Few things in life provoke the feeling of being dreaming fully awake. The view of the peaceful blue turquoise ocean from my hostel desk. The glowing sunrises. The white warm sand tickling my toes. Surfers taming the wild waves of the Pacific Beach. A peaceful smile draws in my face while leaning my head back allowing gleaming lights sunbathe my olive skin. I belong here. I can hear myself saying it out loud, “I belong here.”
Qu’est-ce que voulez vous boire, asks me a blonde girl. Come’on, join us! says then an English guy, in his late twenties. The party at the Beach Hostel had just started! I knew that sooner or later I would pack up and take a flight to wander and get surprised. I did.
The wanderlust bug got in me at an early age. I don’t know how it got there and I don’t want it to leave. When I went to register for classes, in my first year of college, the registrar asked me, what major? Tourism, I said!
Life is too short for second guesses. It is a cliché, but really, you only live once. So I finally tamed any fear of traveling alone. I conquered the but’s and what if’s and danced through my room like a little girl when I booked the flight.
San Diego was the perfect getaway for my first solo travel. What a magic place! The second I got there I totally fell in love with the fun atmosphere. People there know how to have a good time and make you feel welcome. At the bar, I got invited to celebrate a lady’s 40th birthday aka drinking for free. The cook at the restaurant welcomed me for lunch with a huge smile every day.
Picking the getaway was easy peasy. You see, I am a stay-at-home mom. Yes, you read damn right! STAY-at-home MOM. So, money is tight. My options were few, but I saw the bright side in each of them. Where does Jetblue jet from Salt Lake City? Second, what city has cheaper hotels. Nothing cheaper than the Beach Bungalow Hostel at Pacific Beach for sure.
A hostel?! Yeah, right? Sharing a room with total strangers? What if while I am sleeping a guy sneaks into the bedroom? What if my stuff gets stolen? What if, what if? I shouted up my mind and booked the hostel. You only live once. Every experience is part of the journey. But it wasn’t easy. I slept on the hostel in front of the beach vs a private room in a hotel far away from the beach. I couldn’t afford anything else. Best decision ever! The hostel itself is a party going on at every moment of the day and night. I got to share the room with 5 beauties. 6 girls and one bathroom, and you know what?! Who cares when you’re in San Diego living the life? I got to hang out at the hostel deck with people from England, Germany, France, South Africa, New York and from many more countries and states. It was the perfect melting pot!
Whenever I felt lonely I sneaked through my bedroom window to the terrace and seated there contemplating the beauty of the Pacific Beach. I breathed in every piece of life that came in the form of a sunset, a weirded-shaped cloud, the waves, music coming from everywhere, the man sitting on the corner playing the guitar, the youngsters skating.
Indeed, solo traveling can be lonely at times, but it is totally worth it. Loneliness is my biggest fear and I am conquering it, facing it, taming it. I got away myself and had a dreamed weekend. I heard before that feeling lonely traveling solo is not strange. Missing loved ones is hard as well as being surrounded by strangers. I missed my 4-year-old son and my handsome and supportive husband. So yes, I wept a little bit the first night. Then, I promised myself I would take advantage of that great opportunity.