Ping pong and Katy Perry in Mandalay, Myanmar. What could be better?
You know some of my favorite places to visit? The ones where, when people hear you speaking English, they don't rush over to sell you something -- they rush over to ask you if you're from California, if you've ever met George Bush, or if you own guns.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.
He was exactly right. According to my master's research, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. But due to the ubiquity of technology (read: passive entertainment) and high-achieving childhoods, many young adults have yet to develop their leisure skills.
The fact that they're making less money and are more likely to have debt than ever doesn't help.
I recently returned from a trip to Southeast Asia -- and I learned and saw so many things. Some made me happy. Some made me sad. And some... were kind of amusing.
For example, the observation that about 1 in 7 white guys had his arm in a sling...
Guys, I'm, like, soooo vaccinated right now!
In just a few days, I'm headed to Thailand. Then Sri Lanka. Then Vietnam. Then... who knows? And, at the last minute, I decided to do the responsible thing and get my vaccines.
Three weeks ago, I had never heard of a place called Bonaire. But then, one day, I decided to Google "world's best shore diving," and Bonaire kept showing up -- usually in the number one spot -- on every list.
So I did an image search for Bonaire, fell in love, and booked a flight.
As my departure rapidly approached, I checked the CDC website to read their recommendations for water and food safety in Bonaire.
Like many things, the government got it all wrong.
Everyone Thinks I'm So Cool And Brave for Traveling Alone As a Woman - But These Lady Travelers are WAY Cooler Than Me.
Just me, myself and I, hanging out at the Rio Celeste in Costa Rica. #MieScattering
Let me start by saying, you're right. I am pretty cool for traveling alone. It's something I love about myself -- that if I see something I want, I go for it. Even if "it" is a country on the other side of the world, and no one else wants to go there with me.
I read the saddest story ever this morning. A beautiful, vibrant woman named Geraldine Largay, or Inchworm, was found dead in her tent, almost two years after losing her way along the Appalachian Trail.
Many years ago, I visited Bath, England -- a place of water, life, and healing. Upon one of the fountains there was engraved, "Aqua est Vida." Water is life.
And plastic is death.
I strongly believe that everything should be big, silly and over-the-top. Go big or go home, right?
That's why I spent 10 days in Mexico for Thanksgiving and my birthday. Because what better way to usher in another year? (And also because I found a sweet deal on Virgin America -- $264 for a nonstop, roundtrip flight from San Francisco to Los Cabos.)
Despite evidence to the contrary
I am not a party person. Like, at all. So I almost decided Cabo wasn't the place for me -- it's got a reputation for party, party party.
But. When I found out about the tiburon ballenas (whale sharks) that I was almost guaranteed to see in La Paz, just two hours from Cabo San Lucas, there was no more question. I was going.
A while back, someone on Quora asked,
How do I celebrate my birthday when I am all alone in my life?
Here's my answer:
Take a solo vacation. At 27, the best possible trip you could do is probably a solo one (probably especially if you're traveling while female). You'll meet tons of new people every day -- trust me. (If you're concerned about your social skills and/or ability to meet new people, I'd recommend reading The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism before you go. It'll teach you skills you can use personally and professionally to attract and connect with more people.)
If you're afraid of being lonely when you travel alone, don't be! A three-hour friendship with someone you meet while traveling can feel more meaningful than a convenient one you have with coworkers and neighbors.
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my scooter... hop on the back and go to an amazingly beautiful place with me maybe?
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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