Weenie.

You probably used this word back in about the third grade to make fun of kids.

Maybe a kid you just didn’t like, or the class nerd, or someone who was always whining. Or how about that kid who was abnormally afraid of things that no self-respecting third-grader should be scared of? Yeah, that kid was a weenie.

I often feel like I’m a weenie when it comes to solo travel.

Shocking, right?

I know all the great things solo travel has to offer:

  • Having no one to compromise with or answer to.
  • The ability to travel at your own pace.
  • Self-discovery and reinvention.
  • Opportunities to reach out and meet new people.
  • The chance to truly immerse yourself in a place, culture or feeling.

But, honestly, just as I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a serious round-the-world backpacker, I’m not sure that I’m made for hardcore solo travel, either.

I read the blogs of some amazing men and women who are out doing their own things in all corners of the globe. Some days, I am incredibly jealous. Other days, I’m not sure what emotion I should be feeling. Do I even WANT that solo lifestyle?

It’s exhausting being a weenie.

I’m not necessarily scared of the “solo” part. I’m a pretty independent person, and I have no trouble being on my own or fending for myself. I’m not scared of getting lost or robbed or taken advantage of as a solo female traveler (though these are, of course, valid things to worry about). Instead, I’m more concerned about adding the “travel” to the “solo” part.

I feel like many of the travelers whom I follow and envy can travel anywhere alone, and yet emerge with a whole horde of newfound friends. They enter a city as loners, and leave with amazing new friendships and connections. It’s really THIS aspect of travel that I become envious of.

And it’s the part that terrifies me.

You see, even though you may not be able to tell from reading my blog posts, I can be kind of shy before I get to know you. When I’m in my little “alone” bubble, I often feel awkward striking up conversation with a stranger, or making an effort to be social. Most of the time, I just come away feeling awkward.

I do much better in groups where I already know people and feel comfortable. Then I have no problem letting loose in Beijing techno clubs or on New Zealand dance floors, because I know I’m with people who will have my back (and who will be able to help tell the story of me getting dance-raped the next morning).

Is this shyness something I could overcome traveling on my own? Probably.

But I have some flaws that could turn away would-be travel friends on the road, too.

For example, when I get it in my head that I’m going to do something, it’s very hard to convince me otherwise. If I say I’m going on a road trip next summer across the U.S., you had better believe that it’s going to happen.

This isn’t to say that I can’t compromise, or change my travel plans at the last minute; I can absolutely do these things. I can also just be incredibly stubborn.

Another “flaw” of mine (and be prepared, this might come as a shock) is that I don’t really drink. All those amazing buckets of alcohol that bloggers wax nostalgic about from Thailand? Yeah, those are of no interest to me. I’ve never been much of a party girl (though I’ll gladly GO to parties), and I hate the taste of alcohol. (Does this make me a weenie, too?)

I'd much rather drink this

I’m afraid that my quiet, stubborn personality coupled with my lack of interest in getting drunk means that I won’t get along with other travelers.

Or, more to the point, I worry that they just won’t like me. I worry that they’ll label me as uptight or boring before bothering to get to know me.

I guess I’m a pretty self-conscious weenie.

As it turns out, I want people to like me. I can pretend to be independent and harbor a “I don’t care what you think” attitude, but, at the end of the day, I’m afraid of rejection. I DO care what you think.

I’m not afraid to bungy jump or visit a country where I don’t speak the language. I’m not even afraid to move halfway around the world completely on my own.

But the thought of traveling solo for an extended period of time, relying on strangers to befriend me along the way? That scares me a little.

I worry that the solo experience won’t live up to my expectations.

I worry that I won’t live up to my expectations.

So, really, when it comes down to it, I’m just a big weenie when it comes to solo travel.

There is some consolation, though. Because those kids we labeled “weenies” in third grade often turned out to be pretty cool later on in life.

But I don’t want to wait for “later on in life” and hope things turn around. When it comes down to it, there’s only one surefire way to stop being such a weenie about solo travel:

To stop worrying and get out there and try it, of course.

