How traveling alone changed me.

This week I have been posting a lot of pictures and music that remind me of Mongolia. Mongolia will always have a special place in my heart, since it was the first country I traveled to alone.

I stayed in a Mongolian family for 3 weeks and traveled around the country with a Mongolian family 2 Italian guys and an Irish girls for a week. This was only made possible because of the Lions organization, which is a kind of rotary club that organize camps and homestays in countries all over the world to encourage dialogue between people from different countries and to create cultural understanding.

I was a very shy girl and very attached to my “friends” who treated me very badly now I look back at it. I have never traveled without my parents, outside of Europe or flown in my life. I was scared, I was afraid I would have a hard time communicating, that I would be lonely and homesick.

Thank god I had the best time of my life, I made awesome new friends, I realized my so-called-friends were not my friends and discovered who my real friends were. I became more confident and way more talkative. If you want a relatively cheap and save way to see a new country and you are within the age range of 15 and 21 I totally would recommend you to check out the Lions organization youth exchange program!

However, it wasn’t until 2 years later, the summer after my high school graduation that I really got to know myself and became the person I wanted to be instead of being the person that people thought I was.

I finally went to the country I always wanted to go to – Korea! I made a plan, calculated how much money I would spend and then started convincing my parents. My dad was easy-peasy, he really encourages me and my sisters to follow our dreams, my mom however was a different story.

North-Korea just sunk a South-Korean warship, my mom was scared and just rather had me stay at home. Luckily I was able to convince her and could start booking tickets and hostels. And then finally I spend an amazing 3 weeks in Korea.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I was shitting bricks however from the moment I stepped out of the airplane I fell absolutely in love with the country and it’s amazing people.

But most important I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it is okay to make my own decisions, that it is okay to have fun, that it is okay to be myself and people would still like me.

I became a happier, more confident version of myself. Korea still has this effect on me and that is probably one of the reasons why I like to be there so much even though I am in general a very happy and confident person nowadays.

After traveling alone I finally realized I shouldn’t take shit from people and stand my ground, that I have the right be happy and should be, because I am amazing and wonderful.

And so are you! and if you haven’t realized that yet I recommend you to travel alone, meet new people and do all the things you want to do and be happy, because you deserve it!

So I challenge you, within a year from now, travel somewhere, it can be far away, or really close by. Go alone, stay alone and enjoy and be amazed about all the things you can do!

Tell me, where would you go and what crazy things would you do if you were travelling alone?

Love, Wietske 

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4 thoughts on “How traveling alone changed me.

  1. Hi I'm Dyan. says:

    I’d really like to go to Korea and Europe. I’ll be graduating this April and hopefully I find work and then I’d save up for my travel funds. 😀 Though perhaps I’d tour around my country first before abroad.

  2. I really want to experience travelling alone! But I think I need to graduate and find a job first to save up for my travels. 🙂

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