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I’ll Only Be 5000 Miles Away…

How does it really feel to set off on a solo travel adventure?

“Speak to you soon – I’ll only be 5000 miles away.”

What a strange feeling.

A few weeks ago I left the UK to set off on a three month adventure. I left behind a job in the music industry which I’d found creative and exciting, but often very stressful. I spent one year managing pop artists and the year before working with stars from The X Factor. The day I boarded my flight to Mexico, I felt a million miles away from it all. It was very liberating!

I tucked into scones with jam and cream on my British Airways flight and enjoyed working my way through several films. After almost ten hours flying I was tired but excited, anxiously practising the Spanish I would need to use to buy my bus ticket. So… you can imagine my surprise when I go to collect my luggage in Cancun and bump into The X Factor crew, complete with host Dermot O’Leary and guest judge (and colleague from my days as a radio producer) Emma Bunton! The world I thought I was leaving behind appeared to be following me! Flight cases full of instruments and camera equipment marked ‘X Factor’ and ‘Judges Houses’ circled around the luggage belt. I couldn’t quite believe it! What are the chances?

I spent my first few nights in Hostel 3B in Playa Del Carmen – one of the most welcoming places I have ever stepped foot into. Starting a long adventure solo was daunting, and I was made to feel like one of the family. Waiting at reception was a guy from Battersea, London. So I’d travelled almost 5000 miles to meet a fellow Londoner! Again, what are the chances?!
In just a few weeks, so much has happened. Although I hate to use a phrase overused on The X Factor it really has been a ‘roller coaster’. From being scared and lost after dark looking for an apartment I was renting, with my phone not working, and wondering if I would survive… to making a whole bunch of new friends in a day and partying with them until dawn.
There was the day I tried scuba diving (assuming I would love it) only to have a total panic attack in a swimming pool, followed by the news hours later that my sister half way across the world had just had a baby. I was so excited about it, but felt so distant. Then there was the evening I spent drinking mojitos with a load of new friends while sat on swings at a beach bar. We dissected past relationships and put the world to rights. New friend requests and photos buzzed around Facebook, and I loved it!
It’s only been a few weeks. There’s no predicting what lies ahead in the next two and a half months, but I’m sure whatever it is, I won’t be prepared for it… And that’s just part of the fun.
This piece was originally written for Huffington Post UK and can be found here.
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With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

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