I still remember the first time I decided to take that leap of faith and travel all by myself, I was scared (shit scared to be frank). What with me being a girl and all (I have always been protected and sheltered from this big bad world), the idea of solo travel had always spooked me out, but then I realized if I keep procrastinating my travel due to the fear of unknown, then I will be left alone to get scared of that-I-don’t-know in a corner of the place I call a sanctuary.
You won’t know for sure if your fear is justified unless you step out and see it for yourself. Isn’t it better to face your fear and get past it then live with the regret of not knowing? It’s only after you leave the place you feel safe and secure that you can experience the world beyond. No one can convince you to do anything until you convince yourself that you can do it!!
As I started convincing myself the idea started growing on me and had weird kinda appeal to it. There was a point where I even thought of myself as a lone warrior braving the world, but then I have always been a bit too dramatic I suppose and it’s not that big a deal as people do it all the time. Hell they travel to unknown countries all alone and here I was just traveling to a different state and acting like a scared little mouse!! But me being ME I get a little carried away with the theatrics of my mind at times. Anyway ruling out my emotions and weirdo mind, what I really want to say is every girl has to trust in herself and take that leap of faith atleast ones and travel somewhere alone. It has a lot of advantages (even more so if you happen to be a girl) and a little of disadvantage too but you will learn to tackle and overcome them.
When you take that first step towards traveling alone it will also be a step towards your independence of thought and being. You ask how? Well here is how – if you are travelling to some place alone you are wholly and solely responsible for yourself so you research about that place, reach out to people who have already been there, talk to locals and you even learn to manage your money, stay, food and everything in between all by yourself, heck you even build your organizational skills along the way (to a very unorganized person like me it’s a well learnt lesson). You plan your itinerary, you check and double-check and try to be a smart traveller. If this is not being independent, then what is!
You love to travel but you don’t have company? YOU can be your company! You just have to make up your mind. You will learn to enjoy your own company when you travel alone. There are times in people’s lives when they want to be left alone or want some change in their life, use this opportunity to get away from everything you need space from and enjoy the solitude(even if it is only for a few days). I am not saying that you should be an uptight prick who doesn’t mingle with others and sit all by yourself avoiding others, on the contrary it’s when you travel alone that you interact with people and try to mingle with the locals, get to know their life style, learn how the other half lives and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
When you are a girl travelling alone your co passengers will be considerate and may even share or leave their seats for you, if you are sharing your seat with a family then there is a chance that they will even share their food and snacks with you or come forward to help you with your luggage considering you are travelling alone. If not anything they will be a good travelling company until you reach your destination or they reach theirs, whichever comes first. But there might also be times when you get unwanted attention which make you uncomfortable, and as solo traveller you will learn to avoid it or tackle it as it teaches you to go with your intuitions. It will also show you how strong you are as a person.
When you start travelling alone you learn to trust your instincts and learn to be intelligent on and off road. You will start observing people and avoid getting into sticky situations and will learn to adapt. Sometimes you will make mistakes but you will also learn to rectify them to make new ones. I read somewhere “Traveling is work. It can be frustrating, terrifying, lonely, exciting and everything else. You forget to eat, and struggle to sleep, and try to figure out how to be brave in between.” And I find it to be very true as travel can be awkward and a little inconvenient at times. There will be days when you just want to breakdown and bawl like a baby but there will also be days which will bring sheer pleasure and joy to your heart, it is all part of traveling (in a way part of life too). But the end result of this roller coaster experience will always keep you coming back for more.
Ones you start traveling alone you won’t feel like stopping, as you won’t feel like holding back on trying out new things, exploring new places and finding new paths. You might also become an inspiration to so many female travelers who hold back on traveling alone due to their insecurities.
All I wanted to say was – be scared of the unknown but let it not stop you from experiencing the pleasure of overcoming the fear when you find out that it lasts only until you are afraid of facing it. Make mistakes, learn from it, experience the world and may be you will discover yourself along the way. Be what you want to be, do what you want to do, no one can stop you if you believe.
On a lighter note happy traveling to you. Cheers.