Hi, my name is (not really) Deidre and I blog over at decoybetty where I write about being an American expat in Australia. I am about to get married to Inspector Climate (spoiler, not his real name), so I blog a bit about that too. And of course, I talk about our lemon tree.
I grew up on boats. Every summer we’d sail around Maine or Cape Cod, and for several months when I was 3 we sailed around the Florida Keys. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember that very well – except visiting Mickey Mouse at Disney world. I remember that clearly. He blew me a kiss, and I hid behind my mom. So I think it suffices to say, that I am not a very adventurous person.
But when I was in high school and my dad gave me Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, well nothing really changed. Except that I wanted to be more adventurous. Tania Aebi was an 18 year girl who didn’t really want to go to college, so instead her dad bought her a sail boat and with limited experience she circumnavigated the world SOLO. At 18. I know. It was just her and her cat as she sailed from port to port on a nearly three year journey, learning as she went. She, naturally, met the love her life while on this journey (as if she would embark on such a trip and not fall in love PLEASE), survived some incredibly rough weather, and several broken mechanical parts. And it’s TRUE.
Of course we can’t all take small little sailboats around the world.
I read the book often in high school hoping that some of her bravery would rub off on me. And maybe it did? I wonder how someone so young and so inexperienced could be brave enough to say “yeah, ok, I’ll sail around the world by myself.”
I laugh when people tell me I’m brave for moving around the world by myself without really knowing anyone here in Australia. Brave? I did NOT have to navigate my boat with a broken sexton. And moving to Australia was the easiest decision I ever made.
But it’s all about decisions isn’t it? Every moment on that boat, Tania had to make some decisions. Sometimes the outcomes didn’t matter, but often, they really did. And she had to make them alone. Now that’s brave. But it’s also travel. You can’t travel by yourself without having to make on-the-spot decisions. Sometimes they’re as simple “I have too many touristy items on my to-do list, which one can I miss” and others are more risky “do I eat this street vendor food in India…?” (The answer is always no!).
So while traveling solo might have some of its scary moments, here are two tips that might help you along the way. One read this book (Amazon has several copies, but otherwise it looks like it might be out of print). And two, chances are someone thinks your incredibly brave for going on your own adventures (even if they seem pretty average to you), so take a minute to congratulate yourself for being courageous. We deserve it.
Read more about Deidre and her journey over at decoybetty.