This is a question that I have been asking myself a lot lately, while I prepare for my dream trip to Iceland in a few weeks. I have been traveling alone since I was 18. It wasn’t something that I planned to do, it just worked out that way. My friend’s idea of a vacation was spending a week at the Jersey Shore, while my heart wanted to travel overseas. After working 2-3 jobs and saving up for over a year, I took the leap! Once I took that first trip alone, I knew there was no going back. Ever since then I have traveled alone at least every other year.
When I started talking about the plans for my trip, a lot of my female friends came to me and said “You’re so brave! I could never go by myself”. When I dug a little deeper to find out why my female friends don’t travel alone, I found a multitude of excuses. It all boiled down to one thing … FEAR!
Fear of… being alone
Fear of… the unknown
Fear of… running out of money
Fear of… being attacked/raped
Fear of… leaving husband/kids/pets at home
Fear of… not being good enough
Fear of… being social with strangers
Fear of… getting lost
Fear of… not knowing anyone
Fear of… just about everything else!
I realized that most of my friends don’t do anything completely on their own, especially if they are in a committed relationship. A few of them have never lived alone, so they are not used to spending time by themselves. Going to a restaurant or movie by themselves is completely out of the question.
I had a lot of these fears too when I first started. But then I figured out ways to overcome those fears. After posing this question to my network of girlfriends, I realized that I could teach them to become more independent. Just by being my adventurous self.