Facing Danger: Why Is Travelling Alone a Life-Changing Experience
If travelling alone gives you nightmares, but staying home makes you feel even worse, then reading this article could save you a great deal of unnecessary misery.
Because going on solo might be more uncomfortable and challenging than dangerous or risky. In fact, it’s rather about your mindset than about an actual danger.
Why Is Our Mind Set Against Travelling Alone?
There are people who love travelling alone or grew accustomed to it. There are those who’re truly frightened by this kind of experience. And there is also another group who fancy the idea but is not comfortable enough to give it a go.
You might be tricked into thinking that courage makes the difference between the solo travellers and the rest, but it is not! It is the determination to overcome a limitation and turn it into a life-changing experience.
The actual danger doesn’t keep us away from being alone on the road. It is our mind who creates a frightful setup, in order to tell us that we are not brave enough, not good enough or not ready to take control of our life.
The message is clear: we have no power to get out of our comfort zone, be it for travelling alone or anything else for that matter.
Anxieties and Fears Are All Welcomed
The Blockage: Fear of Danger
Travelling implies getting out of the comfort zone by leaving home – our safe place. It comes with anxieties, too: making the trip to the airport on time to catch the flight, checking in a hotel that is thousands of miles away, interacting with strangers along the way.
Usually, when we travel with someone else, we don’t take too seriously these feelings or be blissfully unaware of them. The mind can easily handle the idea of meeting the unknown when close and trustworthy people are around. But it doesn’t mean that those feelings are inexistent deep inside our mind. Usually the excitement of a holiday and the comfort of having a travel companion covers them up, so we never address these issues openly. They suddenly emerge when we travel alone.
Everything changes: from planning the trip to coping with whatever unexpected situation we might be caught in. We tend to go on emotional overdrive.
The usual excitement of an upcoming holiday is being replaced by pressure and anxiety. We’re not happy anymore about seeing the world, but frightened and/or threatened by it.
Everything shouts Danger! And it is Ok. These fears keep us safe, after all, but also being fearless doesn’t mean being reckless. It doesn’t mean we have to ignore possible dangers or unpleasant situations. It doesn’t mean we don’t have fears at all. It’s just that we’re approaching them with caution and objectivity, finding solutions to prevent danger. Real danger, not that created by imagination.
A solo traveller is defined by the awareness to recognise the possibility of danger and the ability to prevent it, not by fencing up, nor by being blissfully ignorant. It’s about acknowledging and overcoming the limitations brought by fear.
The Removing Process:
A good research is mandatory because our mind tends to imagine all sorts of dangers. Some of them might actually be real. Researching the country or the town we go to would give us a clearer image. Reading other travellers’ reviews is also a good way to understand better both the place and the people.
Make sure you read them with an open mind. There might be a few negative reviews, but if the majority of the people have enjoyed their journey, then take the negative with a pinch of salt and learn what to avoid.
Bad things also happen in your own town, maybe on your own street, but that doesn’t prevent you from living there and feeling safe in your home. You’re safer because you are aware of which limits not to push and which boundaries not to overstep.
You don’t feel safe because someone’s watching over you, but because you know what to do if something happens. Same applied whilst travelling.
- Look for information on the official pages – embassy, department of defence, department of tourism. Most likely you’ll find all the details you need – contact phone numbers and names included – to stay safe or to manage whatever incident might happen during your travels. Our anxieties are usually seeded by not knowing what to do in a certain situation. But once we know what the procedure is, the possibility of danger is not a burden anymore. It’s just a possibility, most probably an unlikely one as long as we don’t put ourselves in the way of danger by going to places we’re not supposed to or by saying or doing things that might offend the locals.
- Work a bit with yourself before deciding that travelling alone is a definite No. You might be surprised by what you learn when digging inside your mind. You might even find that is not actually the idea of danger that holds you back, but your lack of self-trust. Furthermore, that self-trust applies to anything else you might like to do outside your comfort zone. Maybe you could even use this kind of experience to discover that you are really worthy of your confidence in yourself. And maybe, starting from this, you might change something much more important in your life.
You can use some travel tips to get the most out of your journey!
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