——

Have you ever had fears or reservations about solo travel? Have you ever felt like a weenie? If so, how did you cope with these feelings?

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113 Responses to Why I’m a Weenie When it Comes to Solo Travel

  1. Adam says:

    You are most certainly not a weenie. And while I have ZERO experience with solo travel, both my wife and I are a lot like you in terms of it taking a while to open up when first meeting people. We had the same fear you had before we left on our big trip. We were afraid that we wouldn’t meet people. Sure, we would have each other all the time, but meeting others is a huge part of what makes travel fun, and frankly, we just aren’t that good at it. I was nodding my head in agreement at so much of what you wrote. We do drink, and unfortunately that certainly does help us let our guards down and open up more, but we didn’t only want random drunken friendships either. One thing the trip did do is help us open up more when first meeting others. We were forced to, and I think if you took a trip by yourself, you’d be forced to do the same. It was actually a goal of both of ours to try to change a bit, and we did. Just know that you are certainly not alone.
    Adam recently posted..100 Things I Love about Travel

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Haha well I’m glad you don’t think I’m a weenie, Adam. I know there must be plenty of other shy travelers out there, too, but knowing that doesn’t necessarily make me feel any better, or any less anxious. But I like the idea of approaching travel with the goal of changing a little bit. I think that’s really smart!

  2. Ali says:

    You & I are so similar! I can be shy around people I don’t know, I don’t like to spend my travel time & money on alcohol, I worry (though I shouldn’t) about other people rejecting me. But what I’ve found by traveling solo is that not everyone is out there partying like crazy & drinking buckets. Some people truly want to do the touristy things & see the attractions & not get wasted every night. I’m 30 so often I’m older than the other travelers I meet. I still sometimes worry what they think of me, but 2 things happen: 1) being on my own for too long forces me to talk to people despite my shyness & insecurities b/c the need for even a temporary friend wins out, & 2) I realize I don’t care so much what they think b/c I will probably never see them again. That also makes it easier to stick with what I want to do instead of compromising to go along with the masses. It’s kind of liberating. You should try it, I think you’d like it!
    Ali recently posted..Camping Protesters in London

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m a bit younger, but I often feel a lot older because of my lack of desire to get drunk. I felt that way all through college, too. But your points are good – especially the one about likely never seeing temporary travel buddies ever again! I’ll have to keep that one in mind.

  3. Andi says:

    I know a lot of really powerful, courageous people that hate traveling solo. It’s just not for everyone! But you have to remember, you are NEVER really alone. You’ll always be surrounded by people, whom you should view as potential friends. :)
    Andi recently posted..Chile- Argentina &amp Uruguay- Day 1

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks, Andi! And I guess that phrase, “it’s not for everyone” really is true, and I should try to remember that!

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Golden BackPack, Amanda Williams, Adam Seper and others. Adam Seper said: On it. RT @DangerousBiz: Can I get some stumble love on the new post? http://su.pr/2fLv6J #travel [...]

  5. Andrew says:

    Traveling solo is the way to meet new people. As Ali mentions, being alone often forces one to open up to make the travel friends. I don’t really see solo travel as being a lasting state, but as an opening to meet people that would not be met when traveling in a group.

    I hate being alone, though I travel alone when there aren’t other people going where I want to go. It’s not really being a weenie so much as knowing yourself.
    Andrew recently posted..Distance

    • DangerousBiz says:

      It’s not as though I’m totally opposed to traveling alone – it can indeed be one of the best ways to meet new people. Like you, I just prefer to travel at least with one other person if I can.

  6. I think solo travel is great but a lot of what you posted runs true (especially with me). I think it is important that people find out what kind of traveler they are before they leave for their trip.
    The Savvy Backpacker recently posted..Travel Planning- How to Choose Your Itinerary

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You make a really good point about knowing your travel style before striking out. I’ve traveled solo on short trips before (usually a week or less), and was fine being on my own for that amount of time. But I’m not sure I’m the type of traveler that could enjoy an extended solo trip.

