this is not the first time I write about my adventures as a female solo traveler for CINCO EDITORIAL - you can read my very first contribution here - but as I am about to board the first of two flights that will take me to my final destination, I thought this could be the perfect timing for part two.
it’s been four days since I left my home in lisbon, four days since I started working on this feature. I’m in the middle of the african savannah, a long dream of mine, in the rural area of windhoek, capital of namibia. the internet connection has been unstable throughout most of the day which only adds to the magic of this place. this was exactly what I was craving: a break from all the madness. I’ve been going on game drives - so far, I’ve spotted giraffes, zebras, rhinos, impalas, and elephants; no sights of lions, unfortunately - finished a book and took some dips in the swimming pool.when it comes to solo traveling, I wouldn’t say it gets lonely but it can get tough. sometimes, traveling on your own means you’re picking a destination that it’s not on top of your bucket list because the one that is might not be suitable for a lone traveler. the logistics can be demanding and you’ll probably end up compromising on a few things. in most cases, it also means it will be more expensive. a lot more to be honest. as comfort and safety are pivotal to me, I find myself splurging on hotels, food and transportation.
as empowered as I feel whenever I am by myself, and I’ve stated this in part one, I don’t think we should romanticize it. take yourself on a date, celebrate your own individuality, go on a solo retreat. do all those things social media incites you to do. keep in mind, however, that along the way you will feel overwhelmed and probably a little anxious. also, not all places will move you and you will have to learn to embrace it. and you will get bored, too. you read it right. especially at night. I went from avoiding going out for dinner to getting fully dressed up but it was a process.
if I was presented with two options, staying home or seeing the world on my own terms, I would always choose the latter. my travels have given me some of my most treasured memories. from hiking a volcano to watching the sunset on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere, to sharing a meal with someone I just met, to crying of pure joy and happiness… I’ve done it all. solo traveling is indeed one of the most enriching and challenging experiences you can have in your lifetime. it will either break you or make you. or both at the exact same time. as for now, I feel like I need to take a little break from it. as much as I love my alone time, I also love to create memories with my beloved ones.
cátia santos reis "the world is yours but greece is mine” could be her mantra as cátia santos reis is yet to find a greek island she hasn’t fallen in love with. in the meantime, she keeps traveling the world. for CINCO editorial, the 34 year-old, will share her favorite things to do, visit and eat in every destination.
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