Solo Travel

5 Things you are Scared of before Traveling Solo and How to deal with them

I have met people who want to travel alone, but at the same time, they are scared of so many things.

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks

So, here I am sharing 5 things which people are scared of when they think about solo travel, along with the ways to deal with them.

1. Scared for personal safety

This is probably the biggest fear you have whenever you think of solo travel. It is considered safe to travel in numbers than to travel alone. To a certain extent, it is true; but, you have to take those chances if you want to explore life.

One needs to understand that there is good and there is bad in this world; but after traveling intensively both in “safe” areas and “unsafe” areas, I can surely say one thing – there is more good than bad in this world.

You can’t go anywhere you want and expect that nothing bad will ever happen to you; of course, there are chances that you might get into trouble somewhere. But, all I am saying is that we can’t stay indoors because we are scared that something bad will happen outside. Don’t forget, home is also never 100% safe.

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller

So, go out, travel alone, travel far, but be cautious. All that is required is to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions. I have already shared my 25 safety tips for solo travelers. Do check it out.

Doing the famous Hai Van Pass in Vietnam on motorbike.
Doing the famous Hai Van Pass in Vietnam on motorbike.
2. Scared of feeling lonely

This is probably the biggest misconception about solo travel. You get scared of traveling alone because you think you will feel lonely. But, one needs to understand that there is a difference between “alone” and “lonely”. You can feel lonely even when you are surrounded by your family and friends, and not feel lonely even when you are alone.

Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” – Jacqueline Boone

Also, it is not emotionally healthy if you constantly need company of someone else to make you happy. It means you are always dependent on someone or the other. And, whenever you make your life and your happiness dependent on someone else, disappointments are bound to happen.

So, instead of depending on someone else, give yourself a chance; invest in yourself; give time to yourself and get to know about yourself.

Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt

And, if you are still scared that you might feel lonely if you travel alone, then do check out my separate blog post where I share Why I don’t feel lonely while traveling alone: 7 ways of how not to feel lonely during solo travel.

With time I learnt to enjoy sunsets with my own company. Pic - Enjoying a lovely sunset at Bali, Indonesia.
With time I learnt to enjoy sunsets with my own company. Pic – Enjoying a lovely sunset at Bali, Indonesia.
3. Scared of the unknown

We are so much accustomed to routine and comfort, that we get scared of the unknown and uncertainty. Routine and known things give the sense of control over things, but the unknown brings the sense of something which is not in your control. However, unless you get out of your comfort zone, you can’t grow as a person.

If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie

You can’t live your life fully in the comforts and safety of your home. You have to get out of your home. Anything can happen anywhere, anytime. That doesn’t mean we stop living our life, the way we want to.

You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself.” – Ella Maillart

So, embrace the unknown. When we shift our focus from being scared of the unknown to being excited about the unknown, our life changes from being monotonous to adventurous.

After finishing one month in Vietnam, as I spent quiet evening in Cambodia, I realized I had become more confident about my remaining solo backpacking trip, blissfully unaware of what future held for me!
After finishing one month in Vietnam, as I spent quiet evening in Cambodia, I realized I had become more confident about my remaining solo backpacking trip, blissfully unaware of what future held for me!
4. Scared of failure

The problem in our society is that a lot of stigma is attached to “failure”. Anything done beyond the usual norms and expectations of the society is considered as failure. Failing at something is still not considered okay. This is also one of the reasons why many people don’t go for solo travel as they are scared of failing at it.

One needs to understand that there is no failure, especially in solo travel; there are always learnings; you either learn about other people or place, or you learn more about yourself.

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling

So, if you start seeing failure as a positive and necessary step in your life journey, you will accept it and learn from it.

Initially I was scared of doing solo travel in Northern Kashmir, but I did it scared; and I am so glad I did it! Pic - Razdaan Pass, en-route Gurez Valley, Kashmir.
Initially I was scared of doing solo travel in Northern Kashmir, but I did it scared; and I am so glad I did it! Pic – Razdaan Pass, en-route Gurez Valley, Kashmir.
5. Scared of being considered a bad partner

Most of the time, if you are in a relationship, you don’t even consider solo travel; and, if at all you consider solo travel, you get scared of actually doing it because you think that you will be considered a bad partner. If you are in a relationship and still go for a solo trip, the status of your relationship is always questioned.

You may also check out my separate blog post on 10 Awkward questions a married female solo traveler needs to answer where I share weird questions which people ask me whenever they come to know that I am married but still traveling alone.

You need to realize that being in a relationship doesn’t mean you don’t exist individually. Of course, you share your life with your partner, but that doesn’t necessarily mean doing things together all the time. What it truly means is, to be happy and support each other in their dreams and life journey.

The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.” – Diane Von Furstenberg

So, instead of worrying about other people, make your partner understand that solo travel itself does not make you a bad partner. Without a doubt go for trips together with your partner; but, also give opportunity to each other to travel alone.

Solo travel only makes relationship with your partner stronger and happier!

I was scared of doing night trek, but I successfully did it in order to see the magical sunrise at Mt. Bromo active Volcano in Java Island of Indonesia.
I was scared of doing night trek, but I successfully did it in order to see the magical sunrise at Mt. Bromo active Volcano in Java Island of Indonesia.
Do it scared!

And, if there is still something that you are scared of, do it anyway.

I’ve not ceased being fearful, I’ve gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says: turn back, turn back, you’ll die if you go too far.” – Erica Jong

When I went for my first solo trip, I was scared of so many things, but I did it scared, and that made all the difference!

So, what are you scared of? Given the opportunity, would you travel alone? What is that one thing which is stopping you from trying solo travel? Let me know in comments below.

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