  7. Jessalyn says:

    I agree with your conclusion: get out there and try it! It’s not the mechanics of solo travel you’re worried about, it’s what will happen in between the flights and bus rides and sight-seeing. The truth is, it varies from trip to trip. I can also be very shy with people I don’t know and I don’t drink a lot, so I completely understand your worries on those counts. But, just like at the parties you’re happy to go to, even if you’re not drinking, hanging out with partying backpackers can be fun sober. Some people won’t even notice that you aren’t joining in and those who do are usually content with the explanation that you aren’t a big drinker. And if you don’t meet anyone you get along with particularly well, hey, it was a solo trip to begin with, right?

    On some solo trips, I’ve pushed myself to be (or surprised myself by being) outgoing, interacting with other travelers and locals all the time. On other solo trips, I’ve spent the majority of my time in a little me-bubble. And, honestly, I’ve enjoyed both. I love talking to other people about where they’ve been, where they’re going and why they travel and one of my favorite things about traveling is interacting with locals and getting a little peek into what life in the area is like. But I also appreciate the alone time that solo travel can provide: for me, it’s a time to reflect on who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going. I hope you’ll give it a try – you may find a new side to yourself you didn’t know was there or you may hate it. Either one is fine; at least you’ll get a chance to find out how you feel about the experience! And there’s no rule that says a solo trip has to be a major one – even a long weekend somewhere fairly close to home can give you a taste of what it’s like.

    Good luck!
    Jessalyn recently posted..Getting Hustled in NYC

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the great comment, Jessalyn! I’ve been on some shorter solo trips before, and have usually stayed in that “me-bubble.” I enjoyed it well enough, but I couldn’t help wishing that I at least had one travel buddy alongside to chat and share the experience with.

      But, that just goes to show that everybody travels differently!

      • Jessalyn says:

        Hey, as long as you’ve tried it, I’m happy. :) I think solo travel is an experience everyone should have at least once, just to see what it’s like. But you’re right that everyone travels differently, so if it’s not your thing, no worries!
        Jessalyn recently posted..Getting Hustled in NYC

  8. if you want a way out of your bubble, you MUST travel solo. If you are traveling with someone else (or more), most everyone I know just ends up talking to those people the entire time they travel. In my book, they are the ones in the bubble. If you are solo, you are forced to talk to strangers. You can be certain that you are going to go up to strangers in the hostel and talk to them… because you aren’t going to want to go a week without a human conversation.

    The big thing I tell people about solo travel (and yes, I was leery before my first trip), you just need to do it. Do a couple weeks in Europe, if you want. That is how I broke in. And met a married couple that are still some of my best friends in the world in Munich. As I sat alone in a bar, having a burger and a beer. Would they have talked to me if I were sitting there with someone else — no way.

    Do a couple weeks somewhere totally alone. Then decide if you like it or not.
    Michael Hodson recently posted..People Watching from the Breakfast Table- Crown Point- Tobago

    • DangerousBiz says:

      A lot of time, though, I don’t mind being in my bubble. I like my alone time. Like Jessalyn said, being alone sometimes allows for reflection. But, when traveling, I like having someone to share the experience with.

      But I SHOULD try it out sometime. A couple weeks in Europe actually sounds fantastic.

  9. Katherina says:

    So many times! I don’t mind the solo traveling while I’m being active, while I’m walking, visiting a museum, with a map,… that is, while I’m entertained. But one of the moments I fear is when you sit alone at a nice restaurant. I know this depends a lot on the country, but in Spain, food is a social gathering – always. You don’t see people eating alone. Lunch and dinner are an occasion to get together with colleagues, friends and family and talk. You don’t eat without talking – that’s just too weird for me!

    By now, I’ve managed to eat alone in other countries. In the UK is perfectly acceptable, for example – so I don’t feel observed. But if I’m back in Spain, I would simply grab something on the go. I know. Ridiculous! I hope to get over it some time!
    Katherina recently posted..Blog Swap – Keeping it Class-y

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m with you, Katherina – I don’t mind being alone while I’m actually out doing things (although, traveling with someone makes getting photos of yourself much easier!). But it’s at night when you’re just sitting around (or, like you said, going out to eat) that I prefer to have someone to chat with, or talk about plans for the next day.

