After breaking up with my ex boyfriend almost a year ago, I decided to go it alone in Thailand for a few weeks.
My first solo trip had been in Europe three years earlier, and was a complete disaster. I was bored, confused and extremely anxious the whole time. So I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the Thailand trip, but I booked the tickets anyway with the hopeful mindset that it would be good for me.
AND WAS IT EVER.
Those three weeks in Thailand were mind-blowingly beneficial. To start off, Thailand is not a hard place to travel logistically, so it was a good choice. The tourist trail is beaten pretty far into the ground, and I admittedly didn’t stray too far from it, given the whole heartbreak deal.
Anyway. Last night I went through my journal from the trip. This is what I learned.
1. I AM CAPABLE
During my relationship, I let my boyfriend do a lot of things for me. Mainly, I allowed him to do things for me when I was feeling too anxious to do them myself. On my solo trip, I was smacked in the face with many bricks of anxiety. I had no choice but to move past them, so I did. It was not easy, but I put my anxiety to the side and decided to stop letting it control me. Nice to meet you, freedom!
2. I AM AWESOME AND WORTHY OF LOVE
I felt unloved and misunderstood in my relationship. Traveling alone allowed me lots of time to think, appreciate myself, and to notice the parts of myself that I had quieted or faded. I celebrated my accomplishments more. I danced. I ate lots of mango sticky rice.
3. I AM DRIVING THE SHIP
For years I worried what the next step would be for me and constantly asked myself what the right thing to do was. This trip allowed me to take a step back and realize that I am the one making those decisions, and I am the one defining what right is or isn’t.
4. I CAN STOP CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
This was a sore subject for me and controlled my life for a long time. What other people think about me is something that doesn’t serve me. It doesn’t improve me. It makes me critical, turns my anxiety up to level 5000, and encourages me to be judgmental. I hate all of those things. Ummm, BYE.
5. I CAN HAVE FUN ALL THE TIME
I know I have a lot of feelings. But once the feelings are adequately felt and are given enough attention, there is no reason I shouldn’t be happy. I gained so much awareness by asking myself why I wasn’t having fun on the first few days of my Thailand trip. I came up with the answers and gave them attention.
What I’m learning now is that being alone has been the best gift I could have given myself. Allowing myself the time and space to simply think and be has been an invaluable learning experience.
I think I’ll keep doing it.