Let Me Tell You A Story….
Picture it! Fort Lauderdale, Florida, November 2018. A tired, uninspired, anxious attorney knocks on his managing partner’s office door to deliver the news 20 years in the making:
“I’ll be leaving the firm, and the practice of law, in December.”
It was a surreal moment for me, one i dreamt of for years but was scared to death to actually make happen. In that moment weight lifted, stress evaporated and I knew, finally, that I deserved to live the life I wanted to live after years of living the life that “was expected of me.”
I refused to wait. I had finally decided that I would not let any insecurity or fear keep me from realizing my dreams. No more second guessing, it was time to make it happen. I have launched my personal trainer fitness and nutrition consulting business, Greco Fit (follow me at @grecofit and www.grecofit.com) and I am in the middle of a two month solo travel excursion through Europe.
I have never traveled alone, and never for two months. This trip has brought me places, geographically and emotionally, that I never knew I’d go. The first two weeks were difficult. I was by myself in cities I’d never been to. It gets dark by 5 p.m. I’m an introvert by nature, so it’s very easy for me to just scurry back to the safety of the apartment and watch Netflix instead of exploring the unknown. But I could feel my soul pushing me back out into the world.
I quickly discovered that you are constantly surrounded by people, many traveling with friends and also by themselves. Every city I’ve been to has free walking tours if your budget doesn’t allow for paid ones, and you’ll meet tons of people everywhere you go.
Part of my travel includes going to gyms in the cities I’m visiting to interview trainers and shoot video for my own business and of course to workout for myself in between drinking wine and eating pastry! I have discovered that the fitness community around the world is so kind and welcoming that you meet people from all walks of life on the gym floor. We’ve met for coffee, had lunch, worked out together and they’ve given me insight into how to live like a local.
Solo travel has given me the ultimate freedom. I wake up and it’s just me — what I want, where I want, when I want. In that freedom and infinite space of possibility, you meet yourself. You challenge yourself to push past fears and doubts and find these you come out the other side stronger! There’s no one to pull you in any one direction or override your reasons. Want sushi? Get sushi. Want to leave? Leave. Want to try bungee jumping? Go for it. And yes, some afternoons are still “Netflix and chill” and that’s perfectly fine too.
I think, for me, that is the greatest reward of solo travel: the personal growth. I am learning to be more independent, confident, and in tune with my emotions and desires.
Don’t wait for other people, don’t hold yourself back from living your dreams. There’s only now — and if you don’t go, you’ll regret it. Live your life for YOU, and it will be remarkable.