Why I’m scared to travel solo

Everyone one and their dog seems to have solo travelled. It’s like this accolade that you earn as a female explorer. ‘You’ve travelled alone?’ Here’s a massive pat on the back. And a huge bunch of flowers and a badge. Because everyone loves a badge.

As I near 30 years old (it’s in two years by the way) I’ve started to reflect a little. You see all of these posts, you know the ones. 30 things to do by 30. No pressure then. And it got me thinking. Why have I never done it?

Culturebean solo travel

Well firstly, I have. I’ve travelled to London, granted for work, but still I was on my billy. Navigated the underground, which I hate with a passion. Alone. Roamed the streets, even at night. Alone. Ate in restaurants and drank in bars. Alone. Explored Museums. You guessed it…

But it’s different isn’t it? I had visited in the past with my partner so I was a tiny bit familiar with the city. It’s in England so I’m not exactly throwing myself into another culture or jumping on a flight and landing into the unknown.

culturebean solo travel

So why I have never travelled solo in a new country?

  1. I think I would be absolutely petrified. The idea of taking a plane on my own, walking in a foreign city and staying in a hotel or Airbnb among strangers is scary. As a small, young looking, blonde girl I’d be frightened of getting mugged or worse. I don’t think it’s an irrational fear so I am always super cautious even in the UK. I know it would be heightened abroad. I’m not an anxious person but I think I would be alone on holiday. Especially at night.
  2. I can barely find my way around the UK. I’m shocking with directions and my fella is the designated navigator anywhere we go. How would I get the right train or bus from the airport? What if I get completely lost in a not so friendly area? My phone battery might die and I wouldn’t be able to find my way home or call for help. Then what.
  3. I would miss sharing moments with family and friends. I love seeing new places and doing new things WITH people. Having a twin meant we did everything together growing up, which we don’t so much any more but that feeling doesn’t leave you. There’s something beautiful about sharing experiences and talking about them all day and night. I’d miss that a lot.

culturebean solo travel

But I love spending time on my own?

I regularly wander around Manchester shopping, enjoying the galleries and eating solo. It’s bluddy brilliant. I don’t have to talk to anyone and I can just take my time. Do what I please. But this is in my home town and it’s a Northern city I know. I’m not thousands of miles away. I don’t need health insurance in case something happens. I think it’s comfortable. That’s it. It’s my comfort zone.

Surely I can translate that feeling abroad, right? The more I think about it, the more I really feel like travelling solo is something I need to do. Just to push myself and prove that I am braver than I think. I don’t need to rely on someone else and I can be as independent as I am in the UK.

So in the next year or two you might just see me book a single ticket abroad. I’m not an idiot. I would make sure to research safe cities for females somewhere not so far away. I don’t want to run before I can practically stand, never mind walk. I’m not promising this will happen but my mind is open to it, which is more than it has ever been before. This feels like an exciting new chapter…

If you have any suggestions or tips please comment below. Let me know of your experiences travelling solo.

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5 Comments

  1. Dave
    November 23, 2018 / 1:06 PM

    I think you raise some very relevant concerns and I would say :
    1. It’s good to go outside your comfort zone, that’s when you live life to the full. The stories.
    2. Direction. I do think that is a problem if you don’t know your way around and you go somewhere unsafe. Isn’t the golden rule to never pull out a map in an area you don’t know? Planning helps though.
    3.Sharing experiences. Yes that’s very true. I have missed that many times. But on the flip side you meet new people and share new experiences.

    • Gina
      Author
      November 23, 2018 / 2:01 PM

      Absolutely agree. Living life to the full should be a priority. Planning ahead of time definitely would help but I’d still worry about pulling out my mobile… And great flip side. I’ve heard about so many people who find more meaningful relationships when travelling solo!

  2. November 25, 2018 / 10:18 AM

    This is such an interesting post and has certainly got me thinking.
    I don’t really have any fear about travelling alone and I actually quite enjoy getting lost (knowing Google maps will save me when I need it) but I worry I would constantly be thinking “my boyfriend/sister/friend would love it here, why didn’t I bring them?”
    But maybe it’s something I just need to try, starting with a long weekend not too far away!

    Ellen || adventureswithnell.co.uk

    • Gina
      Author
      December 1, 2018 / 5:53 PM

      I’m so glad it got you thinking! I believe I’d feel a lot of regret and loneliness too. I guess we need to try it first and see how it goes. 🙂

  3. December 7, 2018 / 7:51 AM

    Just try it once, go on weekend break. Of course, you should take precautions, like booking a nice hotel. I travelled alone when my husband was unable to join me and it was great. That was before google maps and I did get lost in Germany, without being able to speak the language (took some classes after that) and without them being able to speak English. Now that is one of the memories I cherish the most. You might discover that you can enjoy it.

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