I took my first solo road trip 2 years ago and it changed my life.
The day I was supposed to leave I woke up in my bed and started crying. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay and be “safe.”
Those tears continued the entire six hours it took to get to Moab. After nearly running out of gas, I had the worst night in the middle of nowhere, shoved inside my car because I was too scared to sleep alone in my tent (I know, I know).
The next day, when I had the ridiculous realization that I’d made it through the night, I looked out my car window to find I was parked next to a beautiful pond. I ran into a nice family nearby and asked if I had any hope of finding a gas station close by. From that seemingly innocuous moment forward, I had the best trip of my life. It was a time that would produce my love for off-width rock climbing, amazing friends, and more photography skills.
Since that teary eyed drive, I’ve learned a lot more about both travel and myself. Just because things are unknown doesn’t mean you should be afraid of them. When you put up boundaries of fear you are closing yourself off to what’s beyond them: different experiences, people, and ideas. If you’re open to the unknown, it’s not as scary as you think it is, because you already have the tools … it’s just about applying your known to the unknown.
Which brings me to this year. I felt brave enough to delve into the unknown again and take my very first international trip to Liming, China, where I learned quite a few more things …