  10. Kieron says:

    Another great thought provoking piece Amanda. While I can’t totally relate as I’ll be traveling with Amy, I can definitely see where you’re coming from.

    Like you, I am pretty shy as well. But being more open and conversational comes with practice, two years of working in a corporate environment has increased my communication skills and confidence plenty.

    And fortunately not all travelers are out there to get drunk – I’ll enjoy a couple of beers every now and again but have come a long way since my teenage binge-drinking days. I think I’ve only been drunk twice in the last 3 years and I’m pretty proud to admit that, alcohol and me don’t mix very well.

    Look forward to hopefully catching up next year on your road trip and seeing you ‘let loose’. :)
    Kieron recently posted..12 Christmas events you’ve probably never heard of

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m really envious of all you traveling couples! To me, that sounds great. Just as I’m not sure I love solo travel, I also don’t love huge group travel. My ideal trip consists of me and one or two others at most.

      And I know that not all travelers are out there to get drunk. I’m sure that I could find a niche of solo travelers just like me. But there’s always that little nagging fear, just the same.

      I hope we can indeed bump into each other next summer!

  11. I can totally relate. In most situations I’m pretty shy until I get to know people. I did a 2 month solo trip, and while I’m very proud of myself for doing it, and I learned a lot, I would still rather travel with someone. It’s more fun in my opinion.

    I think it’s awesome that you don’t drink! You will probably get more from your travels if you are not wasted all of the time. Have you ever thought that some of those people who are outgoing travelers could have something to do with the fact that alcohol makes it a whole lot easier to meet people and feel less self conscious? I think it’s awesome that you are staying true to yourself and not drinking just because everybody else does. If there are a few people who would think you were less fun because of it, I say screw em! You don’t need people like that anyway. Great post!
    Christy @ Ordinary Traveler recently posted..Big Sunday – A Healthy Dose of Fear 2

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Christy! I love reading the adventures of solo travelers, but, like you, I think I have more fun overall when I have at least one travel companion.

      As for the drinking thing… it’s not really because I’m against it or that I’ve made a conscious decision to avoid it. I just really hate the taste of alcohol! And, since alcohol is pretty expensive everywhere (except maybe in Asia), I don’t see the point of wasting money on something I won’t even enjoy.

  12. Gray says:

    You know what? I’m a lot like you. I don’t go in for drunken revelry when I travel and I’m not the kind of person who walks into a bar knowing no one and walks out with 20 new friends. I have made friends on the road–not oodles and oodles of them the way backpackers seem to, but one or two here and there. You don’t have to leave every city you visit with new people to add to your Facebook page. How about just being able to have a conversation with a stranger and enjoy it for what it is–a temporary social event that’s not going to turn into a lifelong friendship? As you say, the only way you’ll know how it’s going to turn out…is to try it.
    Gray recently posted..Stalking the Eiffel Tower

    • DangerousBiz says:

      It seems I have a lot more in common with some of my fellow travelers than I thought! Thanks for your feedback, Gray.

      I agree that you don’t have to leave every new city with oodles of new friends. Travel shouldn’t be a race to the most new Facebook contacts, afterall. But it’s always nice to meet someone along the way to talk with, and that you could potentially keep in contact with once you part ways.

  13. Rebecca says:

    As usual, can totally relate to this post. I don’t “solo travel” because I want to, I solo travel because I HAVE to. When I said I was taking off for New Zealand, everyone asked, are you going with anyone? Hell, if I waited to go with someone, I would have been waiting FOREVER, so I just went. I didn’t even think that it was technically “solo travel”. To me, it’s just traveling because I want to and no one else I know does.Why would I wait around and not do it just because I have no one to go with?

