Recently, I was able to go on the most wonderful journey to visit Denmark and Croatia. The best part? I got to do this all on my own. Granted, I did have someone I met over there, but I did not bring anyone with me nor did I really know the person I was meeting. Therefore, I am using the term "on my own."
So why did I take this trip? Honestly, to prove something to myself. If you know anything about me, you know that I am really shy when it comes to anything and everyone. I can always get myself to the party, but I haven't been able to talk to anyone at this party. It's been a constant struggle my entire life. I used to not go anywhere unless someone was coming with me. I was THAT shy. I missed out on even some concerts I really wanted to go to because no one would accompany me.
After college, I did gain some confidence. I would actually go to events by myself. A lot of it was the fact that I had just started my photography business and I knew that since I knew absolutely no one besides my boyfriend and roommate in Bloomington that I was going to have to do something about that. I ended up joining the Chamber of Commerce and I went to a lot of their events, alone. I didn't realize that just showing up was half the battle.
If it weren't for some of the Chamber ambassadors, I would probably know no one. They helped me get introduced to lots of people. They were being a helping hand and then ended up starting to be my security blankets. It was still hard for me to talk to anyone unless someone I knew was there and I would end up sticking to their side. A lot of it stems from anxiety and just wanting to fit in.
Growing up, I was introverted, I wore glasses and I was a definite nerd. I loved to learn, I liked going outside, I even wanted to be a forensic scientist when I grew up and work on crime scenes. I was not one of the cool kids and I was made fun of for some things I would say wrong or that I would hang around too much. It really started to affect me in middle school and into high school. I did not like feeling this way and it always made me question what I said or how I said it or how I looked. It even followed me into my adult life.
This trip was much more than just going to see these places. It was to prove to myself that anything was possible. If I could do this alone, why should I be afraid to talk to someone? It was the most liberating thing I have done in my life so far.
It's always been a dream of mine to travel the world. I started with Copenhagen because of someone I met over Facebook 10 years ago. Lasse and I met on some sort of game and he immediately recognized my last name as it is Danish (however, I did find out we have been saying our last name wrong). We stayed in touch over the years and I decided that I wanted to go see the world and this was a perfect way to introduce myself.
The first week I was in Europe I was able to go throughout Copenhagen. It was a nice introduction to traveling since Lasse was a great tour guide. This was perfect to start with since I would be pretty much by myself the next week.
Dubrovnik was amazing and I am totally taking another trip there one day. I was all by myself here and so I had to learn a lot and quickly. I had to learn that stairs are everywhere and that if I needed to go anywhere, I would be climbing them. I learned that most people speak English and can help you. I learned about really good food for great prices. I learned it's not that scary.
I did end up coming back to Copenhagen for a few days before my flight to the states. I had to do those by myself as well as Lasse had to work. I was confident enough to find my own way around and to just be myself. Ask questions, explore and get lost a time or two. It's not that bad.
Overall, after this trip, I feel like a new person. Not only refreshed from a vacation but a new outlook on a lot of things. It also helped me feel more confident to actually talk to people. I don't feel as afraid and thinking that I am being scrutinized with every word I say or move I make.
I am hoping to do this again someday, I just need to find my destination.
To read more about my recent travels check out my travel blog located on this website or just by clicking here!