Afraid to travel alone?

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Afraid to travel alone?

It’s okay if you are afraid to travel alone. Traveling alone is for some folk, it ain’t for everyone.

What I can say is that I can only share my lived experiences plus the experiences I’ve been told by other solo travelers and third hand information. My first solo adventure was back in 12′ when I studied abroad in Rome, Italy as an exchange student. Click here to read about that life changing adventure.

I also believe that one can be afraid of traveling alone and then master their fears to become a great solo explorer! All things are possible in this life time! Do not let your fear, self-sabotaging or ignorance prevent you from branching outside of your comfort zone(s).

It is a beautiful experience to transport yourself to a culture you know little about and you’re empathetic and want to learn from the locals. It warms my heart so much, which is why I created my blog. Thank you again for reading this post.

Let’s explore why you may be afraid to travel alone with a simple question, why. Why are you afraid to travel alone? What do you think might happen to you?

Beopjusa Temple Songisan National Park, South Korea

Debunk some of the most common travel myths.

I’ll debunk the top 4 most common travel myths to help diminish some of the fears you probably have /heard is linked with traveling alone. They are:

Myth 1: Traveling is dangerous for women and girls.

Myth 2: The air on a plane will make you unwell.

Myth 3: You must exchange your money at the airport.

Myth 4:You have to carry your money in a fanny pack

The rule of thumb here is to take my analysis with a grain of salt, there isn’t much statistics on these myths so they are highly speculative. But like that saying goes, every lie/stereotype has a little bit of truth to it.

Myth 1: Traveling is dangerous for women and girls.

Let’s begin, this myth is stupid. It is also laden with sexism and misogynistic undertones. Similar to many racist or ignorant beliefs that exist in some societies that have been accepted as unofficial laws because very few fail to challenge them/ people don’t want them to change.

I’ve met dozens of solo female travelers when I was a host and also during many of my travels. The solo female travelers I’ve met were from various backgrounds like Eastern Europe, African American, Western Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. They all had their own personalities, most were educated, and strong willed. Some were older than me while others were younger than me. I’ve chatted with many of them to find out how traveling solo has been for them and the majority of them replied

“that it was liberating to travel alone but that there were instances when something weird or creepy would happen…”

For instance, I hosted a female surfer from France, and she told me about how one of the very first CouchSurfing experiences was questionable because the host kept pacing around her bed while she was trying to sleep. -__- Even recollecting that memory makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand erect!

She did however, made an excuse to step outside and never returned to that host.

Another female solo traveler told me about her short stint in India and that she felt something bad was going to happen at the hotel she was staying in. She stated there was lots of arguing in the room adjacent to hers, so she abandoned her stay at the hotel and followed her gut instinct.

I was never told if her instinct was right but my point is this myth it isn’t a rule it isn’t a fact. On the opposite side of the coin, I once had a male surfer tell me how he felt that he was mistreated by two lesbian hosts he was staying with “because he was a male”.

Traveling alone is not for everyone however, it isn’t also ISN’T inherently dangerous for you to travel if you are a women or girl.

Use common sense and heightened awareness of your environment when you’re somewhere unfamiliar.

I also say the same for males. Males and boys are also kidnapped, robbed, and experience creepy situations from other males or females they meet when they’re traveling alone.

Final suggestion: Regardless of your gender prior to traveling to a foreign country research the place to learn about some of their societal taboos, laws, etc. Avoid these rookie traveling mistakes & learn the 5 things you must do when you’re traveling alone.

Myth 2: The air on a plane will make you unwell.

Lol, some bored people who do not travel will make anything up out of thin “air”. =P

Airplanes are some of the safest aviation vehicles we have in modern time!

Most of them have safe flight records, they’re widely regulated by dozens of governments & private companies, trillions of dollars have been invested into making them safer, enhancing their cleanliness, effectiveness, and they take into account their environmental factors.

This myth is simply untrue. As a frequent flyer, I’ve traveled to 14 countries by various airplanes.

Once the flight attendant shut the door for take off, the airplane has its own sources of oxygen that is constantly being purified by the planes air resources.

Prior to the COVID-19 epidemic I usually would travel mask-less.

However, if you’re traveling now click here to read about how to travel smart during the pandemic.

Final suggestion: Research plane statistics for more information. You are more likely to die from a car crash or from a helicopter ride than you would get sick from riding on an airplane, lol.

Myth 3: You must exchange your money at the airport

This myth is similar to “Myth 1” in the sense that it is more opinion/preference based in contrast to it being a fact.

I personally have exchanged money at airports in Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Benin, throughout the USA, and Hong Kong. However, I wouldn’t advise exchanging your money at the airport because many of them will charge you super high fees in taxes and in service fees which takes away from your money.

I only exchanged money at the airport when I failed to exchange money prior to my trip.

Plan your trip accordingly and avoid exchanging currency at airports.

Final suggestion: Exchange money at a local bank or another credible facility with low rates or no fees.

Myth 4: You have to carry your money in a fanny pack

As I always say, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. During my first solo trip to Rome, Italy, I did travel with an offensively neon pink fanny pack because I read that I should for Italy.

The internet was telling me that Italy has a pick-pocketing problem so I went on eBay and bought a fanny pack to protect my money and passport lol!

Now it’s finally your decision to carry your money in a fanny pack when you’re traveling. However, nowadays there are lighter, less ostentatious alternatives to fanny packs like those clever money clip wallet or wallet phone cases.

Final suggestion: You don’t need to carry a fanny pack to store your money and valuables however all items can be stolen if they’re not protected. Remain vigilant of your surroundings and your persons at all times to prevent theft.

There you have it folks! Some of the common travel myths have been debunked!

Which myth # stood out to you the most?

Are you still afraid to travel alone?

Do you have other travel fears you’d like to share?

Write a comment below.

Travel smart! =)


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