As a solo traveler, I value the opportunities where I get to meet new people as well as meet up with old friends along my travels. Returning to Melbourne gave me the opportunity to reunite with a new friend that I met months earlier, and an old friend and co-worker from the U.S.
People don’t always realize that traveling is work – and that work was starting to catch up to me. It’s constant research, doing, seeing, experiencing, driving, and in my case, writing. It’s why I’ve gotten so behind in my blog. At least I was able to go on a tour of a rum distillery and met some fellow travelers who also house and pet-sit!
I picked up the campervan that I was relocating from Darwin to Cairns for $1 a day from Imoova. On the way, I stopped in Kakadu National Park to explore the rock art, Yellow Water Billabong filled with crocs, and hiked to a natural pool.
I explored the reptile house, beaches, an outdoor festival, movie theater, and went on a sunset boat cruise. I also randomly ran into a new friend, making it feel like the world isn’t so big after all.
What happens when you chase someone to the airport to tell them how you feel? Well, it doesn’t go quite like the movies, that’s for sure. Did I embarrass myself? Absolutely.
I was back to traveling solo, but thankfully, I had my Airbnb hosts and a friend who was still in town. I also met some great people at the horse races who welcomed me into their groups without hesitation.
When I first started traveling, several of my friends and family told me that they thought I’d meet someone on my travels. I must admit, I’ve hoped for the same thing. It’s tricky, though. I feel like I have a better chance of meeting someone compatible with me, maybe a fellow traveler on the road, than I would if I were settled in one city. However, I don’t want to be so distracted with someone that I give up my dreams, travels, and passions. I need someone who will encourage me in my pursuits, just as I encourage them.
I had to face reality about my car being destroyed in the desert. I didn’t know what to do, but my encouraging, famous Airbnb host had words of encouragement. She helped me to make a decision about what I’d do next and was so inspirational, she assured me that everything happens for a reason.
Sometimes solo travel feels incredibly lonely. I had been out of my home country for 5 months (the longest ever) and I was missing family, friends, and familiarity. I never thought I’d miss routine, but in that moment, I wanted something stable. I didn’t want to keep making major decision every single day.
The nighttime prison tour at the historic Fremantle prison provides lots of good history and stories of some famous criminals. The first thing the convicts had to build was their prison! I also met an awesome Airbnb host who had unique travel stories.
Perth is the world’s most isolated capital city. It’s designated as the sunniest capital city in the world. It’s a beautiful city, combing city and nature.
Esperance, Western Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches that I’ve ever seen! During my drive there, I also met some fun characters.
Norseman is the first town I arrived at after driving across the Nullarbor. I stayed at a hotel that was above a bar in an old Victorian building. Walking down the hallway was like walking into The Shinning.
Driving the Nullarbor Plain is like driving through Kansas. It’s more remote than driving to Alaska through the Yukon in Canada. I went hours between roadhouses. There no towns in sight.
I ended up in the corner of the yard in an old indoor/outdoor shed full of random tools. Dust and rust covered most of the items. There was a dummy dressed in old clothes that was hunched over in a strange position. It looked like something out of a horror movie. I started to freak out a little bit as Allan continued to follow me around the isolated corner.
Solo traveling gives you the opportunity to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. One evening in Australia, I met someone at a high level in politics.
Two years earlier, I met a guy named Matt at a bar in Los Angeles. We stayed in touch and he is from Adelaide. He picked me up and showed me around the city. We stopped for sushi and I was happy to have him around.
On the side of the road, I noticed hitchhikers with large backpacks. I was driving too fast and passed them. Then my gut told me to go back and see if I could help them with a ride.