Do you have any exciting travel plans for this year?
Is there somewhere you desperately want to go but have no one to travel with? Is the thought of traveling alone putting you off going on your amazing adventure?
If you are struggling with the idea of traveling alone, you may be plagued with reasons (better known as excuses) for putting the whole thing off or ditching your travel plans altogether.
If you are a regular reader, than you know I love to travel. I’ve also traveled a lot on my own.
If you want to travel, you need to ditch your excuses for not going by yourself. Let’s have a look at the most common excuses people use for not traveling alone and most importantly how you can move through them..
I could never do that
I personally hear this one a lot. When I get back from a trip and start talking to people about it, I often get asked who I went with. When I tell them I went by myself, a common response is –
“Oh I could never do that.”
Though I hear it regularly, it still surprises me.
For starters, I’m not a fan of the word never. I’m more the never say never type! Never seems so final and a little defeatist.
The truth is they could do it (it being travel by themselves) but they either think they can’t, don’t think they have the courage (which in fact they do – they just have to muster it).
Of course I do realize in some cases, what people are really saying is “I don’t want to do that.”
Ditch thinking in terms of never. Change I could never do that to I can and I will and open up your world to opportunity and adventure.
Related post – 3 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Positive Self-Talk
I’m too old
If you tend to think that travel is just for gap year students or students in general, I want you to put that idea out of your head right this second.
Travel is for everyone.
That’s one of the many, many, amazing things about it.
I went backpacking for 8 months through South East Asia and Europe when I was 38. Not exactly your normal 20 something adventure. During that time I meant older travels (as well as much younger ones) having a great time.
I will always remember a women probably in her late 60’s, early 70’s staying in our hostel in Florence. She decided it was her time to see Europe and off she went. She was truly inspiring.
I’ve been on tours where I was definitely the oldest person, but seriously who cares! One example was an 8 day whirlwind tour of Ireland. Most of the people on the tour were talking about graduating from college but I experienced the beauty and nightlife of Ireland and meet some lovely people along the way so I was happy.
We need to stop thinking that we have to fit into cookie-cutter rules and regulations like traveling at a certain age or at a particular stage of life.
If you ask me, that’s boring. Don’t let age hold you back. If you want to go on an amazing adventure than do it!
Related post – 8 Glorious Reasons You Should Travel By Yourself
I’ll get lonely
Loneliness is one of the main reasons people resist traveling on their own.
I won’t lie to you and say I have never gotten lonely when I have traveled on my own. I have had a couple of lonely moments but overall they have been rare. More likely a bout of loneliness will strike on a longer trip.
To be brutally honest, the times when I have been travelling with someone and we’ve had a fight or disagreement or just gotten on each other’s nerves have been a lot worse than any loneliness I have experienced on my own.
If you aren’t used to being alone but want or need to travel by yourself the key is to start local. Do more things by yourself in your home town or in a neighboring city. Start somewhere you are familiar with.
Practice going out alone at home. If being alone isn’t something you do a lot, start with lunch. Next try going out for dinner alone. Go to a bar by yourself and have a relaxing drink. Get used to going out at night by yourself because the evenings can sometimes be the most daunting when you first start traveling alone.
The more you get comfortable with your own company, the easier it will be to travel alone and the less you will get lonely.
Every time I travel by myself, I learn something new about myself. Every time I travel alone, gives me more confidence and boosts my self-esteem. It helps me feel strong, independent and fills me with a sense of freedom.
Related post – How to Cope with Feelings of Loneliness
People will think I’m a loser
I hate the word loser.
It’s a terrible word that gets thrown around far too much. I think it’s one of those words the world would be a lot better off without. We use it to judge other people as well as ourselves when we are feeling insecure. Nothing good about that combo.
One of my friends put a comment on Facebook recently about not being able to go into a bar and have a wine by herself because she thought people would think she was a loser.
I was taken back when I read it because to be honest I do it all the time. If I want to go to a bar to have a glass of wine, in my hometown or overseas, I just do it.
It hasn’t always been the case but as I mentioned above traveling alone gives you confidence – not to mention the fact that I stopped caring what strangers think of me a long time ago!
On that note, I believe we all need to stop worrying so much about what people think of us. Most of the time, people are too busy thinking about themselves anyway to take much notice of what we’re doing.
People won’t be thinking you are a loser and worst case scenario, who cares if a total stranger thinks that about you anyway? They don’t know you. They don’t know anything about your life or who you are as a person, so don’t let their opinion matter.
Think about it, are you going to grant a bunch of strangers the power to dictate how you spend your life and how much fun you have? I THINK NOT.
Related post – Stop Waiting for Acceptance – Accept Yourself
I’m waiting to meet a partner to travel with
I get it.
You would prefer your travel partner to be your soul mate/love of your life kind of deal.
I totally understand. I would love that as well. I’m looking forward to the day when I have a wonderful man in my life to travel with.
But the truth is right now, that person is not in my life and I don’t plan on putting my travel plans on hold until he comes along.
Don’t shoot the messenger here but what happens if you don’t meet the love of your life or what happens if you meet them and they don’t want to travel or they don’t want to go to the same places you do? Your perfect holiday might be a month renting an apartment in Berlin and theirs might be two weeks camping.
Then what? You either kill your travel plans completely or continue to put things on hold?
That’s what waiting to meet someone is doing – putting your life on hold.
It might not even be a potential partner you are waiting for. It could be family, friends or even your existing partner.
My first boyfriend promised for a year that he would go to the States with me, even though he had no intention of going. He was simply trying to stop me from going.
I’ve had friends back out of travel plans in the planning stages and sometimes close to the time of travel but I still go because that’s my plan and I stick to it.
Don’t wait. Seriously, it’s such a huge waste of your time.
Just on the traveling with a romantic partner side of things, I think some people have a picture in their head of how a certain trip is supposed to play out. They have a picture in their head and they are worried that if they travel alone the trip won’t turn out like the picture.
This is where we need to ditch all of our preconceptions and be open to things perhaps looking a little differently than we planned. Remember different doesn’t mean it won’t be amazing!
Related post – 12 Ways Travel Can Change Your Life
I’ll do it someday
Someday is one of those words that should be eliminated from our vocabulary.
Someday is a big old form of procrastination.
I hate to be harsh but waiting for someday can waste your life. Time and life is precious, so don’t go wasting them.
Ditch someday and book an actual date, as in ‘I’m going on my amazing European holiday on [insert date and flight time here]’.
That’s a plan. Someday is not.
Of course, this one doesn’t just apply to people traveling on their own, it applies to all travel.
When it all comes down to it, if you want to go somewhere amazing, there is nothing stopping you. Just muster up your courage, be bold, be brave and GO!
Planning a trip to New York City by yourself, I’ve written a post specifically for traveling to New York alone.
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