It’s hard to understand how it feels to travel alone until you’ve done it. Before the trip I’d taken shorter trips solo, I knew I was competent enough to do it and I actually preferred it to travelling with others, that wasn’t the issue. It’s the doubt in the back of your mind that says you can’t.
If you’re considering travelling on your lonesome you’ve probably already heard the familiar phrases:
“You won’t be travelling alone for long!”
“There’ll be loads of people just like you out there!”
“You’re going to be killed in your sleep! Trust no one”
The last one’s probably not as common, it’s actually what my sister told me shortly before I left – apparently she’d dreamt it and was worried for me, more likely she was trying to freak me out. Thankfully I wasn’t smothered in my sleep but the other phrases weren’t as helpful as intended.
They’re meant with good intensions and for the most part, they’re true. There’ll be people you can travel with who are often quite similar, or very different – both are good. What they do is give you a false sense of security. When I was sat with a creepy Aussie man telling me how the teenage girl serving us wasn’t wearing a bra I was well aware that chance plays a huge part in the people you meet. Because of the helpful comments from people assuring me I’d make friends straight away, I’d allowed myself to imagine my trip being shared with others. Ultimately, this isn’t what I actually wanted.
I’d forgotten the sort of person I am, not just someone who has black & white photos taken of themselves staring at city skylines…
There aren’t always going to be people you want to spend time with or let into your plans.I spent some time travelling with people who were nice enough but I wouldn’t be friends with them outside of the travelling bubble. Eventually I was lucky enough to meet someone who I got to know and had an amazing last few weeks. It gave me the best of both worlds, I was able to share beautiful views and new experiences with someone but I could also be alone if I wanted to.
So don’t be afraid and believe in yourself! Just remember you are alone and you shouldn’t be surprised when you find yourself without company for a few days, take the opportunity to get to know yourself better and wait for the right people to come along.