    And let me tell you, your impression of “solo travel” is sort of like how I felt about college. I was scared at first, that no one was going to like me either, but it was a such more open world then high school was, everyone was so open to everyone else, it was so weird to me! That is exactly how solo travel is. I hate drinking in big groups and when backpackers would start to drink and play games, let me tell you, it was waaay better to be the sober one. So much more entertaining and EVERYONE wants to talk to you because you are a good listener and don’t want to talk back (as other drunkards would do)

    My only recc when it comes to “solo travel” which is an issue I know you don’t have to deal with:-) is don’t NOT go because you have no one to go with. That is the least of your problems.
    Rebecca recently posted..New Zealand – The Coromandel

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Don’t worry – I would never NOT travel because of a lack of travel companion. Like I said, I’m stubborn. So when I get it in my head that I’m going somewhere, I make it happen. I’ve just been lucky enough so far that someone has usually agreed to go with me, or meet up with me, or give me a place to stay when I travel. But, I imagine that at some point in the not-so-distant future, I’ll probably be striking out on my own at least once or twice, just to try it out. And hopefully it’s even better than college.

  14. Laurence says:

    Great post Amanda, love the honesty. Have to say, I don’t think you’re alone when it comes to being shy – loads of travellers keep themselves to themselves – as the responses in here qualify! I’ve found that just starting a conversation though will often lead to all sorts of interesting things, something which is much easier to do when you are on your own. Travelling as a group can result in fairly insular behaviour, although I have found that travelling as a couple does seem to result in you chatting more with other couples..

    Certainly alcohol is a handy lubricant, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of travel. My girlfriend for example hardly drinks, and whilst on the road I meet all kinds of people who don’t really drink, for various reasons. Personally I enjoy a cold beer of an evening, and the occasional crazy blow out, but travel is ultimately about whatever you want it to be about.

    I’m not sure you need to worry about being stubborn either.. it can be a handy trait to have! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.. just get out there and try it. And if it turns out solo travel isn’t for you, well, that’s not a failure, it’s just a discovery about yourself. Find someone to travel with, and go from there. There’s no right and wrong way to travel, there’s just the way that works for you.
    Laurence recently posted..Travel blogging tips from the experts- Gary Arndt

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks, Laurence! I find out so much about my fellow travel bloggers with these lay-it-all-out-there, honest posts. I kinda like it! And, judging from the comments, I know I’m not alone.)

      Like you said, there’s no wrong way to travel, there’s just the way that’s right for each individual. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.

      I don’t love group travel. In fact, even a small group of 4 or 5 is often too much for me. I think traveling with a significant other would be perfect – you aren’t alone, but you’re still alone enough to reach out and chat up other travelers, too.

      But, as I said (and as everyone else is echoing), the only way I’ll know for sure is to try out an extended solo trip and see how it turns out.

  15. Before I met Jack, I did a lot of traveling by myself and looking back at it — I wasn’t the most social person in the world, I’m also not into the drinking/party scene. But traveling by yourself — you can’t seem to NOT meet new people. This of course depends on the city/hostel ur staying in, but generally, you probably have to work harder not to get to know other people.
    Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..RTW Ticket vs Point-to-Point- Our Experience

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Yes, I imagine if you stuck to hotels, it probably would be tough to avoid meeting people, especially at popular hostels in bigger cities.

  16. I think everyone has the same worries as you – Everyone is really just concealing it behind a bravado front! LOL
    When you realise the stomach churning nerves that are going on behind the scenes of experienced actors as they come out on stage you can put into perspective our feelings as we stage entrance right ;)
    The travellers that make the most noise aren’t necessarily the ‘norm’ – Its just because they are the noisiest you get to notice their side of the equation the most, while the majority of us unassuming travellers get on simply enjoying the experience and where they’re at… quietly!
    Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted..Christmas Travelling Tales Part 2

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Haha, so you’re saying travelers are just good at faking it?? I’m sure what you’re saying is true, though. And I definitely didn’t mean to sound condescending toward those who “make the most noise,” as you put it. Everyone travels differently, and everyone has different ideas of what they want to get out of the experience!

