Why travel like a mad woman when you are single in your thirties

Here I am taking in the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City while savoring my Pho Bo and fresh coconut, and despite the noise from motorbikes I don’t know why I started reflecting on my recent travels. Perhaps this is from a recent conversation with a female coworker. When she saw me lugging my trolley last Friday afternoon, she said, “Traveling again? Where are you off to?” I said, “Yeah! Ho Chi Minh.” She said, “So envious! How I wish I can do that! I am too scared to travel alone. I know I just can’t do it!”

The past year and a half I took traveling to an even higher level. Granted there was a personal event triggering this, but after I was way over that, I learned something. I cannot stop traveling like a madwoman.

And I would like to encourage all single people, not just women, to do the same. My special mention to women, because just like my coworker, 9 out of 10 times the reason they tell me why they don’t is not the lack of desire for it, nor was it because they did not have the money to, but because they cannot find people to travel with, and traveling alone either was just not their cup of tea, or it just scared the wits out of them.

So I dedicate this post to all my fellow single gals in their thirties. Why should you travel as much as you can, even if you travel alone? And most of the time you will be alone, because other people cannot keep up with you!

My answer. I do, because mad traveling in my thirties keeps on doing this to me:

1. I go to places I never thought I would and this opens my mind away from my misconceptions

Because I run out of places to go for my weekend trips, I went beyond my usual Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong. Weekend trips have limited choices, so I started revisiting Vietnam,
which I realized changed so much since my horrible experience around 10 years ago. I am not saying everyone is kind and helpful now, but people smile more now and the communist stigma is faint or even gone.

This means that that part of my mind that is always judgmental is disproven and challenged, time and time again.

2. I feel free to do whatever I want and learn about myself in the process

Don’t get me wrong. It would be great to travel with friends, family, or a special someone. And through experience i know they are special in their own way. But now when I travel so much, and mostly alone, I wake up as early as I want, and go to places without the need to ask someone else. It is empowering and liberating in a way that is hard to explain. And if you do it often, you will keep on discovering things about yourself.

3. Being in your thiries, and single, mean you have more funds

I am not saying that I have, or everybody has, unlimited budget once they reach their thirties. But being single in my thirties means I have only to spend for myself, and only myself. And gone were the twenties where I could not afford this or that. So I enjoy this as much as I can. When you have a boyfriend, you need to plan together. When you have a family, you even have more considerations. Those are fun too, but enjoy this unique moment as much as you can.

4. I become smarter

Traveling, just like any hobby or skill, takes practice. Nothing keeps me more on my feet better than being in a tricky situation where I do not speak the language on top of being bullied by men. I have gotten what I want in hotels, in airports, you name it, because fortunately, or unfortunately, I was stuck in these situations again and again. And there was no boyfriend to help me resolve it. No friend to ask for advice on what to do. So I had to rely on myself.

Just two nights ago, I had an argument with the owner of the B&B that I stayed at. But i was quick on my feet and got a refund on my second night of stay. Now I am staying in a new one and could not be happier.

5. I become more humble

Okay, my friends know I am not the first to come to mind when it comes to humility. But traveling reminds me that I do not know-it-all, there is so much to understand, and seeking help is perhaps the best solution I have when something goes wrong. And since I travel so often I do this often. And i am constantly reminded to be humble πŸ™‚

6. I learn to appreciate what I have

Being in so many places, I realize how fortunate I am and while I travel almost every weekend, there is no other place I want to go home to. Singapore has been my second home and there is no other place I want to live in right now.

7. It curbs my shopping

I believe i am not the only one trying to curb my shopping πŸ™‚ Because I travel so much, I have to save up for it and this is a good reason to cut down. And it is easy because I do not have the time to shop anyway. Okay, I still do, but not as much as before πŸ™‚

8. I am constantly reminded that the world is beautiful

It is not everyday that I see flying flamingoes in a red lake, like I did in Bolivia, or the most beautiful cliff in Laredo, Spain, or fly in a chopper in Iguassu Falls. Closer to home, I realized that Macan Island, two hours by boat from Jakarta, is a very pretty beach!

9. I have so much to share with friends and family

I constantly have so many experiences to share with them. Whether it is the latest boo boo, the most awesome experience, or the best food in town. Sometimes, it is nice to know-it-all πŸ˜›

10. Because you only have one decade you can call your thirties

With “some time” left, I am very happy that I can look back and say I have made the most of it and will do until i reach the next one (gasp!) What I learned is how we travel and what we treasure changes as we grow older. And there are some things that we will not be able to experience in the same way when we are older.

I went to the Rio carnival recently, as most of you know, and my good friend Jeanette and I were so glad we did it now. I do not think I will be in the same mindset (and stamina) when I do this when I am a lot older. It is one of the most awesome travel experiences and I am glad I enjoyed it in its full glory!

I believe that I will enjoy traveling just as much, or even more, when I am older, but it would be of different things and a totally different perspective. So don’t dilly dally and let opportunities slip away!

My last note to my fellow gals in their thirties, carpe diem, travel like mad, and do not wait til you’re forty πŸ˜›

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2 Comments on “Why travel like a mad woman when you are single in your thirties”

  1. Min Says:

    Hi babe, this is such an awesome and inspiring article. While I may not head out and travel like mad every weekend coz I love spending them lazing with friends, but this reminds me that time is short and that we should live it the way we want and not wait for someone else to commit or get on board for something to happen. Thanks gal for being such an inspiration. X

    • daphnego Says:

      Thanks, Min! I will be turning down a notch by mid year. Perhaps once or twice a month πŸ™‚ But definitely will continue to travel more than most πŸ™‚


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