Travelling is like being suspended above a world that doesn't need us to function. We're irrelevant. Despite how amazing travel is, that isolated irrelevance can gnaw at us. So it's important to remember everything ends, even travel. Few ever experience these prolonged journeys. Don't let homesickness or isolation spoil your adventure.
You'll be surprised how much you can learn about yourself.
Take a chance. If you travel for work or must take a trip for other reasons, go ahead and go alone. Yes, it can be a hassle to arrange childcare, pre-make dinners and all the rest of the stuff your family thinks just magically happens. Still, it's worth it. Traveling alone lets you remember who you were before you were the key cog in a family. You don't have to go to Australia to achieve this. They have wine in Pittsburgh, Toronto and Phoenix.
Travelling solo is my preferred way to go. I don't have to adjust myself to anyone else's sleep/wake schedule; I can eat wherever I want, whatever I want; I can go to any sites or shops I choose without worrying my companion might be bored; and I can make deeper connections with the locals. Travelling solo can be a lot of fun, and with technology's help, it's never been safer to do so.
My travel mistakes have ranged from budget-busting to stupid safety choices that (thankfully) ended with a good story to tell when I got home. Feel free to learn from my solo travel mistakes so you don't have to make them for yourself.
I feel really lucky to have met a bunch of different people in a bunch of different settings since moving here. But now I'm at the point where I'm looking to move forward in these relationships. What's been difficult is that I lack the language skills to communicate with people beyond what I would share with a new person or casual acquaintance. So now I find myself stuck on the surface or obliging other people to speak with me in English.
I recently returned to Madrid from a trip to Portugal with my sister. I think we both felt a little bit guilty about our lack of interest in the historical aspects of the Portugal experience. I mean, how effed up is it to stand in a palace originally built in the middle ages and say, "meh" to yourself? But I had to own the privilege to get over the guilt. Instead of pretending to enjoy what wasn't working, My sister and I spent the second half of our trip doing all the aimless non-touristy touristy things that we love. And this is what made Portugal perfect for us.
Anyone who has tried it will tell you that moving to a new place by yourself can be lonely. As obvious as this is, it was probably the scariest thing about moving to Madrid. The last year has been somewhat atypical and I've surrounded myself with wonderful people. Learning to enjoy time spent by myself was a top-five goal before leaving for this trip; to really push myself to accept the challenge of loneliness.