BE AWARE! Traveling alone can change your life!
There came a time in my life when I needed a change, a disconnection... A DESIRE TO EXPLORE
And so I did, I took a two-year leave from my job and left home with the idea of fulfilling several dreams, one of which was to go around the world. And so I did, I spent 22 months always traveling to the east. I visited 18 countries, one of them being Thailand, and completed a world tour in exactly 646 days. Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and South America were the continents I traveled to.
I returned home and, after so much time, nothing was the same anymore. Well, yes, actually everything was the same, exactly the same as 2 years ago. The one who was not the same was me...
After a week visiting family and friends, the excitement of the return and reunions was gone, and I realized I don't fit in here anymore, I don't want to be here. I only had one thing on my mind, Thailand, and more specifically... the island of KOH TAO!
MY FIRST TRIP TO THAILAND:
But let's go by parts, it wasn't the first time I was in Thailand, I had already been in 2004. In fact, Thailand was the country that awakened my thirst for travel. It was my first trip outside Europe and I simply loved it.
So much so that when I returned home after 20 days of traveling in this country, I said to the person I traveled with: when I retire, I want to go live in Thailand. But time and events passed by until I realized it and thought
"Why wait for retirement? I want it and I want it now!"
MY FIRST SOLO TRAVEL:
First of all I want to say that I feel the luckiest person in the world to have been able to make a 22 month trip.
But why such a trip?
I was going through a very bad personal stage and needed a change of scenery. As I said before, since my first trip to Thailand in 2004, I loved to travel, every year I made at least one long distance trip, which has taken me, so far, to know 42 countries.
But I always traveled as a couple or with friends. This time I wanted to go alone, and as usual I had a thousand fears as I had never traveled alone. I started looking at blogs and pages of solo travelers and they all agree on the same thing: traveling alone is the best experience of their lives.
So I took the plunge, took a leave of absence from work, sold my car and everything I had of value and ... on January 9, 2017 I left Barcelona heading to KualaLumpur (Malaysia).
One of my biggest doubts was: From where should I to start the trip? whether to start with Asia or South America.
In Asia I already knew some countries, and I was, well I am in love with this continent. I had never been to South America before.
So I decided to start with what I knew and knew I loved!
My fears disappeared when I arrived at the first hostel in Kuala, where I met a few Spanish-speaking travelers who made me feel at home. They all had been traveling for a while, they told me about their experiences, gave me advice and taught me how to travel this way.
How do you plan such a long trip?
Well, my approach was very easy. I have X money, when it's over I have to go back home. So, the less I spend, the longer my trip will be. And you can really travel very very cheaply: hostels, couchsurfing, hitchhiking.... There are many ways.
If you need tricks to travel cheaper, write me: @galogv.
I could spend hours writing about my trip, maybe some other time.
Here is the list of countries I visited in the 22 months (in order of itinerary)
Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia.
And as it could not be otherwise, I agree with everything I had read and say:
"Traveling alone was the best experience of my life and it changed me forever."
I am very proud to say that I have friends all over the world. The best part of this trip has been all the people I've met.
MY LIFE AFTER THE ROUND-THE-WORLD TRIP:
After such a long trip, after meeting so many people, so many different cultures, something changes inside you. You see life differently, you realize many things. I could get very philosophical and write a lot about this too, but basically it comes down to one thing:
"Go for what makes you happy and do it now, because we don't know what will happen next."
As I said before, after a week of reunions with family and friends I started to see that I didn't feel comfortable in what had been my home all my life, except for the last two years. So an idea began to creep into my head more and more: I'm going to live in Thailand.
Before my trip I took the open water course in Barcelona. I had already tried diving and I knew I liked it. As one of the goals of my trip was to visit paradise islands and dive, I went with my diving certification.
Being in Thailand, I heard about Koh Tao, a spectacular island famous for diving. So, I went there with the idea of spending several days diving. Those days turned into 3 months... I fell in love with the island, I fell in love with diving here and I found a school that makes you feel like one of the family and where it is very hard to leave: Pura Vida Koh Tao.
I felt so good in Tao that I did all my courses, even the divemaster, the first professional diving course. I spent 3 incredible months in this paradise from which it cost me more and more to leave this island paradise.
So, already back home, and as I was already a professional diver, I was more and more clear about what I wanted to do in the future.
I spent 8 months in Barcelona working and saving to fulfill my dream. And in June 2018 I left again, but this time not to travel, but to live in Koh Tao. I did my instructor's course and was able to stay and work.
Today, I feel like I'm in a dream, I live in paradise and work at what I love! And this is a phrase that I love:
"Choose a job you like and you won't have to work a day in your life"
TIPS FOR TRAVELING IN THAILAND:
Thailand is super well prepared for tourism.
My main advice would be not to come with everything booked. (Of course plan and reserve your dives with Pura Vida hehehe =D), but the rest leave room for improvisation. Thailand has a thousand places that can surprise you and if you want to stay more days than you had planned, you will be free to do so
Just let yourself go and enjoy the country. Taste the street food, get lost in narrow alleys. Thailand is a super safe country.
If you want to ask me some advice about Thailand or another country that I've been to, just write me, click on the image below.