Aren’t you frightened travelling alone?

 

 

The short answer is ‘yes’. I readily admit to frequently feeling quite scared, and often ask myself “What are you doing here?”

I think of American author, Susan Jeffers who avers ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

I really do believe that we have to face our fears and deal with them. It would be very easy to wrap ourselves up in cotton wool and rarely go outside to face the world. Fear can expand in our minds, and go from minor unease to complete irrationality in a heartbeat.

If you are fearful about going off abroad on your own, do it in small stages. Have a UK city break by yourself – choose somewhere not too overwhelming, I would suggest places like York, Bath or Edinburgh. You can be comfortable in the familiarity of language, signage, currency, etc., but you will have done it by yourself – hurdle number one knocked for six.

When you feel more comfortable, you can up the ante, and have, for example, a European city break. This is quite a leap, I know, so if you feel particularly uneasy, book an organised break for the first time, and avoid the organised tours when you get there. Get used to being independent, to going it alone, but with a safety net. Do your research in advance, make a note of the things you would like to see and do, and how to go about seeing and doing them, and have a look at different places to eat.

Bagan Temples, Burma, Myanmar

The next time you can try booking the break yourself, use comparison sites to book discount airline tickets, and for your hotel (or hostel, which are often excellent) do your research about different ways to get from the airport to the hotel, as well as the eateries and sights, and off you go.

You can become more and more adventurous about the countries to which you travel, and after a few times, you’ll wonder what you worried about.

The alternative is to jump in the deep end and book that trip to Peru or Nepal or wherever – feel the fear and do it anyway!

One caveat – the usual rules about personal safety apply no matter where you are. Don’t take unnecessary risks, and don’t do anything you would not do in your own home town.

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