Do you like traveling alone, or do you not dare to?
The first time can be scary. My first trip alone was to Australia – just to the other side of the world!
I guarantee it was a hard decision to make. I spent weeks thinking about it and even having nightmares.
It was a trip that I was going to go on alone or not at all. Nobody else could go with me.
Right after I bought the airplane ticket, I tried to cancel it. Fortunately, I wasn’t able to and decided to keep going.
As you can see, I know very well what it means to travel alone. I can also tell you that I love it. That’s why I spent five years traveling alone.
People often define their first time traveling alone as an extremely enriching experience.
Fear Of Traveling Alone
If the fear is in your way, start to do some simple things.
Attend salsa classes, go to a bar, go on some tourist trips, or visit some museums.
Travel to a nearby city, or maybe to a country that you already know. You will see that it is easier than you thought.
Some people are worried about what other people may think.
Do you really want to live worrying about that?
The reality is that people admire those who dare to travel alone. And people tell me this constantly when I share my travel adventures.
When you do it, people will respect and admire you for your bravery.
It’s normal to have fear that something might happen to you.
Of course, you always need to be careful when you visit a new place, but that is also true in your own country.
Another typical concern is safety.
Regarding this issue, it’s important that you ignore anything you see on TV (bullshit) and trust only travel guides and websites. There you can read the opinions of real travelers.
There are countries that are safer than your own (unless you live in Japan), so don’t make excuses.
Advantages Of Traveling Alone
When you travel alone, you can do as you please. If you like a place, you can stay. If not, you can leave.
If you are hungry, you can choose a restaurant you like at the time you want.
You don’t have to argue with anybody. Nobody tells you, “I’m not hungry yet” or “I don’t like this place.”
Ironically, some people are afraid of this freedom. We live in a world where people constantly tell us what we should do, think and say.
Physically we are free, but mentally we are slaves. From an early age, we have been conditioned not to think for ourselves.
That is why doing things alone scares so many people.
Traveling alone, you have a lot of time to think about important matters. Normally, we are “busy” the whole day, often with stupid things.
We try to fill the gaps during the day with our mobile or TV shows or Facebook or other useless things.
This doesn’t leave us time to meditate on matters that have a real impact on us.
Traveling alone makes it easier for the mind to flow freely and explore options that once seemed impossible …such as being a writer.
Another traveler said to me in India:
“When you travel alone, it is you and the world.”
You have to trust your own opinion. You can’t ask anybody else. Which probably brings you to a point where you don’t care what people think about you.
Another thing to consider:
I am personally introverted. But don’t get this confused with being shy. So I enjoy spending time by myself.
Extroverts need to be with people.
What kind of person are you?
I wrote an article that may help you: How to meet people while traveling.
Ironies Of Traveling Alone
The biggest irony of traveling alone is that you are never alone. If you haven’t done it yet, you will not believe me, just as I didn’t believe my friends when they told me.
But it is totally true.
In fact, it is even hard to spend time alone. As I told you before, I like to be on my own, and sometimes I have to “escape” so nobody comes to talk to me or asks me to join some excursion.
Watch The Local People
You can learn a lot by observing how local people interact with each other and with their surroundings.
In Asian countries, they don’t kiss on the cheek to say hi as western people normally do. Also, in some countries, there are wagons exclusively for women.
And there are many more differences. Pay attention to what is going on around you to adapt to each place.
Get To Know Yourself Traveling Alone
I want to leave you with this thought that I wrote in my second book. At that moment I realized why I was traveling.
“While I am relaxing listening to the sound of the waves on a beach in Thailand, I start to realize the reason for my trip. It’s certainly not to visit tourist attractions or enjoy amazing landscapes.
The reason is to find out who I am; to have the opportunity to shut out the noise surrounding me and listen to my inner voice. Traveling alone gives you a lot of time to think about a variety of matters.
Normally, we avoid confronting painful questions, but we’re actually just delaying the punch, not avoiding it. There are things we have to face whether or not we want to.
Traveling alone has given me the confidence to trust myself. Obviously, when you travel alone, you have to decide everything for yourself.
You don’t depend or rely on anybody else, which has an amazing effect on your life.
It makes you think for yourself, and nobody influences your decisions. You learn to be more conscious of your own opinions and to care less about other people’s.”
What do you think?