Ever since I began considering traveling solo to Buenos Aires in late August, my mind has been flooded with questions: Where will I stay? Will I be safe? How will I get from the airport to my accommodations? Will I make any friends? What if I’m robbed? Who will be my in case of emergency contact? The list goes on.
My sentiment towards the upcoming trip often swings from emotion to emotion–at times feeling like I can take on the world and at other moments causing me to question my sanity. Of all the questions swirling around, the most prevalent happens to be the simplest: Why am I going?
I’m often met with mixed responses when people hear of my upcoming adventure to Buenos Aires. Some mirror back reassurance that I’ll be just fine and will have the time of my life, while others are not quite sure what to make of my latest endeavor. There are many factors that have gone into my decision to travel solo to Argentina; but the simplest answer is: I am an aspiring travel writer.
My dad used to tell me that “between saying and doing, the ocean is in between,” it was a quote he would say to remind me that words are just that unless backed by action. In the months since I’ve started The Pin the Map Project, I have explored ways to take my blog to the next level and have reached out to various travel agencies, tour operators, brands and fellow writers to help lead the way. An opportunity to fly down to Buenos Aires, meet with local tour agencies, review accommodations and tours and write about the experience has all led me to turn words into action and plan a trip to Argentina. While the opportunities are a major factor in my decision to venture below the equator, I also realized that traveling solo is something I need to experience and embrace if I am to seriously pursue travel writing.
In many ways, the life of a travel writer seems to be idyllic–there are press trips to exotic locations, complimentary tours of iconic cities and supportive readers following the adventures along the way. Yet, travel writers are often on the road alone relying on their street smarts, wit and people skills to mark the difference between a miserable or wonderful time abroad. Having always traveled with a companion or gaggle of friends, I have never traveled alone to a destination and had to rely solely on myself.
This upcoming trip to Buenos Aires will be my first travel writing adventure (and hopefully not my last). Rather than heading on a personal vacation and finding stories along the way as an afterthought, I will be heading to a different country for the sake of stories and opportunities to further my writing and this website. While practical and emotional questions will always swarm the idea of solo traveling, the most important of all of them is to know why you’re taking this trip and to fiercely stand behind that answer–whatever it may be.