Why it scares the crap out of me:
- It leaves you feeling totally vulnerable
I’ll admit it, it makes me very very nervous to think of travelling alone as a female (mom, I hope you’re not reading this). Although I’ve always appreciated having a smaller built, it doesn’t necessarily give me any advantages (other than being able to wade through a large crowd like a ballerina with a mission) if I ever come across a physical struggle. You’re out in the middle of nowhere, usually with no local contacts.
- It brings the inevitable dramatic question of “WHAT IF I DIE?!”.
There have been numerous times while planning this next trip, that I’ve almost shat myself, turned the tables, and given up. I am a worry-aholic and sometimes I’m amazed that I have still decided to go through with this.
Why I do it anyways:
- More than anything, you will most likely return home without a scratch
Okay if you’re a complete klutz like me, maybe just a few minor bumps and bruises. Point aside, if you do your homework about the area and don’t act like a complete moron, chances are you’ll be completely fine.
- You learn so so much about yourself.
At the end of it all, you might think… hey, I actually did it! I’m actually pretty awesome! Traveling alone builds confidence. I mean, you’re pretty much putting yourself out there with noone to rely on. You realize you can do things that you never thought you could do before. My first time eating alone at a restaurant, I thought… “hey, this actually isn’t that bad! Nobody even cares that I’m eating alone! Cool!” *engage cookiemonster eating mode*
- You learn so so much about the rest of the world.
Maybe it’s because I’m a noob traveller, but everywhere I’ve gone, I have had a moment of awe and the warm fuzzies. You notice things about the humankind that you don’t pay attention to in your hometown, because you’re on a vacation and have a tendency to be more observant. You get to appreciate the jaw-dropping beauty of places so unlike your own, and for a second, all that comes to mind is the word, “wow”.
- Travelling with a companion can be hard.
Opinions on when to go, where to go, what to do, etc. don’t always sync up. You also run the potential risk of ruining a perfectly good friendship when you realize that you can’t stand being with this person 24/7. Hey, it happens. For me, there will be a good chance that I will be alone on my next trip due to schedule conflicts, which brings me to my next point…
- Sometimes you just gotta do it.