Too Afraid to Travel Alone? 

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Travelling alone is a big step in your personal development. However, many people have many fears that stop them from travelling solo. Let’s explore a few reasons why some of you fear travelling alone and a few solutions to overcome these fears.

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Is it safe to travel alone?

Safety is usually top of people’s priorities. Research places before you go. How they act, their customs and beliefs, basically try to find out about and refrain from doing anything that may cause people offence. Look up advice on how to carry yourself, how to blend in better and how to give off an aura of confidence. 

Be street smart. Take similar precautions to as if you were at home. Lock up your valuables, don’t get overly intoxicated, if it’s dark out don’t walk alone. Just be smart.

Won’t I be lonely?

Travelling solo or alone is just for some periods of your adventure. Other times you meet people along the way. Even in the time that you are alone it is a fantastic opportunity to chill out with yourself, let your mind wander and reflect on whatever you want. You discover things about yourself, come up with new ideas, and your self-confidence grows as a result.

Being alone means that you have to make all of the decisions yourself. You have complete control and are entirely independent. You get to choose who you spend time with, where you want to go, what you want to eat, the list is endless. This improves your decision making abilities as you are forced to think on your feet. As you start to see that each decision you make turns out to have a positive result you gain confidence in yourself and trust your gut more and more.

Travelling alone offers you the opportunity to reach out to new people. Hostels are great for providing an atmosphere for travellers to meet each other, Couchsurfing Meetups are great also. More often than not in a hostel you meet fellow travellers and end up hanging out with them. These are usually like-minded people who are doing something similar to yourself. You’ll end up growing an international network of friends.

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Is it not better to travel with friends?

For me a balance is good. Travelling with friends is very fun as you get to share all of the stories. However, for me travelling solo is even better as you get to make new friends and share experiences with them. Also, you get to experience things by yourself which only you will have the memory of which helps you to improve your story-telling abilities.

Travelling solo is much much better for meeting new people than travelling in a group. Other travellers are more likely to take you under their wing if you’re travelling by yourself.

I’m not brave enough?

You are. You’ve gotten this far. You don’t need anyone to hold your hand when you go to school, college or work. You’ve already accomplished so much in your life to just be alive right now. If you think you’re not brave enough think about the last time you did something you didn’t think you could do. Likelihood is is that you enjoyed it and accomplished whatever it was.

The best way to address the fear of travelling solo is by actually going and doing it. You will grow so much from it and this will help you to overcome many others fears as your self-confidence grows.

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I don’t have enough money?

Most of my travelling is done on a shoestring budget. Flights may be the issue if you are crossing oceans but once you get to the main landmass the cost of travelling around is very affordable. 

Check out how I booked 12 flights in Europe for Under €250.

Price comparison sites, low cost airlines, bus companies and carsharing communities have greatly reduced the cost of transport. You could even do a trip without spending any money on transport or accommodation by hitchhiking and couchsurfing. 

Next month I will be partaking in a competition to get from Dublin to Rome without spending any of my own money. Find out more here.

What if I get homsick?

We are so lucky to be alive in this day and age. Advances in technology have resulted in us being able to contact anyone from the other side of the world. Video call, phone call, email, Instant Messaging, social media, we have an abundance of methods of contacting each other. 

A way to combat this fear of being away from home could be to gradually increase the amount of time you spend away from your friends and family. 

My advice

There are so many benefits of travelling by yourself. Open your mind to the idea and put your fears to rest by going and doing it. You’ll thank yourself.

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Oisín Hoy

Oisín Hoy

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