  17. Christine says:

    Hey, being a solo traveler doesn’t necessarily make you an alcoholic!!! In all seriousness, I’m not a big drinker–which has helped and hurt my relationships with other travelers–but that’s not something I’m willing to compromise on. I love going out with friends at home, but the nightlife isn’t a huge priority for me when I’m traveling–I think it compromises my safety as a solo traveler and I also hate wasting time hungover.
    As someone who really has no problem traveling by myself, I will say that I don’t think it’s for everyone. If you like it, you like it. If you don’t, that’s fine, too. It doesn’t make you a “weenie” or less of a traveler if you prefer to share the experience with someone else. That just makes your travel style your own.
    Christine recently posted..Postcard from Antibes

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I definitely wasn’t trying to suggest that solo travelers are a bunch of alcoholics!! Not at all. But alcohol is often part of the social scene in hostels.

      I’m with you, though – the drunkenness isn’t really something I’m willing to compromise on, either. Mostly because, since I don’t really drink, I get drunk REALLY easily. Never a good idea when you’re traveling solo!

      After reading all these responses, I’m so glad to see that everyone seems to be supportive of the “everybody travels differently” idea.

  18. Lauren says:

    I was super nervous about solo travel until I came to Australia and did it for the first time. Now, I love it!

  19. Staci says:

    I’m shy and it’s difficult for me to meet people. I didn’t make any friendships when I went on my first solo trip to Montreal. So, I get how you feel about meeting people. I might have to force myself to interact with people in Germany when I go there this spring, by myself. Honestly, I love traveling solo, because I can be alone if I wanted to, but in a way, I do wish that there’s someone who isn’t a creep to share the memories with.

    As for the alcohol part, I do party and drink sometimes. But it’s not necessary for me at all to have fun. I don’t like the taste of some alcohol. I do enjoy taking it easy, absorbing the scene at a club or a party, no alcohol required every time.

    Since you’re stubborn, (I am too) go for it. Maybe you’ll look back and find that all the fears were completely off base and you adore solo travel. In the end, don’t regret anything and don’t let anything becomes “what if” moment that you will think later in life.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      It seems like I’m in the company of quite a few shy travelers! That’s always nice to know. Thanks for sharing your story, and for the encouragement. I’m sure I’ll try solo travel (true solo travel, for more than just a few days) eventually. I’m not the type of person to leave those “what ifs” hanging around in the air, and I’m certainly not one to live with regrets! But, at this point, I have no travel regrets, even when it comes to trying out solo travel. I’ve got some great trips coming up in the next year, and I’m super excited about them (especially the one I’m going on with my little sister!).

  20. Ella says:

    I’m really glad you posted this! When I was following peoples travels I also was jealous of some peoples incredible ability to make hoardes of friends everywhere they go!

    I was too scared to go travelling solo at this point in my life so I am going with one friend, which means compromise! But I was happy to do this to get the safety net of having someone with me! But I did make sure it was someone who I know will want to do similar things to me! The reason I didn’t want to travel solo is similar, it’s those times when you aren’t doing anything… what if you don’t meet people to hang around with? I’m happy with my own company but I feel like I’d be missing out if I didn’t meet people! And when I’m on my own I can strike up a conversation with someone else on their own, but the thought of meeting groups of people who already know each other, even if they’ve only recently met, scares me because that’s when I can come across as awkward and shy!

    Therefore, as I’m travelling with someone I should be more confident and actually able to meet more new people!

    Also, I do drink which generally does help with meeting people, but I don’t like drinking so much that I don’t remember the night before… that just feels like a waste to me! And if I was on a night out it wouldn’t really make a difference to me if the people around me were drinking or not drinking, as long as we have a laugh!

    I’m aiming to at least have one solo travel trip in the future, just need to brave up to doing it!

    But I think you’re not a weenie (!) because you can admit that it scares you but yet you’ve done it for shorter times, that’s still brave!
    Ella recently posted..Flight Booking Errors- 3 Lessons I’ve Now Learnt!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m glad you identified with this post so much, Ella! I think your compromise of traveling with one other person is great. Travel should be whatever YOU want it to be, after all, so it’s great that you’re doing what’s comfortable to you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it so much more that way.

