Are your secret solo travel fears really that scary?

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Last Updated on April 12, 2013 by Christine Kaaloa

dark dwellings, photographs of rural America, night travel photographs, farmhouses at night

This photo is from the project ‘Dark Dwellings’ by Christine Kaaloa

As a solo traveler, I admire solo travelers, who commit to bravery when going alone.

I still have my moments of fearing traveling alone and getting lost or stranded in some place foreign. And yet, it’s this fear of being alone,  ‘getting lost’ and experiencing struggle and vulnerability, which turns my travel challenge into an exciting “adventure”, a secret thrill and a

testament that I’ve truly lived.

I’m not sure if I ever want to be completely fearless, due to a greater fear that life may not be as interesting.


Story behind a photo documentary:

I was scheduled for an MTV shoot in Ohio. I arrived at night into Cleveland and had to get to Ashland, which was approximately a one hour drive. I was alone and I didn’t have a roadmap or directions, but I was confident I’d find my way, because my car had a GPS system.

Thirty minutes into my journey, I realized that my GPS was wonky. It was taking me into the backwoods of rural Ohio, where it’s all desolation, darkness and miles of uninhabited farmland. You could drive a mile in darkness before coming upon the lights of a farm house.  Surely, if I ever got stranded, no one would find me until daylight.  I was scared. To matters worse, my cellphone battery was dying.

photographs of rural america, photos of farmlands, halloween photo, night photos of rural farmlands

What this experience ultimately gave way to was a discovery of beauty that could only be found in darkness, loneliness and being lost.

The photos above are part of a series of photos, which ultimately became a project titled ‘Dark Dwellings’ . You can view this project  here.

How do you see your fears of travel or going solo?


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10 Comments. Leave new

  • I travel just like how I live, fiercely but with a bit of “crazy” 😀 Traveling solo is the best. It feels like an escape to another world. I make more friends thing way and enjoy pretty much everything. I’m more confident and aware of my surroundings when I’m alone. I do use travel apps – Tripadvisor and this new Facebook app called (it’s pretty neat, helps you meet locals etc) Can’t wait for my next solo trip! 🙂

    • @Hannah: Wow, you must be some brave travel chick! Right on. Completely agree with all that you said. You get to making friends on the road and even if you’re shy, solo travel will push you out of your shell so that you actually develop more confidence. Thanks for your thoughts. =-)

  • I fear dying and nobody knowing as well where I am. Which is why in my recent trip to India, I made sure I posted regularly on my FB page. Nothing as nice as your discovery of dark dwellings 😀

    • @Aleah: That was very smart of you to post on FB! That’s a very valid concern for soloists. Does the Phillipines gov have something like the U.S. Smart Traveler program where you sign up and let the gov know when you’re traveling abroad?

  • My friends keep saying I’m so brave to be travelling solo. Although I’ve been travelling with Cez for more than a year now, I love being on my own and there is no such a feeling like a fear. There is a great time and waiting for more adventures instead 🙂

  • im a solo traveler too. but that’s why i rarely rent cars myself. i prefer taking the bus. and when i do have to drive. i’d bring along a charger so i can charge my phone during the drive. then i can still make any emergency calls or use google maps

  • See, this is why I usually prefer visiting well-populated areas like cities when I travel. I grew up in one of those rural areas and my first car kept dying on isolated roads out in the middle of nowhere (of course). I kept having these “Deliverance” fears when I’d have to hike to the nearest house (usually a mile or so away) to call for help (this was way before cell phones). Now, I feel much more secure when there are more people around.

    • @Gray: ha ha… ooh, no way, that’s scary! Deliverance came close to it but I was thinking more like ‘Children of the Corn’ meets ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’.