.... Why You Should Anyway
Often times we equate memorable travel moments with being together with others. Traveling alone might seem intimidating, it might seem "strange" and just does not appear fun to some people. One of the biggest hurdles that people have to overcome is the fear of being alone if you want to be someone who is able to travel by him/herself.
The fear of travelling alone - the fear of being scared, bored, unsafe. Fear can hold people back a great deal. These are some of the reasons that people prefer to stay at home, rather than travel alone.
Reason #1 – Safety
So many people prefer not to travel alone, because they are afraid for their safety. The truth is that most of us have survived on this planet for as long we have, because we are able to avoid deadly situations on a daily basis. Just make sure that you keep doing that, and you do not have to worry about safety when you travel.
Traveling in a distant country is not unlike moving around your town or city; you have to understand your surroundings and you have to act accordingly. Considering that you are traveling somewhere unfamiliar, do some research on what is considered acceptable behavior, how you should carry yourself, and what to wear. Notions such as not getting too intoxicated or flaunting wealth in a poverty-stricken area are pretty common sense. There is no magic formula to being safe, aside from respecting your surroundings and being aware.
Reason #2 – Others do not approve
It is perfectly understandable that people are concerned about you traveling alone. Oftentimes this is because they care about you, which is why they might not be supportive. We are often more afraid of the notion of traveling alone and how people might react to it if we tell them, only to find out that the actual response is far milder and positive than we believed.
If someone does tell you that they are concerned, ask them to trust your intelligence and instincts. Assure that you did everything I mentioned above to make your travel as safe as possible. Remember that you will always have naysayers - you do not have to consider every negative opinion.
Reason #3 – Worried about feeling lonely
This is a concern that a number of people share - are you going to feel lonely when you travel? Maybe no one wants to take you up on your offer to travel together right now; does that mean that you should postpone your trip? Truth is, if you are going to wait for people to join you when it is convenient for the both of you - you may never get to travel. The fact is that you will meet a number of great people. Many people are traveling alone or in small groups. Oftentimes you find that locals might want to know more about you, or that fellow tourists want to hear about your experiences.
If you are the type of person who classifies themselves as "shy,” remember that I described myself as rather awkward and shy too. Traveling alone is really going to help you come out of your shell. Once you get out on the road, you are going to find that it becomes easier to make friends. Even if you are just taking small steps, traveling helps you get over your shyness.
Reason #4 – But what about being bored?
This depends on your experience, are you the type of person who needs everything done for them? If so, you might feel a little bored at first. However, remember that traveling by yourself is about putting yourself out there. Trying new places, eating new foods that you have not tried before, and using the local transport options. You will find that once you travel by yourself, YOU get to decide how to spend your time without having to consider the needs/wants of a travel partner.
What if I do not feel brave?
Easy, you can ease into traveling alone. If you want, you can get used to your surroundings by easing into things with a tour. You will still have familiar faces around you, while really allowing you to do your thing. Remember that human beings are adaptable, you CAN travel by yourself. You just have to start believing that first.