What Solo Travel Taught Me This Year
On April 5th, 2018, I sat down in my teeny studio apartment, opened my laptop, and purchased the domain emilymalkowski.com for $18.
Because it was $20, but I had a coupon code for 10% off.
Since then - and it was somewhere in between the ridiculously early mornings spent in airports in the name of booking a cheap flight, feeling terrified to put my writing on display for the world to see for the first time, the seemingly never-ending 12+ hour bus rides where I felt thankful for every second I didn’t have to sit next to anybody, sleeping in strangers’ houses, and the countless times I wandered around a new city while staring at the blinking blue dot on my Google maps app, hoping that somehow it would jump out of my phone, hold my hand, and personally escort me back to my hostel - I learned a lot.
It started with just little things, like discovering a new favorite coffee shop (looking at you, Jo’s Coffee in Austin), or the fact that flying with a sinus infection is complete and utter torture (learned that one the hard way). I worked hard to strengthen my writing skills. I realized the unfortunate reality that not everyone in my life is going to support me the way that I’d like them to. I learned that I write some of my best work in airports, and that I really do love airplane coffee, even if it is probably gross.
On the surface, I learned all of these things and more. But these little lessons, stories, and pockets of memories that I now get to keep forever all slowly led to me realize how much I was uncovering about myself and my life along the way. Travel pushes me, inspires me, and keeps me sharp- but most of all, it empowers me, shows me what I’m capable of, and reminds me of how much life there’s still left to live and explore out there.
Thanks for the memories, 2018.
2019, I’m coming for ya.