Even though I have only been to one place by myself, I still feel as though I learnt enough to write this post.
To some people, going abroad by yourself may not be a big deal where as for others it is a huge deal! I fell into the latter category.
Being on a gap year I knew that I wanted to travel instead of sitting around at home and working all week, so I have combined the 2 by planning out multiple small trips throughout the year. In my last post (HERE) I showed my latest trip to Edinburgh last week and even though I was by myself I really enjoyed myself and it was no way near as daunting as I thought. So here’s some advice if you want to go out a explore on your own but are nervous:
Start small! I opted for somewhere that was close by, where everyone spoke the same language and it was all the same currency so that I didn’t feel overwhelmed. Some would say that Edinburgh isn’t abroad (from England) because it’s still in the UK but I am saying that it is. If you take baby steps then you build up your confidence instead of diving straight into the deep end.
You’re not as alone as you may think. I am assuming that if you’re gonna stay somewhere by yourself then you’re gonna stay in a hostel because they are cheaper and you get to meet so many people. Many travellers stay in hostels either in groups or on their own so this is a great way to meet people who are from all over the world and they may even be going somewhere that you are. I learnt so much about travelling from everyone that I met, people are really friendly!
Don’t be afraid to talk to people. I am someone who hates talking to new people, I am slowly getting better at it though. Everywhere that I went, I tried to make an effort to talk to people to gain more confidence. At a lot of the museums I went, the staff would come up and talk to me maybe because they could see that I was on my own but it definitely made me feel more relaxed. If you are going somewhere like a city then a great question to ask is “where are you from?”, it’s a great opening line and conversation opener.
Use the time by yourself wisely. What I mean by this is that there is nothing wrong with spending time alone and I think that it’s a great way to do some self reflection. So maybe you may need some time to sit a reflect and being somewhere completely new is a great place to do that. It’s a way to clear your head and start fresh and then you can figure out what you want to do when you come back. I know that sounds very cheesy but self love is important and you need to focus on yourself sometimes.
Lastly, it’s no way near as bad as you may think! I was terrified before and nearly cancelled but once I made it to the hostel and started talking to new people I instantly relaxed. Seeing how lovely people were lifted a lot of weight off of my shoulders.
(also, don’t wear dungarees with metal clips through airport security unless you want to be patted down and searched)
If you are going away then I hope you have a fab time and if you are wanting to go away then take the leap!