Travelling can be scary for some. Which route will I take? Where will my accommodation be? Will I have enough money?
These are just some of the questions to ask yourself before leaving for your overseas adventure. The answers you provide will determine whether you will be able to step out into your independence with confidence.
After making the decision to travel by yourself, you will need to map out a plan for what you need to do when you actually arrive. What means of transport are you going to use once you touch down in the foreign destination that you have set your sights on? It’s okay to be spontaneous by jumping on a plane with a backpack and a passport, but in most cases it’s wise to at least have some sort of itinerary in place before you leave more familiar surroundings.
In any form of travelling there is an element of responsibility that comes into play. Even though packing provides a feeling of freedom, it’s good to think ahead to when you will need to unpack those bags in an overseas country that you know very little about. Proper planning will help you handle the unforeseen a lot easier than if you didn’t make allowance for it.
Some titbits on money, accommodation, and commuting
A friend of mine who lived on her own in England for a while has some helpful pointers to share when it comes to money. Budgeting is key. Set aside money each day for attractions, food and a little bit extra for gifts you may want to buy. Currencies can be a tad tricky when it comes to converting. One mustn’t always try and convert the currencies each time you make a purchase unless you want to make your head spin!
When considering accommodation, hostels would be your best bet. Living in a hostel will make you more independent to come and go as you please, especially if you’re not going to stay for more than a couple of days. It is also probably your most affordable option and is a good place to ask for any information you may need about the town or city. A quick one about commuting. Trains are always a reliable means of transport and are excellent for people travelling on their own. They are fast and help you see some of sights of the country.
The pros and cons to going solo
There are positives and negatives to travelling on one’s own. As much as travelling solo means you have the liberty to go where you want without having to think of anyone as you make your plans, the downside to this is that it can be a bit more dangerous than travelling in a group. There is also the feeling of loneliness that will inevitably set in if you do opt to go without some people with you.
That being said, this might give you a greater reason to intentionally make some new friends along the way who can provide much-needed company. Preferably choose a country that speaks English, even if English is only their second language. If you are travelling through Europe, for example, where you’re going to have a hard time dialoguing in English, try finding a guide who can sort of make out what you’re saying! There’s no doubt about it, travelling on your own may bring more personal growth than what you ever thought possible before your departure.
I decided to ask my fiancé how he handled travelling on his own as opposed to being accompanied by others. He said that there is a greater level of independence needed. For example, when you travel with friends, family, or as part of a tour group, you can rely on someone to assist you: helping you check in, keeping your air tickets and passports safe, making sure you get to the gate on time etc. When you’re on your own, however, your fate is your responsibility. Because you’re on your own and have to fend for yourself, as it were, it’s highly recommended for anyone to do before settling down in life.
So, go on. Make your life count. Your opportunity for real independence lies in your next travel adventure!