Have you ever thought about just taking a break from your normal every-day-life and travel for a while, but there is no one really around who has the same plans?
You wish you could just leave, but there is so much too fear:
Is it safe to travel alone, especially as a girl?
Will I be able to make friends?
Will I be homesick and miss my friends & family at home?
Will my friends at home forget about me?
Within this little blogpost, I try to get all of these thoughts out of your head.
I’ve been in the same position that you are in right now. Maybe it was a bit easier for me, as I never really wanted to travel with a friend, ’cause that has just never been an option. I started my journey right after I finished school and I was waiting so long for it. I have never gotten scary thoughts or horror scenarios, but when the day finally arrived I thought to myself “what are you doing? leaving all your friends and family at home to go into the unknown”. But I can tell you all of your anxious thoughts will stop as soon as you arrive in your destination country or a few days later, once you realize that this was exactly the move you had to make in order to be happy.
If you are scared about not being able to make friends, just remember yourself that you are not the only one in this position. You are probably sleeping in a hostel, which makes finding other travelers impossible. The whole hostel consist of people like you. Previous experience has shown me that people who travel are in general really warm, kind and open-minded, which makes it very easy to connect with them. If you are new just ask them about things to see in the city or good places to drink coffee and they’ll help you find good spots or they might even show you around the city as they wanna make friends too.
At the beginning of your journey it can be quiet hard, because you might not directly find people that you like and miss your friends at home, but trust me that won’t last long. If you are finding yourself in this position just make sure to not cling to your friends at home too much. Don’t make yourself feel bad, because you missed someones birthday party or because your friends at home went on a night out (without you), you will soon make even better memories at the new country you’re in. I know from my experiences that I felt bad whenever my friends at home had fun without me. It made me feel like they’ll forget about me, if I stay any longer, but that is not the truth. Don’t forget that they might be in the same position as you, seeing your photos on instagram or facebook and wondering if you even miss them since it looks like you’re having so much fund without them. For me it was important to find balance. I wrote my best friends messages every now and then to keep them updated and keep me updated on their lives. I also sent some postcards over and little presents on their birthday, but I didn’t make myself feel bad for missing parties, birthdays, sleep over, .. . If you are wondering if your friends will still be your friends once you come back home, I promise you they will (at least if they are real friends – and if not then you don’t need them anyways). Because real friends support you in your decisions even though they might miss you while you’re gone, they are happy to see you happy.
In my time away from my family and friends I have learned that being way from someone you love only brings you closer to them. Having distance (even if its just physical) to somebody for a certain amount of time makes you realize how much you love them and what makes them so special to you. You might start to miss things/ habits of somebody now that have annoyed you before. You might find yourself making plans for when you’ll get back home. You might appreciate little things even more, since you are now living without them. That was one of the main reasons why I loved my time traveling, it makes you so appreciative of everything and everyone, because for a while you had to do everything on your own without anybody by your side to help you and make decisions for you. And even if that sound crazy to you right now, believe me it will only change you for good.
If you are panicking about the safety of traveling alone in a different country, I can only subjectively tell you from my experience that I never had any trouble with it.
Of course it depends on the country. In Sydney I could have walk around by night without any problem, whereas I would have never gone out alone at night in Kuala Lumpur. Just listen to your intuition and other peoples advice and you should be fine. Of course I advice you to only go out with friends at night time and avoid streets/suburbs with bad reputations in the evenings. And don’t show off your valuables when you are alone. But this aspects really depends a lot on where you are traveling and being careful.
Traveling solo was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. I’ve grown so much, became a much more open, independent and self-confident girl.
Although you might sometimes long for your best friend, you’ll soon realize that being away from your friend/ family at home only bring you closer to them. And that way you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone to make new friends, learn about new cultures, explore new languages, … . This list of benefits of traveling alone could go own for several more pages, but I hope this was enough to make you consider it.
If you want to travel alone, but you’re still a bit scared, please listen to me & just go.
It changed my life and it probably will change your life, too.