At the time of writing this, I hadn’t left the boundaries of the USA for four months since returning from a year abroad and I was already reaching the “it’s time to hit the road again” stage. I don’t know where I want to go, I just want to go. Far, far away from the rat race that I’m currently living in – starting a new life alone. I want to re-learn how to make friends in a new place when I’m lonely in a new city. But more importantly, I want to start practicing finding happiness in life no matter where I am.
Before I went abroad last year, I had stayed-put in the U.S. for the first 21 years of my life without even imagining traveling abroad. The reality is, according to Huffington Post, only about 5% of all U.S.-born Americans will ever travel overseas. Why is that? Well, that is the great mystery.
I think it’s partially out of lack of resources (time, money, etc.). Part of it is some people’s unwillingness to learn about others. But main reason keeping Americans away from traveling abroad is lack of knowledge – which is no excuse in today’s age of digital media.
Starting a new life alone: An unbalanced look
This may be completely biased because of my fantastic experiences I have had overseas (even if I’ve run into a series of unfortunate events like being drugged, detained, and stolen from all on separate occasions), but I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t desire to at least make one trip abroad in their lifetime.
There’s so much to learn from other cultures other than our own. Sure, there may be a variety of cultures inside the U.S. that you have yet to dig into. I love the diversity that America has to offer. However, it’s not the same kind of cultural differences that you see in and out of different countries in Europe – or other places of the world, for that matter.
The kind of experiences you will run into aren’t even imaginable until you get out there and see for yourself. Taking the final step and leaving the life you know for the life you seek is truly an invigorating moment. Once you realize you are out on your own and out of the control of anyone but yourself, that’s when you know you’ve accomplished something. Something called starting a new life alone. That’s the moment when you start to grow on your own.
Starting a new life alone: Ready for a new city
I, for one, am ready to be immersed into the world where I can’t read street signs and have to problem-solve for the simplest of issues such as where to get a haircut or where I can find someone to help me with directions in English. It is when I’m faced with the simplest of problems like these and they become the main focus of my daily life and struggles; that’s when life slows down to its simplest form and you have time to appreciate everything that has led you to where you are.
When I’m in my comfort zone, I get caught up in a bunch of meaningless to-do lists. Those lists may seem relevant at the time, but in reality, don’t mean much. It gets stressful, even. Now that I’ve found a simple lifestyle living the way I want to live on the road, it is hard not to want to go back.
Starting a new life alone: With more travel comes more knowledge
I’m ready to learn how to live in a new place again. I want to form a new routine of life and re-learn how to slow things down. I want to learn how to make friends in a new place again.
Eliminating the stress from life has become key for me. All the obligations that I tell myself I need to fulfill here in the USA don’t even cross my mind when I’m traveling.
The more I travel, the more I learn how to adapt on the go and forget about the things that are meaningless. As cheesy as it is, all my other worries start to melt away. There’s something incredibly freeing about travel that lets one be truly happy and let all of the little things go.
When you are starting a new life alone, everything is so new to you and it opens you up to new experiences and a new way of living almost to the point of becoming a new person.
That is the way of life you can’t feel when you become accustomed to a routine. I never let myself become lonely in a new city. It took me until I escaped my normal routine to realize I had never really been outside of my comfort zone. And once I finally got there, I realized I kind of liked it.
Starting a new life alone: New experiences bring new opportunities
Forming new friendships, picking up new skills, learning new languages, and finding new hobbies and interests; all of these are things that you don’t get the opportunity to do every day when you are living with your eyes closed. That is virtually what you are doing when you become complacent.
The world has so much to offer. It’s hard to see life in another perspective. But traveling allows you to do just that. Once you actually get out there, you get to see what the world is really like; not just from how others describe it to you but actually being there and living it.
But seeing the sights and returning home is never enough; I’m talking about living! I want to immerse myself so deep into a new place that I feel like I can call it home. I want to get living in a particular place or a particular city down to a science and feel like a “towny”. But after I reach that point, I’ll be ready to move on to my next destination and a new adventure. It’s a never-ending cycle of a nomadic life.
There’s nothing in my life keeping me grounded in one particular place. I don’t know how long that will last, so why not make the most of it while I can? Moving to a new city alone without a job sounds like the perfect move. I can’t be worried about being lonely in a new city or how to make friends in a new place. This is about finding inner happiness.
This is the opportunity and years of my life that are right for starting a new life alone. I can’t just sit back and let it go to waste while on this pursuit of finding happiness in life. I wouldn’t give up my situation in life right now for ANYTHING. I love the feeling of belonging to the world.