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Allons-y! Let's Go! It's time to travel solo...

by Melissa Spellen
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Hiking the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand

Hiking the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand

Hiking the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand In Chiang Mai at an Elephant Santuary

Now that I am out on the road, when people ask me where I am from and the conversation weaves around to me saying something like, "I quit my job and sold my house and got on a plane", I invariably get shocked stares they quickly try to mask with a "good for you!" comment.

The truth is that people always give me too much credit for being brave and following my dream. The truth for me is that things started to happen that put me in a metaphoric chute. I was like a sheep being herded to an inevitable destination. All I did was not resist.

I worked in corporate communications and had worked for the same company for 22 years. I literally grew up there. From a silly youngster of 22 who borrowed a suit to wear to the interview, into a leader of an entire area of the business.

When it became clear to me that the direction and leadership of the organization were in conflict with my values, I had to go. Full stop. So that decision was made....

Because my office was located in a small town, there was no longer any point in staying there. Add this reality to a booming housing market and guess what? The house is on the market and quickly sold.

Rather than buy another place in the city and jump into a new job, the idea came to me that to afford travel, there is no better time than when you don't have a mortgage. So into storage with you boxes and furniture!

Then I had to decide where to go. I pulled out the map and decided that Australia was the perfect place to begin a New Year and new adventure.

I have been travelling now for 2 months and I can honestly say I have no regrets about the decisions. I think that when the timing is right and all signs are pointing in a direction, the only regrets to fear are the ones of you not paying attention.

Solo travel has been more exciting, easier and more fun than I dared dream. People are friendly and helpful everywhere. My iPhone is my new BFF because she keeps me connected to home and family and friends.

One thing I wish I had done was planned out the journey more effectively to allow more time in places rather than rushing around. But hey. It's all a learning experience and I can guarantee that this won't be my last big trip.

Do it. Look around and listen to the signals. Listen to your inner voice. If you have the courage to do what you know you must, it will always be the right choice.

As they say in France, and of course, Quebec, Allons-y! Let’s Go!

Here is the link to my blog - Follow along.......

Comments for Allons-y! Let's Go! It's time to travel solo...

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Mar 02, 2012
Solo travel is often a question of timing
by: Leyla

Isn't it amazing how sometimes the stars line up? The thing is, many people just look up at the line-up and then keep walking...

I too had an epiphany of sorts around the same age - things just happened to point me towards solo travel. My relationship was going nowhere, I'd squeezed as much enjoyment from my job as I could, I didn't own property, I was in good health and in a position to save money if I wanted to... all of which led to a three-year solo trip a bit down the line.

The timing often presents itself, but it's important - as you so eagerly did - to grab it! So well done - said with heartfelt meaning.

Mar 02, 2012
It's a dream
by: Lianne

...a dream that I would love to follow. One day, one day!

Mar 02, 2012
Right there with ya!
by: Cheri Arnold


Congrats! I too worked for a company for 17 years in several positions, my last being the Call Center Supervisor! I am travelling on my retirement money (although I'm not retirement age yet) and recognizing that some day I will have to return to a job somewhere. I left my job, sold most of my stuff, and got an airplane ticket! I started in February and I'll be travelling six months! Currently I'm in Thailand....maybe we'll meet up one day!

Keep following your passion!!


Mar 05, 2012
On the Road
by: Judy Keeler

It is good and necessary to reinvent yourself. Take time to travel when you are young and have the energy to do this solo. I did it when I was in my early twenties and I am glad I did. It gave me a sense of self reliance and I saw things I always wanted to see and went places I never thought I would go. I did it more on the fly because when I was in my twenties we didn't even have credit cards if you can imagine. Nor cell phones, internet or social media. It is wonderful you can share this adventure with friends near and far away, old and new. Stay safe and never let your moxie down.

Mar 06, 2012
Following your dream!
by: Lynne Morrison

It is scary to pack in and pack up all that is comfortable and familiar to you and head into the unknown. I`m glad you were able to read the signs and you were in a position to act on them. I still admire your gutsy decision and like to think a small part of all of of us travels with you as we follow your journey. Be safe and enjoy!

Apr 20, 2013
by: TravelAngel

I awoke from a dream of myself, my dog and a Jeep I had not owned, careening along a desert highway. This dream comes to me more often than I can admit, but know its my future.
I often speak to my family and friends about selling everything I own and cash out for the roads of the wild West (I live on the East Coast), and then back again East.
Well, after reading your story I am glad to know that I am not the only woman on the planet thinking about cashing out their deadend job, the mortgage, and retirement fund.
Thanks for sharing that dreams can become a reality.

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