I told my best friend a week ago, “For my next trip, I will go to a country that I might not feel quite safe going to by myself.” I said this to myself while rationalizing my decision to choose Aruba instead of Belize. Not that I felt like Belize isn’t safe. I haven’t heard much about the crime there but as an introvert I feel unsafe everywhere.
I feel unsafe next to the old lady in aisle 3 of the grocery store because she may talk to me. When I say safe, I don’t mean free of danger. I mean free of being without a safety net or a way out. Free of not having to do too much interaction with transportation, excursions or confusion of other cultures. I spoke about this in my previous blog but traveling alone internationally is another beast because now you’re not alone in another state where you dont know anyone but you’re in a whole country where you know no one.
Then I thought to myself, what kind of traveler example am I setting for my people who look to me like I am the most adventurous person that they know? How can I tell someone not to be scared to do it alone if I postpone my life because I don’t want to do the small trivial things?
I was at work reading my email full of travel deals and I rolled my eyes at my decision to go to Aruba. The Caribbean is so played.* It is a safety net. Its full of tourist traps and attractions. Beaches that stretch around the entire island that wont make you feel guilty about just lying in the sand. Americans with selfie sticks running around throwing tantrums aplenty. Full of culture but still familiar.
I had resisted mailing in my travel voucher for two weeks because I wasn’t 100% sure about my decision. I actually picked between the two countries in a coin toss.
Still I struggled to keep interest. I couldn’t find unique things to do and even the AirBnb options were lacking to me. It felt like I was forcing myself to go and enjoy it. I was constantly searching for something better that I could do and looking back at Belize.
Tonight, on the way home from work, I could not talk myself into Aruba anymore. I found a replacement flight to Belize that had one stop and it was the same price for the ticket that I bought for Aruba (that had two layovers and would take 19hr travel time (due to layovers)). I got the chance to shave off a day that I added to my ticket just because of the travel time. I even found a modern AirBnB under my price range close to the beach and the city. Something that I could not find in Aruba.
Hell I saved $35 on my room. How could this not be more of a sign that I made the right decision?
I am headed to bed.** I wrote this to say continue to push yourself even more outside of your comfort zone. Don’t choose the safe route because it is convenient or because you are scared that you will get bit by poisonous snakes, sharks, plain ol stabbed by crazy people or being immersed into something unfamiliar. Enjoy life while you have it to live and don’t put walls up for yourself.
BNA to BZE
*Please do not take that as a slight because I definitely dream of going to Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Cuba, etc. However, everyone makes the decision to go to the Caribbean to play on an island. I want my travel voucher to be worth the passport stamp. The countries are beautiful but at this point it’s almost like going to Atlanta. I could go to the Caribbean anytime with my own money.
**The time that I am writing this is 2:48AM.