Why traveling alone IS brave
I’m at the salon getting a haircut. I tell the stylist about my upcoming trip to Morocco. She asks, “Who are you going with?” and I answer “No one, I’m going by myself.”
“WOW, you’re so brave!” she exclaims.
Traveling alone is shocking and that’s okay
I’m a member of several Facebook groups for women who love to travel. My first thought when she said that I was being brave, was that many women from these travel groups would disagree. Some might even be insulted and get upset because traveling alone should not be so shocking. But here’s the thing, traveling alone is shocking and that’s okay.
Related: Travel Resources
Traveling alone is going against cultural norms. Many people won’t even go to movies alone. Many people won’t eat out alone. Most people go their entire lives traveling only with other people, usually family. If you’re traveling with others, not only are you physically safer but you feel safer. With others, you have a support system there always with you if you get into trouble. If your phone is stolen, others in the group probably have a phone. If you’re getting into a bad situation and your partner says to you “This doesn’t feel right, let’s leave.” You’ll probably leave. But put yourself into that same situation alone and you might talk yourself out of leaving because you don’t want to make a scene.
Being brave is about facing your fears
Solo travel puts 100% of the responsibility of the planning, activities, and safety completely on your shoulders. That brings me back to my original point. Traveling alone (especially your first time) can be daunting and scary. That is normal. Lots of people are afraid to travel alone and that is okay.
Related: Do I need travel insurance?
Is traveling alone brave? Being brave is about facing your fears. For plus sized women (I am one) it can be terrifying to wear a bikini for the first time. But you face your fear and do it anyway and that is brave. Maybe you’re afraid of heights but you face your fear and went zip-lining; that is brave. So, if someone says to you that your solo adventure is brave, don’t diminish that, it IS brave. Bravery takes many forms. Running into a burning building or being a soldier on the battlefield aren’t the only way one can be brave. This army veteran is here to tell you that facing your fears is also being brave.
How to take your first solo trip
If you haven’t taken a solo trip and you’re considering one, talk with others who have traveled to the countries you’re interested in. Don’t rely on the opinions of people who have never been there. I highly recommend joining Girls LOVE Travel, it’s a free Facebook group of active and aspiring female travelers that empower and support each other. The group has been an invaluable resource and source of inspiration for me.
Another way to travel alone but still feel the safety and support of a group is to do a group tour. Below are affiliate referral links, which means that I’ll earn a commission if you make a purchase. Each of these travel sites are very well known and come highly recommended by those who use them:
G Adventures, Intrepid Travel, and Groupon.
Have you even taken a solo trip? Tell us about it in the comments so that others can be inspired by your story.
If you’d like to receive more travel tips, you can subscribe to the mailing list below or follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.