I’ve heard such an array of excuses NOT to travel, particularly directed at girls my age…:
- “You’re too young!” Okay, so when is “old enough”? Turning 18 won’t suddenly make you more experienced and ready to travel, the only thing that will is, you guessed it, travelling more! You can’t expect to get more experienced at travelling by completing more assignments at school, or by getting another job. If you’ve got the energy and enthusiasm now, then it’s a waste to keep putting it off in my opinion.
- “I don’t have enough money!” First up, travelling doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can be free. Read this for more tips on how to afford travel. Also, get your priorities straight. Most of my friends have spent (literally) thousands of pounds learning to drive, buying a car and insurance and fuel, but I decided to prioritise travelling, so the money I would’ve spent on a car I put towards my travels. Likewise, most people chose to buy expensive clothes or laptops, but I try to prioritise travel over material possessions like these.
- “Terrorists might kill me!” Yes, this is genuinely what one friend admitted to me. But you can’t spend your life a prisoner to your home town just because you’re scared of dangers abroad. I know it can be scary, especially in the state of the world at the moment, what with terrorist groups seemingly attacking right left and centre, but these attacks could happen anywhere. Also, if you’re on holiday with your family or friends, these attacks are just as likely to happen to all of you, so terrorism isn’t a valid argument against solo travel.
- “I’m scared of being harassed or even raped” Sexual harassment is a very real threat. It can come in many varying forms and to different degrees, from uncomfortable comments, to guys jerking off in front of you (yes, this happened to my friend on an Indian train). However, this can happen anywhere in the world, and shouldn’t stop you from travelling. If you are afraid of this happening, then just make sure you travel with someone else (being with a guy always tends to make me feel safer).
- “I don’t know how to do it!” But it’s easy! Even if it’s your first time travelling, there are plenty of ways to make it super simple. Stay with family and friends, or volunteer through an organisation who will look after you. Read this post for my tips for organising your first trip abroad, I promise you it is no way near as scary as it seems once you get out there and realise that the majority of people out there want to help you.
I really hope these tips can encourage some of you to see through your worries about solo travelling and just to go for it, you won’t regret it!
Love, Sophia x