Are you aching to go on a trip but something keeps stopping you from making the commitment?
Do you want to see the world but keep telling yourself you’re waiting for the right person to travel with?
Do you dream of sandy beaches, century-old buildings, or cobblestone streets but can’t seem to get yourself to see these in person?
If you said yes to any of these questions, I have but one question for you: WHY?
WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?
Actually, here are some more questions for you: What are you afraid of? What is holding you back?
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t wait until the right person comes along (friend or significant other), or until you ‘feel more comfortable’ travelling alone, or once you’ve done all the dreaming, lists, and planning you could without ever going anywhere.
If you can afford to travel now, DO IT!
Travelling alone gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and to do it however you want to do it. Do you want to see a museum? Do it. Do you want to get on a plane on a whim and go to a different country because you heard there’s a big festival happening tomorrow? Do it. Do you just want to sleep in one day and NOT see any of the sites? Do it. You don’t need to ask someone else’s opinion; you don’t need to curb your plans or ideas because someone else doesn’t want to do the same things. You avoid disagreements, you avoid awkwardness, and you avoid shitty feelings in general.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying travelling with others is a waste of time. Travelling with people can be a blast and if you have the opportunity to do it, you should. BUT, if you’re waiting out to travel with someone, don’t. You should never put your dreams on someone else’s shoulders. If you want to see the goddamn Eiffel tower, see it. Don’t wait for Susan to save up enough money so she can come with you. Susan says she wants to go, but she’s not making any real efforts to save the money and come along. You’ve noticed it, I know. You think to yourself: “will I ever get to travel if nobody is willing to commit to it for real?”.
So forget Susan and her lame excuses, buy that ticket to Paris and explore everything it has to offer!
You’ll meet a ton of people on your travels, other solo travelers like yourself, groups, or locals. Trust me; you won’t be hurting for company. It’s actually the perfect arrangement: you meet other people, you do activities with them (sightseeing, bar hopping or whatever it may be) and then, once you’re craving some alone time you can just leave. You owe these people nothing, and they owe you nothing. You can hang out with your new friends as much or as little as you desire. In essence, you’re completely free and it’s an incredible feeling.
Are you afraid? Do you feel like you won’t be safe if you travel alone?
Start with Europe. It is the best place to begin your backpacking adventures; it’s like dipping your toe in the water before jumping in the pool. It’s is one of the most popular places for solo backpackers; it’s modern, and most people will most likely be able to speak English which means you won’t be too disoriented. Travel between countries is relatively cheap; they have a ton of budget airlines that sacrifice comfort for savings so you can cover lots of ground in short amounts of time. I’ve travelled solo in Europe twice; I even walked around the streets of Sarajevo on my own (which let’s be honest isn’t ‘Western Europe’), and I’ve always felt safe. I think I’ve felt safer walking around certain cities in Europe than I do walking around Montreal late at night.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself while you’re out there on your own. What you really enjoy doing, seeing, eating. What kind of person you are when you’re not surrounded by your usual entourage. It’s an incredibly enriching experience, and you’ll come back filled with new ideas, lots of new knowledge & friends, amazing memories and a thirst for more.
So, I know it can seem daunting. I know it can be scary to take that step forward. But it is SOOOOOO (the amount Os should tell you something here!) worth it to take the plunge and experience everything this beautiful world has to offer. You’ll regret that you waited so long, you’ll regret all the time you wasted being afraid instead of travelling. And I promise you’ll feel ridiculous once you’re there having a blast and you realize there was nothing to be scared of.
Comment below and tell me what kind of fears are keeping you from travelling!