My 2018 travel year in review

2018 was a year full of challenges, new experiences, new people, a year to fulfill travel dreams follow the heart and sick happiness. 2018 was a year I could never dream of. Too good to be true!

It all started in February 2018 when I departed for the first time to travel alone to India. A decision I have made in 2017 and a trip I have planned for several months during that year. If it was now, I wouldn’t have planned it so much, but having a plan and knowing things was a comfort for me as a solo traveler, to feel that I’m ready.

This year I have visited 22 different cities and 5 countries, Myanmar twice, and now I’m staying in Vietnam where I will be for 3 months. There is no plan after this 3 months. I will live life as it happens and with time and experiences lived here in Ho Chi Minh, I will define new goals and destinations.

My first trip alone that lasted from February to May, was definitely the best decision in my life at that moment as from there, my ideas, goals, aspirations, and mind changed totally, something I only realized when I was back to Portugal in May. While traveling Southeast Asia, I wasn’t feeling different, but that’s because you are living in a society with the same mindset you have now. Just when you go back to the European society you realize how unnecessary are so many things we have back home that are never enough.

In Southeast Asia, you learn life is simple and the simpler the happier. You see how people smile and look happy when they have much less than the society says we need to have, in Europe. In Southeast Asia, I felt free, free of mind, spirit, free of judgments. I do what I want and there is no need for excuses for others, but that’s mainly cause I’m a solo traveler.

I have met so many people, very nice people with fun stories to tell about their trips that make you wanna explore those places too. Travelers are different from tourists. I prefer travelers, but I met some really cool tourists either, so no judgments. I have spent days in a row with people I met for 30 minutes and then decided to hang out for a few days.

I wouldn’t change anything on my trip. Bad moments prepared me for whatever may happen, and the happy moments stay with me forever, the breathtaking views were too many to count. I’m afraid I forget them. I was afraid I forget how awesome those 4 months were when I got back home. I almost forgot. Society “devours” you. That’s when I realize I need to go back to Southeast Asia and live without any pressure from society rules.

 

This 4 months led me to love Myanmar and wanting so bad to come back that I did it. It’s just that! Really willing to do something to make your wishes come true. I worked on my “surreal dream” of traveling Myanmar on a bicycle and I did. It was so impossible in my mind when I first thought about it. But it was just impossible in my mind. I went to TV, something that would never think about. I created a blog. I’m somehow inspiring other people to travel.

I come back to Vietnam where I met a local family the first time, and they are part of the reason why I came back. Because at least I had them and everything will be ok.

I’m so happy about this year that just ended. I will never forget how awesome it was and I will work on a way to somehow have similar emotions and experiences in 2019, a year I have no idea what is expecting me. At least in 2018, I knew I will travel for 4 months and get back. I had a job and some stability. Right now I quitted my job and I will have to work on a way to live this dream travel life that I want, for at least the next year.

2019 will be a tour to the unknown, and I’m so excited about it.

THANK YOU: UNIVERSE, WORLD, GOD, BUDDHA, SHIVA, WHATEVER I BELIEVE IN!

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