10 Things I Learned From Solo Travels
I had never really "traveled" before, as my family didn't have the means growing up (travel was Coney Island, Florida or the Bronx for a Yankee game), and I never had time when I was in school and the workforce. A friend suggested I take the opportunity to explore. I had always dreamed of traveling the world, so I did it.
1. We are more alike than we are different.
Different skin colors, languages, religions, but for the most part, in developed countries, we all deal with similar problems, just to different degrees.
2. People can detect if you're from the United States.
It's just in the way that we carry ourselves. If you tell them you're from New York, they'll deify you.
3. New York City, the surrounding boroughs and Long Island is a truly unique place.
There is SO much wealth (& diversity) here compared to most other cities. Hard to appreciate this if you never experience other places.
4. Most people are good natured and would LOVE to help you.
Give them the opportunity to do so. I was hopelessly lost in London at 3:30 am in a downpour. My phone was dead, so I had no way of communicating with my AirBnB host. I knew the street address and apartment number, but had no idea how to get there without Google Maps. I tried using a public internet kiosk, but it wasn't functioning. On a couple of occasions, I came across some folks who appeared to be on drugs. Eventually, at around 5:00 am, a friendly stranger going for his morning walk helped me find my AirBnB.
This happened to me another time when I was on a long hike in a mountain setting, lost my way, and couldn't figure out how to get back to where my car was parked. I ran into some strangers, told them my situation, and they helped me find my car. It took about an hour, but we did it, and they didn't appear to be annoyed (if they were, they did a good job of hiding it).
5. The Northern Lights Is A Sight To Behold
I got to see the Northern Lights with a woman from Colombia that I met at my AirBnB.
6. AirBnB changed the world.
Between AirBnB and budget travel options, there's almost no place in the world you can't physically get to without a little bit of creativity and some discipline. Travel is no longer only for the rich.
I stayed in some mansions, modest homes, apartments, and some dumps. I met many great hosts and made many friends.
7. Travel at a young age
It has a huge positive impact on your understanding of the world and future career. If I am blessed with children, I will make travel a priority for them. I wish I had gotten the opportunity to do so.
8. Flan is one of the greatest inventions of the human race.
They sold flan on every street corner in Paris. I ate flan every day I was there. It's one of my favorite things to eat.
9. Spoken language is only one form of communication.
I spent a week in an AirBnB with a Bulgarian host that spoke zero English. We had no problems communicating, and used Google Translate sparingly.
10. French people are not all rude.
While I did witness one woman being very rude to a pharmacist, I didn't interact with anyone who I would say acted rudely towards me.