearing ‘thongs’ all the time!

S x

Ps) Top bunk is so much better than bottom bunk!

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9 Comments

  1. May 14, 2018 / 1:43 pm

    You’re so brave and it sounds like you’re smashing it despite all the challenges! Hope you continue to enjoy your adventures!

  2. May 14, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    That is something to be proud of, I think it’s amazing your doing it solo. I am an anxious introvert so I would probably only last two days but I’d love to do it. I bet you are learning a lot and it must be awesome to pack up and head out. I have a kitchen anxiety too, I thought I was the only one ever! Safe travels.

  3. May 15, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    Oh I so relate to this post and I have been there! Weirdly the hostel thing gets easier… I actually developed the ability to sleep through almost anything (including my alarm clock, almost missed a few flights/buses!) when before I could only sleep in a pitch black room lying horizontally with no sound at all. Unfortunately I have reverted back to my old ways since coming back 🙁

    I also quickly learnt to book 4 bed dorms when they have them and female-only… tends to be quieter or at least less chance of snorers that way! Living out of a suitcase is the absolute worst and never got much better but it’s an inconvenience I found was worth putting up with for everything else. Hostels will give you some good stories at least haha!

    • prinsteph
      Author
      May 16, 2018 / 10:04 am

      I love reading peoples blog posts and thinking ‘that is exactly the same as me’ haha!

  4. May 20, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    This is a really honest and interesting insight Steph. Its good to hear that your doing well minus the negatives that you’ve mentioned. Reading these negatives has actually put into perspective what I was feeling quite a lot of the time when I was in Fiji when meeting new people. This seems to be something that lots of people seem to avoid discussing but is a big part of travel. Hope the rest of your adventure is a success and I’m sure you’ll get used to the perks of communal living!

  5. June 2, 2018 / 7:27 am

    Thank you for posting this. It’s a really honest account of some of the pitfalls but it seems you’re still having a great time and aren’t letting them consume you.

    It sounds like we’re incredibly similar: I’ve always wanted to go to Australia but have been delaying and delaying because I’m concerned about the impact of my anxiety and depression. I found this post via your tweet announcing you’d found a job – congratulations! Thank you for showing that mental ill health isn’t necessarily a barrier.

  6. June 2, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    So brave and inspirational Steph. Saw your post on Twitter – now following. Safe travels girlie! xxx

  7. June 2, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    Oh I felt for you reading this! I have similar issues, massive anxiety, need peace and quiet, can’t stand other people’s noise! I never stay in hostels anymore I just can’t hack it. But I am a lot older than you. I found your blog via your tweet about your new job, so you have done amazingly, what an accomplishment! I am Hoping you now find a nice apartment or at very least a flat share with one or two others. Enjoy!

  8. June 15, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    What an amazing and brave thing to do. You’re amazing for facing your fears and just going for what you want. Can’t wait to read more of your posts.

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