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Ten days til the long awaited return of Tal Travels

Say what?! Yes, it is the moment you have all been waiting for: the misleadingly titled “Tal Travels” is finally going to be a travel blog again! (Temporarily. Don’t get too excited now, I’m still in school and haven’t quite made it as a travel blogger yet, can you believe it?!) I was walking home from school today when I realized the date was April 18th, meaning 10 days from now will be April 28th, meaning 10 days from now I will touch down in Australia- most likely clueless, lost, a tiny bit terrified and very much alone. When I booked this flight and decided there was no reason NOT to travel around the land down under by myself for a month, it all seemed like a distant dream. I never truly grasped the idea of getting on a plane by myself to spend the following 34 days still by myself in a continent I have never been to before. Granted, Australia is probably the safest place I could go, so I’m not too worried about the trip in terms of safety. It’s more the fear of being lonely than the fear of being alone.

So 8 days from now I leave on my journey and 10 days from now it will actually begin… Jeez, 23 hours of travel including a straight 16 hour flight may be the death of me (sos), and then throw in the whole “Australia is a day ahead” sorcery and I’ve lost 2 whole days of my life! I’ve been trying to ignore my fears regarding this trip ever since I pulled the trigger and just booked it. Since there’s no turning back, why remind myself of my anxieties?! I’ve blissfully pushed those thoughts out of my mind but now that it’s really here, like countdown is on I’m leaving in just over a week here, I can’t keep ignoring the fear that lingers in my mind. I know I will be fine, I don’t doubt that I will get back in one piece at the end of May, but it’s the whole being alone in a foreign country thing that gets to me.

As everyone knows, I’m not the most outgoing person in the world. I can’t imagine how on earth I’m going to walk up to some fellow travellers and introduce myself in the hopes of becoming friends or at least actually having a conversation with someone since one of my greatest fears at this point is that I will go an entire month without having a single meaningful human interaction. If I don’t put myself out there and try to meet people along the way, I can’t imagine other people will be approaching me… but oh boy I hope they do. Maybe I should make a shirt that says ‘yes I want to be your friend, really badly actually, but plz come talk to me first I am socially inept’?? That could be a realistic option at this point. You see, usually it is only once I’ve had a few too many drinks that I am able to carelessly approach strangers and strike up a conversation, so maybe this trip will just have to be one big drunken blur in order for it not to turn into an accidental month-long vow of silence. Yeah yeah, I know I’m being dramatic… I will at least have to speak when I check into a hostel or order food at a restaurant! How silly of me to think I would really not say a single word on this trip!

Honestly though, it’s me. Hello, I am the most awkward, shy, weird as heck human that ever roamed the planet and I am genuinely concerned that making friends on this trip will be next to impossible without first taking a tequila shot or six. I don’t expect to go and make lifelong friendships while I’m there and I do think it would be great for me, myself, and I to spend some quality time together exploring a new country, but I think I’ll get real lonely real fast if the only stimulating “conversation” I have is with my own self, silently in my own head. And as much as I would love to idealize this excursion into being some type of “soul searching” mission à la Eat, Pray, Love, I know that probably won’t be the case.

I had high hopes that my 2015 adventures in Europe would magically open my eyes to a new passion or career and turn me into a new and improved, talkative version of myself, but after returning home from that one just as shy and just as confused about my direction in life than I was when I left, I’m not expecting this one to be any different. But also, I might just be saying that not to get my hopes up when deep down I really do dream of coming back a new, totally outgoing, completely socially competent human who even has set career goals and knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. Like I said, I have no unrealistic expectations for this trip… But if Julia Roberts’ character can do it then why can’t I?! Well, I suppose she is a confident, interesting, probably super awesome and outgoing person… Not to mention a totally made up character, so maybe I shouldn’t be drawing my expectations from a fictional movie? A girl can dream. I just want to have my Eat, Pray, Love moment, ok?

For now, I still have 8 days to pretend this isn’t happening and I fully intend to enjoy them to the fullest. Ha, who am I kidding. Starting now, I’m in full panic mode. What have I gotten myself into?! Is it too late to get my mom to come and hold my hand the whole time????

Sending out an SOS!!!!

Peace and love my friends,

Tal (soon to be the tal who travels once again)

PS. I AM TOTALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS TRIP!!! Yes I am very nervous as any first time solo traveler is (right?!) but I promise I am just as much excited, so please don’t worry mom and dad!!!! I will be okay, I think!!!!

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