My first solo trip to hidden paradise... Gili Islands

Photo of My first solo trip to hidden paradise... Gili Islands 1/1 by Mariya Nalawala

"Hey, there's a first-time for everything. You might surprise yourself!" a soft inner voice coming straight from my heart.

Well, for me, going on my solo trip was my first ever thing. Yes, that's true! I went to my solo tripping, and I must say this is one of the best things I have ever did. I went to a few of the beautiful islands in Bali - Gili T and Gili Meno and it will always have a special place in my heart because of immense fun I had and some of the best memories of my life.

The people I met, the places I visited, and totally uncertain decisions have definitely touched my heart in a very good way.

For me it happened all of a sudden, I was planning a trip with my friends and as usual, it didn’t happen. But, from a very long time I wanted to take a break from my work and blow off some steam. So I thought of going alone and experience "THE SOLO trip" people around me was all buzzing about. Also, I always wanted to do a certified scuba diving course, and Bali is one of the best places to do so, I connected all the dots, and everything started falling into place. With little anxiety, finally, I decided to go to my solo trip to the Gili Islands where I can enjoy its spectacular beaches as well as pursue my scuba diving certification.

At first, I was very scared travelling all alone, what if something happens? What if I am lost (though, these days with the help of google maps, it's not quite possible :P)? Whom should I trust? Is it safe to travel? What if I am robbed? And zillions of negative thoughts were running all over my mind, and I was tremendously petrified. But deep down I always wanted to go for diving and had an urge to travel alone once in my lifetime. So after the entire muddle, I finally decided to go, leaving everything to fate.

One thing I was very much assured was that whatever happens, I will definitely learn something new. If my experience is bad, then I know what not to do, but if I had a good experience, then I surely know what I have to do very often. Millions of memories and learning will be cherry on the cake. So with such a positive mindset I finally booked my tickets and decided to go on the most adventure rides of my life - Gili Islands.

I started planning my trip, booking a hostel and gathering all the important information about the island. Not to forget I was scared about my diving certificate as well. I heard from my friends that the diving course is not at all easy and being an amateur swimmer, it becomes tougher, but I was very much clear that I want to try it once and give it a shot. So finally, after all the hustling, I was on my way to Gili and also enrolled for Open water scuba diving certification course.

Woohoo!! I cleared my exam and got my diving certification. I was extremely happy and thoroughly enjoyed all my dives. Although I worked really hard, but for my certification, all my credit goes to my excellent diving instructor. He was awesome and extremely patient with me, he is simply the best.

My takeaway from the trip:

‣ If you’ve been putting off a trip because you’re waiting for someone to go with you – STOP. Just Go! Don’t let others hold you back from your dreams. Trust me, along the way you will make some amazing friends and meet many solo just like you, who will be super friendly and fun. Sharing your travel experiences and exchanging your ideas with strangers is the best part of the trip.

‣ For me, my solo travelling taught me a lot about myself. It gave me the ULTIMATE FREEDOM. You wake up and it’s you. In that freedom and infinite space of possibility, you meet yourself. You learn about yourself and your surroundings. You hit the limits of what you like and don’t like. There is no one to get you in one direction or disregard your reasons. Want to eat sushi? Go eat Sushi. Want to try scuba diving? Go for it, have a blast!

‣ If you are travelling alone you have to learn how to survive alone all by yourself. It’s like either sink or swim- who to trust, how to make friends, how to manage your finances, how to protect yourself, how to find your way all alone. For me, that was the greatest reward my PERSONAL GROWTH. Each time you make a mistake you learn a little more, each time you try something new, you will feel more confident and everything will ultimately tune in with your emotions and desires.

‣ Lastly, solo travel is not for everyone. Some people cry about uncertain circumstances while some just embrace it right away. But you will never learn if you don’t travel and experience the new thing by yourself. You need to push your limits and get out of your comfort zone, whether it is for a weekend, a week vacation or can be for a month or even for a year. Try it at least once in your lifetime.

Don’t wait for the right time or right people. There’s only now — and if you don’t go, you’ll regret it.

The trip to Gili Island is one of the best things that had ever happened to me. So, I urge to all the readers to go solo trip at least once in their lifetime and have the wonderful experience.

There are so many places to explore, amazing people to meet, and delicious food to try — and only so little time to accomplish it all. So please don’t let others keep you from realizing your dreams. Just go for it!

Happy solo tripping :)