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psysci

Guest Contributor at LifeBeyondNumbers
Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.

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Solo traveling is an exciting and adventurous experience that everyone should try, but it isn’t free of anxieties. However, you should never let them overcome your desire to explore! Here are 5 common anxieties that you face as a solo traveler and, most importantly, how you can overcome them.

solo traveler anxieties

Not Having A Security Net of People

This can be quite intimidating, especially for people who’ve never solo traveled before. When you go on holidays, you usually have a handful of people who’ll be able to provide security if you’ve lost our bank card, get sick, or have run into any type of problem. When you travel alone, you don’t have that luxury.  

The best way to beat this anxiety is to double check all your protocols – never carry all your money in one wallet, have alternative methods of payment, always have your passport nearby and secure, etc. It also helps to learn some of the local languages if you’re traveling abroad, that way the locals will be able to help you out if you’re stuck.

Getting Bored

One of the most wrongful assumptions about solo traveling is that it’ll lead you to become bored with the suggestion that, without friends and family, you’ll find the enjoyment more fleeting. This isn’t true at all!  If anything, the most boring memories we have of traveling are times when we’re forced to do something/go somewhere that we don’t want to.  

You can ease this anxiety by doing what you want to do, eating where you want to eat, and going where you want to go – all of which are completely under your control if you’re traveling by yourself. You can keep things exciting by taking spontaneous detours and socializing with locals/other travelers at a rate which you’re happy with.

Loneliness

This is probably the greatest anxiety that people have when they start to think about solo traveling. They imagine themselves walking alone in a foreign land, surrounded by people who don’t speak their language. With minimal effort, this won’t be the case whatsoever!  

It’s incredibly easy to meet fellow travelers in hostels, and don’t forget that they’re in the same boat as you. Before you know it, you’ll have a new set of friends with whom you’ll be exploring amazing landscapes. Even if you’re the shy type, solo traveling has a way of removing your inhibitions and opening you up. People will always be willing to let you join their table and their conversations.

Danger

People will always feel more vulnerable when they’re alone, and this is even more true of people who are solo traveling. Being alone in a foreign country can be a daunting prospect – you may find yourself anticipating danger. Some countries are more dangerous than others, but there’s no harm in being careful no matter what country you’re in.  

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You can alleviate your anxiety by taking precautions – don’t walk alone in areas where you’re advised not to, and take the instructions provided by the place you’re staying seriously. If your hostel tells you it’s unsafe to walk around the area at night, don’t assume otherwise. In most cases, you can completely avoid danger by being careful.

Homesickness

This is related to the anxiety of becoming lonely, with many people fearful of missing home and their loved ones. Homesickness is completely natural and, unfortunately, probably unavoidable. We all have strong ties to where we come from and it’s normal to long for it while we’re away.  

The solution to this anxiety is to check in regularly with the people at home, bring photos with you, and remind yourself of why you went traveling in the first place. Don’t forget, everything and everyone will still be there when you return home, and you’ll have so many stories to tell them.

What kind of anxieties did you go through when you traveled solo? Please do share with me in the comments.

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