Last Updated on October 22, 2014 by Christine Kaaloa
Fear can be a bitch. Yeah I said it. I said the “B” word, because I mean it.
Although I’ve been a solo traveler for over six years now, you might be surprised to know I still have moments where I’m afraid to take the plunge and buy a single ticket. Yeah, you heard me correct. As macho and gung-ho as I as I am about solo travel and despite all my positive, travel-gasmic solo experiences, …there are times I gulp hard, when I think about traveling alone. Call it a knee-jerk reaction.
There’s always going to be countries, whose culture or beliefs, terrain,.. I know nothing about and that initially feels scary. Of course like many, I think it would be easier to find my courage with a partner. I always assume planning would be easier with two heads vs one and that experiencing the unknown with someone else, would be less stressful.
True, I’m a huge advocate for the joys of public transportation, but sometimes, the idea of getting lost and having to afford a taxi (who might run me around the city to hike their meter) initially seems scary to me. … So does looking stupid, pathetic or lonely. … Of course, there’s always the possibility of pick-pocketing and crime. And then let’s not forget how much cheaper it’d be splitting costs and resources! You see, I don’t always trust my resourcefulness and ability to make my occasional car-crashes work… especially the last-minute ones.
Hey, I’m only human and those are my fears in an inflated nutshell. What squirrel would tackle that?
But let’s get down to the nitty gritty with important deciding factors:
Do I have a travel companion? (Looking for a show of hands…)
Big fat NO.
Do I deserve to hate my life for a lack of one?
Everyone fears being alone… but surprise, you already are!
Forget skydiving, shark cages and whatever extreme sport that appears life-jeopardizing…. Solo travel is such an extreme sport, that even the most adventurous and macho men I know, won’t do it. What does that tell you?
Everyone fears being alone. It’s not a new concept.
Many people will risk their physical lives on a extreme sport thrill to call themselves “adventurous” and ‘live on the edge”, while fear being alone with themselves. What’s up with that- do we find ourselves that scary?
If you think about it, being alone is probably the most adventurous thing you can do for yourself. Am I the only one vibing with that idea?
The irony is that in life, we’re all solo travelers, without realizing it.
Yes, whether single, solo or part of a couple, we’re all essentially alone. We’re alone, because no loved one or friend will ever trulybe able to hold your hand through the highs, lows and personal risks you feel like you’re experiencing on the inside. No partner will help you make your dreams happen. No one can console the worst sorrow you’ll feel or experience regret for a dream you will never live. Not one. Not family member or a marriage partner (… sound in: “divorce”). No, only you can give you all those things.
Our fear shouldn’t be about being alone. It should be about what happens if we don’t know how to be alone.
A right perspective creates miracles
As a female solo traveler -yes- “I put my life on a ledge”. There’s no cage to keep the unpredictable and wild cards of life from taking a bite out of me, no parachute to soften my fall. This is me facing the world .. standing on my own. Raw and real. Look Ma, no hands! (Face-plant).
This means I have no choice, but to make my trip amazing. …No option other than survive and to make things happen for myself, as if my life depended upon it. My life depends upon me! And this means I will do hard research about my transportation options. I’ll have to find backup solutions and practice travel safety sense everywhere I can. It means I need to watch my back, be vigilant and find a way to make resources out of strangers.
Being and traveling alone gets a bad rap… a real stinky one. The negative assumption comes from those who either, never experienced being alone or are so afraid that they spend from start to end resenting their first solo trip … collapsing, whining or caving in, because they’ve forgotten how to crap alone, without partners or husbands. Sorry, that was strong, but I’ve met folks, who don’t know how to be alone to the point they’re unable to make decisions without a partner. Now that’s extreme.
And yet, I occasionally succumb to a similar pathetic, self-pitying fear of aloneness, like a bad L.A. smog wrapped around me.
Fear! Fear! Fear… don’t you ever feel suffocated by it? Aren’t you tired of being afraid of yourself and dreams?
I know I am. It can be exhausting…
And when I feel that exhausted by my fears and fears of not living, it’s exactly when I book my ticket!