Travelling is always something I dreamed about doing and never thought I would ever have the opportunity. I wanted to travel so I can explore all the beautiful places that cover the Earth. I love nature and architecture and I want to see everything. From the Rockies to the Himalayas. The Sahara to Atacama. The Outback to the Serengeti. The caves of Vietnam. The beaches of the Philippines. The cathedrals of Spain. I’m sure you get it, the list goes on and on. Now that I have been able to check off some of these places from my bucket list, they have not disappointed. Something that I didn’t know I would get and almost enjoy more from my travels are the personal connections that I’ve made. Not only with the locals but also other travelers.
Now, we already talked about this. I have social anxiety. I’m terrified of talking to people I don’t know. What if I’m super awkward and say something wrong? What if they think I’m boring? What if they just don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? The list of thoughts that run through my mind is probably as long as the list of places I want to travel to. I had a great group of friends back home in Vancouver, but I mainly met them through work. Meeting people outside of work was so difficult for me. I used to go to local shows and after about a billion boring conversations with other “artists,” I was over it. It got worse when my depression hit, because at first I really just felt like I was the most boring human alive and then I stopped going out all together. When you are travelling, it’s much different. At first it’s kind of scary but then you quickly realize that everyone is in the same boat as you.
Everyone has that desire to meet people. You are never lonely when backpacking because of all the people you meet. That’s what pushed me to start talking to people. Honestly at first I waited for people to talk to me. It was way easier that way and then I started to gain the confidence to start conversations on my own. The people that I started to meet drove me out of my anxiety shell. As cheesy as it sounds, I went on this trip to take my life back and learn how to love myself more. Learn how to appreciate my own company. Learn what I wanted to do with my life. However, the things I’ve learned about myself from other people was a welcome surprise.
So this is going to start off a series of posts that highlight some of the people that I have met who have affected my life in a really positive way. I want to share this to show the benefits that come from the efforts of fighting that social anxiety and opening up to people. I constantly become more inspired by these people everyday and I couldn’t imagine them not being in my life.