I’m not going to lie to you.
Fear is one of the emotions that also invade me if I think of traveling alone.
Being afraid is natural.
We are human and as such, we feel.
If we define the word fear, it is simply defined as:
“An emotion characterized by an intense sense of anguish caused by the perception of a real or imaginary danger or risk, present, future or even past”
Do not be overwhelmed or feel bad because an emotion such as fear prevents you from traveling. It is something that we can control.
We have all had to learn to process fear and deal with it.
I remember my first trip alone, went to Mexico. Yes, Mexico, a country that has a very bad reputation, but to which it would return with its eyes closed.
I was 24 years old and I left to study.
I was without friends and without anyone to support me. But the opportunities are sometimes unique and you have to learn to take advantage of them.
When I told my mother, her first comment was: Marta! DO NOT! It’s very dangerous. Do not go.
I’m going to make a confession, to this day, if you ask my mother about Mexico, after traveling for a month to backpacking with me, the first thing she draws on her face is a smile from ear to ear, and then continue telling you how wonderful that country is.
And if a mother says so, we’ll have to pay attention to her, will not we?
A month after landing in Aguascalientes, I had the spotlight to make the first trip through the country.
Since always, one of my dreams was to see whales and in that moment I had them closer than ever.
I asked among the new companions, and nobody decided to accompany me.
As you know, the whales migrate and at that time there were only a few weeks left to be able to see them.
I did not want to let fear keep me from fulfilling one of my greatest illusions; so I bought the flights and went to La Paz, in Baja California.
I contacted a guy through a website that offered free accommodation, so if it was not enough to get to a stranger’s house, when I landed, I hitchhiked from the airport to the city.
I must admit that when I have left my comfort zone, it has always been pushed lightly by a need. In this case, the option was to walk an hour and a half under the sun with a backpack on my back until I reached my destination, that made after walking for 5 minutes, my thumb rose automatically.
I remember that I even said out loud: “Come on, Marta! From lost to the river, do not be afraid.”
After a while, I had stopped a car with two other travelers who also happened to be on my plane.
Without any problem, I reached the main street of La Paz.
As you can see, fear only appeared when I started thinking about what could happen to me, that is, as the definition says, I worried about an imaginary or future risk.
What did I do to overcome that fear? I rationalized the situation.
I overcame the illusion and my dream of seeing the whales above that thought with all the bad things that could happen to me.
It seems that we always think about the negative things that can happen to us, but what about the good ones? Do we never stop to think about the positive things that can happen to us?
FINAL GUIDE TO OVERCOME FEAR TO TRAVEL ALONE
You better than anyone should know 100% and you can identify the fears that lie in wait for you.
I propose the following practical exercise, because it is useless to tell you about my experience traveling alone if you do not do something to overcome your fears.
STEP 1 TO OVERCOME FEAR TO TRAVEL ALONE
Reserve an hour for you.
Find a quiet place.
Take a piece of paper and a pen and think: What prevents you from taking the step of traveling alone?
Fear to loneliness?
Afraid to feel alone?
Afraid that something bad happens to you?
Afraid to go abroad?
Afraid of not being able to communicate?
The first step of all is to identify that obstacle.
The moment you do it, you can work on it.
All fears can be overcome or at least worked on.
Speaking with friends and other travelers, I asked them about how they would overcome fear or how they had overcome it in their time.
They contributed the next step.
STEP 2 TO OVERCOME FEAR TO TRAVEL ALONE
Although you feel a few minutes to reflect, you may not reach your deepest self.
Also, if you are not in a situation that takes you out of your comfort zone, real fears will be more difficult to identify.
So I propose the first mini-challenge. I call it mini, because it is more than studied that overcoming small goals leads you to achieve a greater goal.
Find a place where you’ve never been about an hour away from your home.
Go to the chosen site.
During the day or at the end of it, study what sensations you have had. Have you felt alone? Have you felt nervous at some time when you did not know what to do?
By learning more about yourself, you can work more on it.
If what you fear is the uncertainty of arriving at a place you do not know, you will have to practice more.
Take small trips a day, at distances close to your home.
With practice you will realize that you can control that uncertainty.
STEP 3 TO OVERCOME FEAR TO TRAVEL ALONE
This time you will have to reserve two days for you. As you can see, the time you dedicate to yourself is very important.
You will be the person you will spend the most time with during your trip, so you have to meet.
This time, you will look for a place two or three hours from your house and you will have to spend the night there. I would recommend using the TripHouses section of the application, but the idea is that you spend time with yourself, without company. So any accommodation will be fine.
After that couple of days, return to do the same exercise. Observe the fears that have haunted you.
An important thing to understand is: “traveling alone does not mean being alone”
It is different to be alone than to feel alone, although we will talk about that later.
When we travel, one of the best experiences is to meet local people. Exchange knowledge and learn.
That is why there are several resources to contact local people that you can use. In this way, if loneliness is one of the fears you have, this can help you.
RESOURCES FOR TRAVELING ALONE
- TRIPWOMAN APP: First, use the TripWoman application to search for accommodation. In the TripHouses section you can find a list of rooms that other women offer in a disinterested way. Can not find accommodation in the place you plan to go? Very easy, use the forums.
- TRIPWOMAN FORUMS: Try your luck and ask in the forums if someone welcomes you on your trip.
- MEETUP: Another technique that I use in my travels is attending events in the city I visit.
For this you can use Facebook looking for events near that place, or use the Meetup website, where you can find events for all tastes, where you can meet local people.
There are infinite resources, believe me. In fact, if you are interested, I leave the post with all of them: MORE RESOURCES TO TRAVEL ALONE
As you can see, the fear of traveling alone can only be overcome by you.
It’s about going step by step, identifying the obstacles that prevent you from going to travel and go surpassing them little by little.
I have proposed a plan with 3 basic initiatives, but each person is different and may need different things.
Adapt the action plan to your needs, yes, very important: Listen calmly and above all, do not judge yourself.
Allow yourself to feel afraid.
Many travelers have already taken the step, Do you want to read their advice? ADVICE FOR TRAVELING ONLY BY EXPERT TRAVELERS.
Remember that you are not alone. In Tripwoman you will find many women like you, willing to help you.
Do you want to travel alone but not alone? Download the Tripwoman app, where you’ll find travelers like you.
She started self-taught in the world of marketing, she liked it so much that she decided to change her profession as a personal trainer in the world of video marketing. As an experienced traveler you can contribute your bit to this project. Currently, she is planning to travel around to the world using trading as currency.