I’m on my way to the airport and it feels like I’m on the edge of a new horizon. What does that even mean? Well, I know that something different is happening, but I can’t quite work out what it is. I can see the change coming.

I have just been through a big personal change. I’ve been in a relationship for nearly four years. I’ve been a stepmother since I was 23. But now I am no longer in that relationship and, heartbreakingly, I am also no longer a stepmother. I’ve put my last four years into three people and they are no longer an active part of my life. It’s a bloody big change.

We we’re supposed to be going on a big trip together today. Parts of the USA, London, Paris. They are on the plane now, and I am not. But this isn’t about how I feel about that. They are going to have a ripper of a time together and bond incredibly. This is about change.

I have never travelled overseas by myself. My anxiety disorder has held me back, both legitimately and as a good excuse for not having to try something that puts me out of my comfort zone. But four years of step parenting and the heartbreaking decision to let that part of my life go have taught me something: if I can love, nurture, protect, and deal with the difficulties that looking after kids inevitably brings, then I can bloody well deal with any adversity I face when travelling in a foreign country.

So, with three weeks of leave from work already booked, I decided to stop ignoring the signs.

One of my brothers encouraged me to travel solo. He mentioned Vietnam as a good starting point and mentioned an app with amazing flight deals that I should download. I did. The next day I was catching up with an old friend I used to live with at college and he mentioned Vietnam. The app alerted me on the same day to some sweet flight deals for Vietnam.

Three mentions. Two encouraging people. A supportive work team. The next day, my flight was booked.  That afternoon I booked a hostel for the first two nights. That was three weeks ago, and I haven’t booked anything else except for travel insurance.

Whenever I mention Vietnam to people, they’ve got nothing but good things to say. I’ve been given a lot of recommendations over the past few weeks and I remember some of them, but I will still be winging it.

I freaked out a little yesterday, wondering if I was doing a good thing. I’ve been part of a family unit for so long that this solo trip feels like I am cementing my singularity. I am solo. I only have me to rely on. I worry about being lonely.

It’s an entirely new way of travelling for me and it scares me as much as it excites me. But I will push through the anxiety. I will breathe. And I will be okay.

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  • It's been a long time between posts. I've honestly not felt the need to post anything because I think I was being motivated by the wrong things: trying to achieve the whole travel influencer/digital nomad lifestyle while bragging about my adventures in some sort of need for validation. (My own motivation, not all influencers'.) But now I'm back and I'll be posting. Not to achieve validation, but to share pride in myself and my growth as a person. To share the sacrifices and gains. To just be me. New blog up with more about those sacrifices: link in bio.
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #expat #solotravel #sacrifice #travellife #instatravel #alifesheloves #femaletraveller #femalesolotraveller #travelgirl #travelgram #thehappynow
  • Those misty, green woods in Winter 🌲🍃
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I love love LOVE the English woods. Not pictured: one food-crazy dog that I'm pet-sitting 🐶
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #housesitters #petsitters #nature_brilliance #EarthVisuals #artofvisuals #welivetoexplore #natureaddict #naturediversity #ourplanetdaily #earth_deluxe #instanaturelover #nature_prefection #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain  #focalmarked
  • When I was heading to London two years ago, my colleague at the time @merranbowedesignlust gave me a list of things to do. I didn't manage to tick off all the things on the list, but this time around I made sure I did one of her highly recommended activities: walking along the canal from Camden Markets to Regents Park. My goodness. It's now on my highly recommended list! It's beautiful, peaceful and goes past the zoo! Sure I saw some hyenas ripping another animal apart but that was all part of the experience... Thanks Merran 💕
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expat #digitalnomad #travelblogger #urbex #streetshared #aov #weekly_feature #createexploretakeover #shotzdelight #mkexplore #gearednomad #rsa_streetview #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling #londoncollective #unboxyourphone #instaandroid
  • Today I walked through the woods. Words fail me, even now. It is like the landscape is from my dreams; from my imagination. I remember growing up wishing that we had beautiful woods like this near us. The Australian bush is beautiful, don't get me wrong. But English woods are so full of life in a totally different way. They are full of deep greens, vines, moisture! The birds sang around me as I walked. I felt my breath being taken away by the beauty. And I will see it again in my dreams tonight 🍃
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #expat #southdowns #southdownsway #naturephoto #main_vision #landscape_captures #awesome_earthpix #natureaddict #awesomeearth #nature_wizards #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism #unboxyourphone #instaandroid #androidcommunity #teamandroid
  • Welcome to Steyning, an old village in the south of England where the woods are a-plenty (and so was the fog today). I’m house sitting and looking after Lucky the beagle. Here’s what we saw on today’s walk (warning: will give you forest envy)
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblog #travelblogger #aussieblog #aussieblogger #housesitters #petsitters #naturevideo #main_vision #landscape_captures #natureaddict #allnatureshots #dogsofinstagram #beaglesofinstagram #travelog #sheisnotlost #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #sussex #englandtrip #englandtourism #expatlife
  • Another view of Canterbury Cathedral. Seriously, this architecture is so stunning. I know the locals walk past it every day and don't take it in because it's the norm, so it takes me an extra 20 minutes to walk anywhere because I just want to stop and stare!
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #digitalnomad #expatlife  #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #excellent_structure #arquitecturamx #diagonal_symmetry #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip
  • Welcome to Canterbury! It's my first stop in the UK and boy is it cold... for someone who has just been in an Australian heatwave, anyway. I've been walking around seeing the aights, sitting in cafes, making friends, visiting friends, hiking in Dover, and slowly settling in. It's hard, but I'm trying. I'm loving the architecture here so much!
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expatlife #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #lookingup_architecture #unlimitedcities #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism
  • I stand on the rocks at one of my favourite beaches in Newcastle with my trusty best friend (Mikey the border collie) by my side.
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With only days left in Newcastle before I move overseas, my anxiety is building. I keep thinking of all the things that I am leaving behind, and it's making me question why I'm doing this at all.
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But, as my good friend Alex told me, there are so many "hellos" in the future. Hello to new people. Hello to new experiences. Hello again to all those I'm "leaving behind".
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So, this picture is a bit of a metaphor, as well as a stunning sunset. There are so many sunsets to look forward to. There will be rocks, tumultuous seas, and calm waters on the way to those beautiful experiences. One day at a time.
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #mynewcastle #goodbyes #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #skyporn #sunsetsniper #skylovers #sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets #sunset_hub #sunsetlovers #instasunsets #all_sunsets #sunsethunter #sunset_madness #sunset_stream
  • When a friend recently invited me up to Valla Beach to camp with his family, I jumped at the opportunity (after finding a way to make the 3.5 hour drive when I'd just sold my car...). I've got limited time left in Australia before my big adventure and I've never actually been properly camping! So, thank you @danmurphy31. I'm so happy to have had some time at such a beautiful beach/river and to have had my first family camping experience where the whole aim is to live slow ⛺☀️🌊
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #vallabeach #midnorthcoast #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #islandhopping #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #mytinyatlas #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #campinassp #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #travelon

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Mate, who am i?

(I ask myself the same thing)

Travelling can be really hard when you never feel like you're prepared. But, the more I do it the more I realise that being unprepared is the best way to travel. I’m Rowena. I live with depression and an anxiety disorder, which inspires a lot of my writing. My first reaction is to over-pack, over-worry, freak out, and give myself a headache. I’m consciously rebelling against that.

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