But not one book has ever given advice on how to mentally deal with a potential underwear thief in a hostel – who also happens to fancy you.
Taking notes from the three heroes in my life as guides towards becoming a better person, I left a world of grey offices to take the much anticipated solo backpacking pilgrimage. With an overstuffed backpack and a round-the-world ticket, I left home on my own to search for the amazing experiences, wild antics and crazy backpacking parties that countless books, online videos and travel guides preached about.
There were three life-changing lessons I wanted to experience to grow up:
To learn, to love, and to live.
Instead, I manage to save a little money by taking a 60-hour long Greyhound bus through the Canadian Prairies sitting next to a convicted felon, blindly follow a woman around Europe for the promise of an all-inclusive ‘romantic getaway’, and learn that the best way to avoid sleeping in a smelly, 20-person dorm room is to seduce someone with a hotel room in order to sleep in their bed.
Of course, the journey of personal growth comes with learning through experience. No one could have ever prepared for these life lessons. Does solo travel open us up to new experiences, or just frighten us?
This is the kind of stuff that travel guides seem to have forgotten to explain.
Grow Up: Life Lessons Away From Home is a travel narrative written by me to encourage those contemplating solo travelling to go forth and become a better person. I was never granted a book to guide me through the peculiar things when backpacking, and I hope my mistakes can be guidance for anyone out there willing to give travel a shot.
Grow Up is available in paperback and ebook format (Nook and iBooks coming soon).
US: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Booksamillion
UK: Amazon, Kindle, Book Depository
Canada: Amazon, Kindle, Book Depository
Australia: Book Depository, The Nile, AbeBooks
New Zealand: Book Depository, Wheelers
Singapore: Book Depository, Open Trolley, Kinokuniya
eBook: eBookMall, Lybrary, eBookPie, ebook.de, DEAStore, Krisostomus