Eight hours to New Orleans. That’s what my GPS read on my first day of traveling alone. I was about to embark on a 4-month trip with my only companion being a Mazda my parents gifted me after college.
I can’t tell you why I did it.
Sixty percent of me was excited, but forty percent was scared to death. I was used to going places alone, though, and that’s what you need to work towards as well.
If you’re going to go new places, you need to take baby steps to get used to that.
Think Back To Prior Experiences
Would you run a marathon without training first?
The same is true for traveling solo. I did a Disney College Program alone three years ago. I left my family and friends in Maryland while I did an internship for eight months in Orlando.
That experience really taught me a lot.
It didn’t take me long to make friends–and by the end of it I had a group I would consider lifelong ones. Without that experience, though, I don’t think I would’ve dove headfirst into a cross-country road trip alone.
I think you either need to have one of these experiences prior, or try to remember a time you had one of these experiences. Did you ever go to a summer camp alone? What about when you went off to college?
Remembering when you had a prior experience (and that you made it out alive) could help you stomach the thought of taking a solo trip.
Nobody Knows You There, Okay?
It’s also important to remember absolutely nobody knows you wherever you’re going. With that said, if for some reason you don’t meet anybody and basically have a shit week, nobody is going to remember that poor girl/guy who stayed at that hostel that one time and failed at making friends.
But please, just remember…THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY.
I’m the introvert of all introverts, and I managed to make a few awesome friends on the road this summer just being myself, which brings me to my next point of the same name.
Be Unapologetically Yourself
While at the hostel in New Orleans, I decided to do many of the things there that bring me joy anywhere. I cooked meals, I watched movies, and I sat outside to watch the NBA Finals.
Some people asked what I was cooking, how to make it, and if they could have any. I didn’t do anything! They came up to me.
One night I watched No Country For Old Men on the TV in the living room. Before I knew it I had a group of 12 people watching with me. They came to me.
When you’re traveling alone, you’ll find that many situations occur so naturally you’ll wonder why you were ever anxious in the first place. It’s not a matter of if you’ll make friends, but when! Trust me.
All you have to do is be yourself and do the things that bring you joy. People are attracted to that.
Flip Your Perspective Around
For my last point, it’s not about being scared of what may happen, it’s about being excited! It takes a special person to travel solo–if it didn’t, we would see way more of it! You should be excited to be included among the ranks of people who are afraid to travel alone, but do it anyway.
Remember that I wasn’t fearless when I went on my first trip, and I won’t be fearless when I go on my next one! But I focus more on the excitement to explore than anything else. I’m certain I’ll have stressful days on the road, but that shouldn’t scare me from doing it.
My plan is to get as many people on the road this year as I can. That means if I can help you in any way, you’re damn right I will! With that said, I can give you $40 towards your first Airbnb stay just for signing up with my special link. Hey, $40 is $40, and that’s more than enough for a one-night solo stay somewhere. Hit up the link below.