Adventure, Party of 1

partyof1-2-1-jpgAt the intersection of hope and fear, we find adventure.

That’s precisely where I found myself last week when I was 37,000 feet above the Caribbean heading out on my first solo international trip. My mood was a healthy mix of nerves and excitement.

Excited because I was heading to an island I’d long wanted to visit, but nervous because the thought of being alone in a foreign place with absolutely no safety net scared the bejesus out of me.

While travel has been a focus for me in my adult years, having gone from a “party of 2” to a “party of 1” sent my dreams of gallivanting across the planet into flux. International travel, in particular, has always been a bit of an Achilles heel for me, as I have no internal compass, and on the [very rare but sometimes critical] occasion, common sense escapes me.

However, most of my friends can’t just up and hop off to tropical destinations on my schedule, and I’m determined to get to the end of my life with a boatload of memories, not dreams.

So when I decided to pull the trigger on booking a solo trip filled with adventurous excursions only two weeks before my intended departure, I had to call my rock, my dad, just to know that there was someone who was in my corner on this. On the day before I left, I was so nervous that I felt like I might throw up.

But as soon as the plane dipped below the clouds and the sight of the island surrounded by clear blue water appeared outside my window, the excitement took over. I told myself, “You’ve got this, girl.”

I swam with stingrays, snorkeled three different reefs, zoomed across a rather unforgiving chop on a jet ski, played in the ocean and ventured into town. I met some cool people, listened to great music and drank some good cocktails. All as a party of 1.

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Traveling alone as a female is empowering, amazing, and almost too much to put into words. I did all the things that I love but am usually afraid to do by myself. I leaned in to my single girl mantra (#makegooddecisions), but I didn’t let the fear trump the hope.

And I am better for it.

The nerves will likely always be there. But nerves can be good if they tune your attention. The key is to not let them prevent you from living life to its fullest.

Truly, life can be an amazing adventure if we choose to go after it.

And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

-jz

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