Society places an oppressively heavy stigma on being alone. In a generation that tirelessly preaches self-love, autonomy, and freedom,we cannot bear to spend even 5 minutes with ourselves without the distractions of technology, namely social media. This constant connection to the media instills the fear that other parts of the world are just “too dangerous”: you’ll get robbed, raped, kidnapped or killed if you enter a strange unfamiliar place, especially outside the comforts of the Western world. Without having any personal knowledge, we blindly fear the world and even ourselves, allowing it take reign over our lives. Prospects of terrorism, crime, and the barriers of language begin to drive people away from travel, especially solo travel.
Not only is traveling alone “dangerous”, it’s “lonely” and “sad”. “How could you possibly enjoy yourself when you’re all alone?” One might ask.
Here are a few well-kept secrets:
People would rather help you than hurt you.
Studies have shown that we live in the safest time in all of human history. The ability to instantly receive news, see photos, and play-back videos of horrible things that happen around the planet give so many of us a skewed perspective of the world. While the media chooses to focus on crime, traveling will wake you up to the sea of kindness that floods this planet.
Solo travelers have their own sub-culture.
As you continue your travels, you’ll start bumping into like-minded people who’ve been traveling for months (or even years!) everywhere you go. While you may feel like a misfit when you embark on our journey alone, you”ll find community among other ‘misfit’ travelers. Your ideals that nobody in your hometown could understand will be much more easily grasped by your solo traveling peers.
You’ll never walk alone.
The only truly solo part about solo traveling is the decision aspect; deciding where to go and when. Everywhere you go, you’re destined to meet incredible individuals that you never would have met if you were distracted by the friend(s) you were traveling with; your senses are heightened. Yes, you’re more vulnerable, but this vulnerability opens your mind and your heart to other people to create genuine connections. You don’t have to worry about who you’re expected to be in the context of your home life; you can just be.
Stop forgetting that life itself is a personal journey. There will always be those who are happy to help you, and the positive energy of your confidence and optimism will inevitably attract the right people when you need them.