Are your friends too busy to travel with you? Have you considered solo travel, but your fears are holding you back? I was scared too before I finally booked my first solo trip, and afterwards I wondered why I waited so long. It’s perfectly normal to be afraid to travel alone, but it shouldn’t keep you from living the life you want.

Here’s a girl’s guide how to overcome the fear of solo travel and have some fun on your own!

Why I am Not Afraid to Travel Alone (Anymore...) - Miriam Risager, Travelettes

How I overcame my fear

I haven’t always been comfortable traveling alone. In fact, not so long ago the thought of traveling by myself was terrifying for me. I was afraid that I’d feel lonely and that I would hide in the hotel, lacking the courage to venture around independently. And then there was that core fear that most women know: assault. It’s my fear and the fear of every person who has expressed concerns when I first announced that I wanted to travel solo.

Nope, I didn’t like the thought of traveling solo – but I didn’t let that fear stop me from going anyway. Most of my friends don’t have time to travel as often or they are busy with their families and careers, and I didn’t want to wait around for someone to travel with me. So, I dealt with it by sending myself to Indonesia in a constant state of panic, because if I wanted to travel the world, I had to learn to overcome that fear. And I did.

I felt a rush of independence and self-assurance I had never experienced before.

Why I am Not Afraid to Travel Alone (Anymore...) - Miriam Risager, Travelettes - Montenegro

1. Trust your instincts

Once I got over that initial fear, I started to realize the benefits of traveling alone. Like, a) you get more freedom, b) you’ll be fiercely independent, and c) you learn to trust your guts.

I’ve always favored my intuition over logic in decision-making. And since I became a solo traveler, my intuition and awareness have been strengthened. If something or someone doesn’t feel right and I have a bad gut feeling, I always listen to my instincts. I’ve said no to great offers or skipped night sights even though fellow travelers and locals have raised eyebrows at my decisions. Paying attention to what my intuition is telling me has always kept me safe.

Why I am Not Afraid to Travel Alone (Anymore...) - Miriam Risager, Travelettes - Bali

2. Do your research

Before I venture off into the world, I always do my homework and research the destination I’m visiting. I choose hostels in safe areas and stay aware at all times. By researching, I know what to expect and what dangers and scams to be aware of.

For instance, if I’m visiting a conservative country, I dress modest, and I always make sure to respect local customs.

Why I am Not Afraid to Travel Alone (Anymore...) - Miriam Risager, Travelettes - Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

3. It’s okay to fail

Before I embarked on my first trip, I told myself that it was okay to fail. If I didn’t like the country or if I was uncomfortable being on my own, it was okay to go home. I’ve met many travelers and solo travelers who ended up going home early because they were homesick or didn’t like being alone. And there is nothing wrong with that. In my opinion, it’s better to have tried, than to spend a lifetime wondering what if?.

If you’re a novice solo traveler, I recommend choosing an easy destination to begin with. Head to Thailand, Bali or Croatia where independent travel is easy and where everyone speaks English.

Why I am Not Afraid to Travel Alone (Anymore...) - Miriam Risager, Travelettes - Lake Bled, Slovenia

Don’t let fear control you

It’s perfectly okay to be a bit scared, as long as you don’t let fear paralyze you or stop you from going. I recently went to Russia alone and though I was terrified most of the time leading up to it, I would take the trip again. The reward of walking the streets of St. Petersburg – a city I’ve always wanted to visit – was much greater than the perceived fear of going there.

Why I am Not Afraid to Travel Alone (Anymore...) - Miriam Risager, Travelettes - Russia

We can’t let fear control us, and by confronting the small anxieties that are hindering us all the time, we build the confidence to live the life we want. I believe that if you put your mind to it, you can do whatever you want.

Solo travel is so rewarding and you’ll feel stronger and better able to depend on yourself. When I travel alone, I sometimes struggle with things in the moment, but the confidence boost I get  out of it makes it all worthwhile.


 

This is a guest post by Miriam Risager.

Why I am Not Afraid to Travel Alone (Anymore...) - Miriam Risager, TravelettesMiriam is a solo traveler and adventurer. Her passion is traveling the world and conquering fears: she has boarded down an active volcano, biked down Death Road, and been blessed by a naked holy man in India.

She blogs over at Adventurous Miriam. You can also follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.