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