Last time we brought up every perfect reason why you should travel alone, but some of you still don’t seem to be convinced. So this time we are cracking and debunking every bogus belief or superstition that’s keeping you from travelling solo to convince you otherwise.
1. My Mammy Won’t let me
Okay, how old are you? If you are a fully grown male, female or however you choose to identify yourself, are you still taking flack about what your parents say!? Granted yes, our parents have ultimately given the shirts off their backs to feed, clothe and house us, but it’s about time you left the nest and spread your wings and flew right? Right. So stop lining up every morning for your mammy to spoon feed you, your life. Your parents only want what’s best for you anyways so chances are they will be understanding and *eventually* give in once you’ve landed in Paris.
2. People will think I don’t have any friends
“Eating alone is depressing and doing activities like going hiking or swimming alone are boring.” Well sure if you think about it like that, then solo travel can sound like the worst thing in the world. But let me translate these statements into what they are actually saying: I can’t function as an independent person who’s capable of making their life decisions or communicating with other life forms on earth. Okay, now you tell me if solo travel still seems like a depressing activity?
Travelling solo allows you to make your own decisions and choices about where you want to go and what you want to do. Also, you’re never truly alone in the world. There are tons of people surrounding you right now, they just may not be familiar to you. Take this as an opportunity to expand your horizons and meet new people, you can even do it through a couple apps first if you have trouble introducing yourself to someone straight off the bat.
3. Travelling by yourself is scary
Travelling solo is a bit like being afraid of a monster that might be lurking under your bed or glaring at you through the crack in your closet door. Sure there’s always the possibility that Bigfoot could be waiting to get you in your sleep, but the majority of the time you’re going to be safely tucked away in your bed, snoring yourself through the night.
Yes, travelling alone can be scary and there are always dangers out there that you should be aware of, but these days everything’s been or is being designed to make sure you are as comfortable or as safe as possible wherever you are. Apps like Watch Over Me or bSafe have your back if you ever get into a sticky situation. Lots of other people like yourself are travelling solo too, and a lot of them offer good advice you should check out before heading out.
4. But I don’t like trying anything new or exciting
“I never like to make new friends, try new foods, go to a different bar, see a new city”- said no one ever.
Come on, who’s leg are you exactly trying to pull here? Does that argument even convince yourself? Yes, we all like living our routines of making dinner for ourselves and our significant others or going out for our afternoon jog. But we’re here to tell you that it’s okay to break these routines every once in awhile. It’s like going on a diet, yes you are supposed to eat healthy just about every day, but most diets have that one cheat day where you can sneak in a chocolate bar after lunch or gorge on a bit of chocolate ice cream. Consider travelling solo the “cheat day” to your everyday routine or scheduled life in which you likely don’t allow yourself to do anything new. There are plenty of sweet and savory places out there like Belgium and Berlin that are just dying for you to take a bite out of them anyway.
5. I enjoy living my life as a hermit
Remove those shutters and crack open a window, because it’s starting to get stale and boring in this hobbit home you’ve been living in for the past 20 – something years. It’s not every day an awesome wizard is going to invite you on the adventure of a lifetime, so sometimes you have to be put on your best Ian McKellen impression and invite yourself on an epic adventure. Put down that pipe and stop thinking about all the adventures you could have or dream of having, and starting making those dreams realities. No, we can’t guarantee you’re going to battle a dragon or fight off an evil dark lord, but you could be doing something much more exciting than just playing Dungeons and Dragons online.
6. I can’t walk in a straight line without getting lost
You may be clumsy and a bit scatterbrained at times, but don’t worry, there’s likely an app for that. Directionally challenged people can take a deep breath, if you’ve never been one to sit in the passenger seat and read the directions to the driver, congratulations, travelling solo is about to let you be both the driver and the direction reader. ‘Don’t worry this will be good for you,’ said the doctor before they made you swallow that horrible spoonful of cough medicine. But don’t worry, because travelling by yourself and figuring out directions, different layout of cities, and local transportation will be good for you and help you become a quicker and smarter thinker. It will also help you become more confident in your abilities to think through a situation and solve problems.
7. I’m so broke, I can’t even afford McDonald’s Dollar Menu
We get it, life can be pretty expensive sometimes, but travelling by yourself doesn’t have to be. When travelling you can save money by living out of a backpack, booking affordable backpacking deals and looking for all the discounts for students and youth travellers. No, you don’t have to stay at that 5-star hotel and believe me, you don’t want to.
You’re much better experiencing new countries and cities the local way, meaning local transportation, local food from grocery stores and local activities like going to the park, free libraries or museums. Planning ahead can save you a lot of stress during your travels. If you are trying to make a quick buck or two, try blogging or sharing your advice online. Or you can share the awesome skills or services you have to help make some money while traveling too.
8. I barely passed my English class
Why is it, when people think about travelling abroad to somewhere they start panicking about how the only French word they know is ‘cliché’ and the Spanish word they know is ‘no.’ Did you know lots of people speak English too? It’s kind of one of the most spoken languages in the world, so that means lots of people know how to speak it. No one’s going to be giving you any grammar tests either, so if you aren’t the best English speaker in the world and tend to confuse people with your ‘ehs’ and your ‘whatsups,’ all will be okay. It may take a few tries but we’re confident you’ll be able to get your point across that you prefer the not flaming hot bowl of chilli but the mild one instead. Also Google Translate and apps like Duolingo are great to have in a real pinch for languages purposes too.
9. Travelling cuts into my Netflix binging time
We get it, House of Cards just came out and now we are seriously anticipating the new season of Game of Thrones. With all these new episodes streaming and coming out every week, how are you possibly supposed to take time away to travel by yourself??
Quick, click exit before that next episode with the image of Kevin Spacy looking as devious as the devil himself plays on Netflix. Travelling doesn’t have to be for long term. This isn’t back in the days when if you wanted to go to America, you had to board a ship and sail through several terrible sea storms until arriving in New York, bedraggled and sick several weeks to months later. Today, flying is such an easy and quick way to get you to and from your destination as efficiently as possible. Plus, when you travel solo, you can create your own time schedule to make sure you get back home in time to watch Jon Snow.
10. *Insert every terrible travelling fear here*
What if the plane crashes on the way over? What if I contract a mysterious disease that turns me purple? What if I get trapped with other tourists on a never ending tour of the Museum of Broken Relationships? (Real thing by the way.) What if, what if, what if! Come on the sky likely isn’t going to fall on you anytime soon while you’re abroad. Obviously, there are always safety concerns to take in consideration when you travel anywhere, but the likely hood the plane is going to crash on like its millionth time over, or you’ll contract the bubonic plague are slim to none.