As I continued my road trip starting from Melbourne I had noticed that my motivation to explore new remote beaches and being all by myself in my van dropped drastically. Feelings of loneliness, sadness and emptiness crawled into my body even though I came across the most beautiful spots of Australia. Camping out alone in the wild and travelling by yourself is an experience I would recommend to everyone. A time of self reflection and not having any distractions other than some kangaroos staring at you is a mind blowing experience that helps you find your own life values and life goals.
Even though this period of time was mind changing for me it must have been one of the hardest periods of my whole work and travel adventure. Not only because I just came out of a very emotional relationship which was complicated enough but also because I didn’t get to meet fellow backpackers or talk to other travelers during my drive from Melbourne to Sydney for about ten days. Being used to be surrounded by people day in day out, meeting new people and enjoying social contact the feeling of loneliness had come upon me. This turned into sadness, low self-esteem and not knowing what I was doing with my life being in the middle of nowhere with no one else to be seen. The Solo-travelers depression had struck me too.
For this short amount of time I didn’t enjoy traveling anymore, I didn’t enjoy walking on these beautiful beaches and I didn’t enjoy being away from my dearest friends and family. If I would have been able to take a flight back home immediately without any cost and hassle I would have gotten on a plane. All I wanted is to have real life social interaction with people that have known me for so long…
If I would have been able to take a flight back home immediately without any cost and hassle I would have gotten on a plane.
After face-timing with friends and family I decided to travel on but instead of stopping at every ‘highlight’ I would drive to a place where I could surf and stay in a hostel to meet other people. This in order to get my sh** back together to do exactly what I love and to be able to make new friends to have a decent conversation with. The first place in mind was Yamba in New South Wales. I had heard a lot of great stories about this small surfer town which was suppose to have a nice sociable hostel and a surfer vibe. This was exactly what I needed and so I drove 650 km’s in two days skipping well known places such as Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour because I couldn’t care less missing out on these places.
From the moment I arrived in Yamba I was starting to feel better and more relaxed. This picturesque surfers town with beautiful beaches, trending restaurants and cafes was exactly what I needed. Better yet I instantly fell in love with the YHA Beach Side Backpacker Hostel and immediately extended my stay with this family vibe hostel. This was exactly the vibe the fellow backpackers and the staff in that hostel gave me. They immediately gave me a warm welcome Inviting me to go surfing with them in the morning or have a pint of beer at the only bar in town that’s open until midnight.
I bought my first surfboard and every morning at 5.30 AM we would get up and walk to the beach to surf with the dolphins while the sun was rising up into the sky. This was everything I needed to get out of that dip and enjoy traveling again to the fullest. I am very grateful for this whole experience; the traveling alone and how it made me feel and the time to self-reflect and how it seems that after every mental dip there is a big up being my time in Yamba. I can honestly say that the nine days I have spend in Yamba I have really made some friends who I am really thankful of taking me up in the Yamba Backpacker Family.
I am sure that I am not the only solo – traveler that has experienced a mental breakdown like this while abroad.
Long term traveling isn’t always just ‘a holiday’ it is a lifestyle and like in everyone’s life happiness and sadness come in waves even if you’re in paradise.
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