Feeling ready to solo travel is no mean feet and you may be thinking:
How brave, how confident those solo travellers are!
If you read solo travel blogs, or follow those amazing solo travel instagram profiles, then you may be longing to jet off and start an adventure of your own, but you just aren’t as confident as those bloggers!
The truth is, no one is completely calm and pulled together when they are travelling alone. There will always be times when they are nervous about transport, or getting to their accommodation, or times when they are worried the people in the hostel wont want to talk to them.
We all have these feelings and they are completely natural, but feeling them before booking a trip and letting them STOP you from booking you dream trip, is not the way forward my friend.
But I’m just not ready to solo travel yet!
Here’s the cold hard truth, nobody is.
You can NEVER be ready for the unknown and if you’ve never had a solo travel experience, then it is a world unknown to you. You are basically asking your body and mind to jump, without telling it what will happen after.
Your body is designed to keep you alive no matter what, so it does a whole load of calculations around everything you do, to ensure you won’t die. This includes making the decision to travel solo, your brain will do all the calculations based on what it knows (which is basically nothing other than the negative things you see on the news!) and decide whether you are ready to travel solo, and more often than not, it will not say yes!
This means you’ll keep going around in circles, saying you’ll do it when you’re ready, but never feeling ready and ultimately, never actually doing it.
How do you make the decision to travel solo?
Simple… you don’t think about it.
If I had sat on my bed and thought about all the nitty-gritty details of quitting my job and heading to New Zealand for a year, I can guarantee that I would not have done it. I am a natural over thinker, pair that with severe anxiety and you have a recipe for someone that could never leave the house (at one stage in my life, I literally couldn’t! You can find out more about that here though.)
I called up BUNAC a day after my 27th Birthday, just to enquire about doing their Work New Zealand programme. Whilst on the phone to the lovely lady, whose name I can not remember, she asked me if I wanted to think about it and call back to put a deposit down…
I immediately gave her my card details and told her to just do it or I never would.
If I had put that phone down without making a deposit, I don’t think I would be about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime. The same thing happened when I decided to trek the Great Wall of China with the Mental Health Foundation. I got high on really amazing coffee and just booked it on a whim, once the deposit was down, I had no choice, I was going!
How can you make sure you’re ready to travel solo?
Even though I highly recommend a ‘close your eyes and jump‘ approach, there are a few things you can do to put yourself in the right position to do just that:
- Save up a decent chunk of money, enough to take for about 1-month of travel and a £300 deposit for whatever you decide to do
- Choose a destination you have always wanted to explore and start a Pinterest board of things you want to do
- Read as many travel blogs as possible to get your travel adrenaline pumping
- Watch travel vlogs – you can see a few of mine here
- Talk to other solo travellers and start to collect tips and advice
If you can make sure you have a bit of financial backing and knowledge behind you, it is much easier to get that solo travel trip booked at a moments notice. Once you feel that tiny surge of confidence or in my case, caffeine high, grab it and use it to place a deposit on your trip. This could be on a programme like the ones that BUNAC provide, a flight or even accommodation you like the look of!
The point is, don’t think about doing it, don’t dream about doing it, just grab life by the balls and do it!
If you’re struggling to get over that anxiety or fear of travelling solo and want to chat, feel free to drop me a message! I’m always happy to encourage and help others to travel the world.