As I will be 30 in a few days, it’s time to say goodbye to my dear 20s and solo travel, a decade marked by exploring distant places and introspection.
No more solo travelling
I’ve been to 45 countries, most of them in my 20s. I dedicated a lot of time and money to explore new countries and travel as much as possible. I remember the time I was in a small village in Cuba and they had a blackout. It turned the earth dark and light up the skies. It was the most beautiful sky I’ve seen, full of shiny stars. Another time I was caught up in the Gambia presidential elections, witnessing how history changed as Gambia elected a new president after years of dictatorship. Or just sunbathing on the beautiful and unexplored beaches of Gili Islands. And I’m barely mentioning volcanos, the jungle, ancient temples or skyscrapers.
Solo travel was always my first option, as I am very comfortable travelling by myself. But I got to a point where (I believe) I’m ready for a change. I look around and see many my age settling down and I wonder how is that like. I was never wondering about it before, it’s new to me. So I decided I will not travel alone anymore, “forcing” myself to slow down. Travelling with dear ones should be the same fun as travelling alone. Sometimes change seems scary because you are so used in your old ways that it’s difficult to embrace a new way of doing things.
You probably wonder what made a passionate and restless solo traveller to want to settle down? Is it true love? Sorry to disappoint, but there is no cheesy love story. It’s actually a sad story.
I was finally living my Singapore
Now I’m feeling much better and I’m also starting to write again. Life in Singapore is so convenient and easy. Even after all what happened, it would be wrong for me to say it’s hard. I transferred with my work here, I don’t work crazy hours and neither many of my colleagues. Food is so cheap and diverse I eat out every meal. Transport is very well connected and affordable. There is a shopping mall on every corner. Everything is clean, easy and accessible. People are polite and quiet. It’s one of the safest countries in the world. As some locals say, it’s boringly safe.
Sounds like an ideal place to live, but is it really? Some of my Romanian friends here compare it to a golden cage or the perfect woman – a mirage. There are many restrictions and the city invites you to be superficial. I have yet to discover more about the Lion city, as I have lived here just over 6 months.
When I started my 20s I was a student in Bucharest, with big dreams and no travel experience. Now I greet my 30s as an expat in Singapore, having explored half the world. I could not imagine that my 20s will be filled with so many travels and adventures. Or that I would write dozens of blog posts about it. If you ever feel stuck, compare yourself with an “old self” and you will be amazed by how much you’ve achieved.
Happy birthday to me!