The Fear Of Travelling Solo

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“While we grow up we begin to be more “aware” about certain hazards, that are introduced in our mind at the cultural level, beliefs, rumours and all the noise generated constantly in media."

The idea of travelling alone was frightening the first time, but I never imagined that in the future it would repeat it so many times.

Our mind is programmed to protect us from uncomfortable situations and possible hazards. It pushes us back to try things that are out of our control. While we grow up we begin to be more “aware” about certain hazards, that are introduced in our mind at the cultural level, beliefs, rumours and all the noise generated constantly in media. 

Travelling alone is not an option for many because there is a “lack of control” and undesirable thinking regard to:

  • Not having a good time
  • Feeling lonely
  • Getting lost
  • Being approached by unknown people
  • Getting robbed

The lack of control makes us thinking on a horror movie. 

To reduce the fear and feeling more encouraged, it’s required a few things to start giving some reassurance to our overprotective self:

  • Inspiration
  • Information
  • Planification
Inspiration

Before I decided to travel alone I needed a dose of inspiration. An adventorous friend told me some of his stories and experiences travelling alone, while I listened to him with admiration. From there started my questions. But I was amazed for his ability to meet people and not feeling afraid. 

Information

With the time I realized that the more resources you know or have, the more confident you feel to face the unforeseen solo trip. It’s about having notion of a few steps to make the experience happen. In the end, the picture rendered before the trip makes it’s much different than reality. Knowing the basics, allows you to set the board to plan the “strategy”.

Planification

Basically it’s gatering information of the travel itself to understand the context. Answering to “where I would like to go?” the next is knowing what to visit, for how long and planning a few activities in advance that gives you reassuarange. Check this post to get some travel solo tips.

When is the moment?

For me, travelling solo was for 2 reasons: the first because I wanted to challenge myself to do it. The second reason was that never was possible to get some friends together and making it happen.

Other people like my friend, got fed up of travlling with his friends and having discussions about what to visit first and where to go (lol, totally true).

So, travelling solo also it’s freedom and flexibility. Therefore, if you wish to go somewhere, you have the time and savings, but nobody can join you, maybe this is your moment.

The mental model to make it happen

I’m pretty analytic person and I really like to understand my feelings and concerns in order to manage better my emotions. For this reason I broke up what I consider could be the mental model process to pass from the no-go to go-to.

Awareness > Consideration > Reassurance > Action > Freedom

Awareness

This is basically the first time you hear about travelling alone, which can have to reactions: automatic rejection or curiosity if it’s coming from someone you know or that inspires you trust.

Consideration

The more information, ideas, resources and moral support, more motivation. You start imagining yourself in that scenario, and here it’s when the negative thoughts show up.

Reassurance

The next step is when we think “why not?” and we start looking for information. It’s like a pre-planning, we start drawing a possible travel strategy, where to go?. where to stay? how much? etc. The more information, the better become the picture in our mind..

Action

This is like in the movie Matrix, taking the red pill, the point of not return. The decision that need to be made to set the pre-planning research made. It’s when you go throught the flight ticket purchase process and I just need to click on the buy button to continue. If you are here, just do it.

Freedom!

The rollercoaster of emotions is here. Congratulations, get ready to get new superpowers. I call it freedom because  when you do it once, it doesn’t require much effort to plan a new one. Make sure you covering all things that will need to feel comfortable through the trip and ensuring a good experience for yourself.

If you never have travelled alone, try to ask yourself in what step you are. When you feel you would like to experience it  start gathering information and inspiration to go to the next step of “pre-planning” and dening a solo trip strategy. With a better picture in your mind, book your flight tickets or any other that triggers the rest of the trip.

Any thoughts? write me below to know what you think and if you found this useful. See you in the next trip!

4 Responses

  1. Travelling alone sounds super exciting. I WILL do it one day. I do know a lot of solo female travellers. For me it is the safety concern being a woman that makes me hesitate. Tends to make us targets for more then just theft. We also tend to have less rights in certain countries that make it slightly more difficult.
    The fact that I am aware of these things heightens the fear in me also. It might stop me traveling to those certain countries alone but it wont stop me going to other areas solo.

    I think it comes down to being aware and doing the research and having common sense
    Your blog is good reassurance ?

    1. Nikki! Thanks so much for your words and sharing yours thoughts. Just realized about your comment. Yes, I agree, not everywhere is super safe, that’s why it’s good to hear the experiences from others. For example in my last trip in Greece, I met a guy from Tunisia. From a long time ago I want to visit that country, but I had heard that’s a bit unstable politically or unsafe.. He told me that is not true, and talked me about a lot of amaaaaazing places and things to do. I already got excited and I just want to visit. Very soon I will write about how to plan your first solo trip and how to start from “easy” places to “upgrade” to new levels of difficulty (like a game ;P)

      A big hug and thanks for the support again :*

    1. Yes! It’s a lot for energy consuming! But I also want my family can read it and reaching more people. Will try to keep it up, y gracias por visitar! 🙂

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