I might be signing my web-death warrant here, but I really wanted to tell you about my first solo travel. Why ? So you’ll know that you’re not alone, and that as you learn, you can grow.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my first travel. Obviously. Otherwise I wouldn’t have kept going after that. But in hindsight, I can see that I did wrong everything that I could, and that I was in fact the biggest cliché of the first time traveller.
So here is my story, just try to spot the mistakes :
It all started on that bright happy morning, the d-day. I got up, pulled on the clothes that I had carefully layed out, shouldered my backpack, took my big suitcase, and checked one last time the straps of my quechua tent that was held to my suitcase. (I’m sorry I can’t bring myself to put up a picture of that ridiculous gear).
I then rush to take the bus, but have to stop before I’m even out of the shadow of my own building. The straps are not strong enough and the tent was dragging on the concrete for a few steps. There is now a hole in it with a broken arc sticking out of it. That’s okay, I tell myself. I pull the straps tighter and catch my bus.
While on the train, I suddenly have a sinking feeling that I’m late. I didn’t check if the departure time of the bus that was going to take me across the border was in my time zone ! And since the train has now stopped at a station without explanation (pretty common in Paris), I decide to jump out and find myself a cab.
The poor cab driver, while helping me to put my huge suitcase into the trunk, sticks one of my tent’s broken arc into his jaw and starts bleeding.
I unpack my new first aid kit to give him a bandage. Oh my …
Turns out my bus was giving the time for my time zone, and why wouldn’t it ? So I rushed, felt sick with fear, spent all the euros I was carrying on me and stabbed a cab driver for nothing.
At this point, I’m starting to wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something. But I get on the bus anyway (I’m kind of stubborn) and after one long trip I finally arrive at my destination.
Starting with a six days trek although I have never walked for more than a few hours in my life, I injure my knee in the second day. I walk through the pain for the third day, and then have to take a day off. I spend this whole day sulking in my tiny tent although a bunch of travelers next to me on the campsite ask me several times if I want to join them and share their meal.
Still stubborn, I finish my trek, crying from the pain and smiling from the beauty of the nature around me at the same time. (I do not count that as a mistake, by the way).
Okay, now that the trek is done, I at least have the good sense to dump my tent on my last campsite. Aside from my knee and my deep suspiciousness of strangers talking to me, everything else goes fine.
Of course, I’ve planned way too much time in each city, am traveling with the guide book apparently ducked tape to my hand, and realized on the way I’m not using half of what I’ve brought in my big suitcase.
See, I’ve done it all ! But still I have no regret about that first time, it was wonderful, I felt independent and free and was already planning the next one on the bus back.
This was my confession, how about you ? What mistakes did you make on your first travel ? I might feel less alone in my shame if some of you would share their stories !