      And thanks for saying I’m not really a weenie! Lol.

  21. Brooks says:

    Such a great piece and refreshingly honest! I’ve traveled solo quite a few times and am 2 months into a solo rtw and still have the same nervousness and fears you mentioned. What I’ve found is having an activity that brings me together with other people (besides drinking :) ) is crucial. For me, the most frequent is scuba diving. I can show up at any dive shop, anywhere in the world and instantly have something in common with a group of people. I usually make great friendships and often, I find it hard to leave and head out (alone) on the road. I like the company of other people and find that it’s usually the people I meet that make or break a place I’m visiting. In non diving places, I’ve got to work a bit harder and actively put myself in situations where I can meet people and at times it can be challenging and intimidating.

    Overall, after 20 odd years of traveling, I’d have to say the times I do spend alone on the road rarely rank among the best times, they’re not the worst times by any means, but most of the time after experiencing something, I often want to turn to someone and share with them…
    Brooks recently posted..New Friends and Loi Krathong on Koh Lanta

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hi Brooks, thanks for the comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I understand exactly what you mean about wanting to have someone to turn to and share the good experiences with. It’s great though that you are able to connect so easily with fellow divers! That’s great.

  22. Marsha says:

    Great post! I’m also a lot like you. I’m not a big drinker (don’t really see the point in getting drunk–one drink at dinner is fine by me) and while I’m not shy, I simply prefer my own company for the most part. I also wish sometimes I could walk into a city alone and walk out with 20 new amazing friendships, but that never happens. And I’m okay with that because even if I’ve connected with a few people for a few moments, that’s enough. I’m not interested in collecting people like souvenirs; my friendships are few but they are deep, and that’s how I like it.
    Marsha recently posted..Weekend Intelligence- December 18-19- 2010

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Marsha! I definitely am not interested in “collecting people like souvenirs” either (great way to put it, by the way), but making solid connections here and there would be nice.

  23. A good compromise might be to study a language when you go somewhere new. (Maybe stay with a family for the first week.) You can be a solo traveler, but make friends with other travelers with whom you can do things with on evenings and weekends. You could then have the best of both worlds.

    As for drinking, it doesn’t matter. One does not have to be part of that scene to have fun. Also, if necessary, you can just choose where you stay more carefully. If it sounds like a party place, then perhaps avoid it.
    Lisa E @chickybus recently posted..Trippy Travel Photo 2- Guess What &amp Guess Where

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the suggestions, Lisa! Your idea to study a new language abroad is great. I’m going to have to keep that in mind!

  24. Ayngelina says:

    I’ve been traveling solo for 9 months and have ano.ther 6 months planned. I would say before traveling I was very awkward and made terrible first impressions. Many of my good friends will openly admit they thought I was a bitch when they first met me. I’ve learned there’s no time for that on the road and have changed my insecure ways.

    I learned I had to suck it up and get out there instead of wasting time on worrying I spent the energy changing.
    Ayngelina recently posted..How to make Peruvian ceviche

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Well it’s great that you were able to realize your flaws and address them! I’m aware of mine, as well, so I guess now it’s just time to “suck it up,” as you said. Thanks for the comment!

  25. Emily says:

    Don’t worry, I can totally relate!!! I did a solo trip to Paris for a few nights, and while it was really empowering, it was so scary. I’m generally not a shy person, but I am in situations where I don’t know anyone. It’s easy to chat with someone on a plane or train, but hard in a bar or restaurant. I am also not much of a drinker–just not my thing–which makes me worry that I wouldn’t connect well with a lot of other people my age. So you are not the only one! One time I was solo in NYC for a few nights, and that worked well because I already knew the city pretty well and I had some friends to meet up with from time to time. While I am interested in traveling solo again just to give it another shot, I’m definitely nervous! Eating alone at a restaurant is really hard for me.
    Emily recently posted..Keystone- Colorado- Day 1- Driving and Feasting

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I get really self-conscious eating alone, too, Emily. In fact, it seems like a lot of people do! But, as so many have said here in the comments, solo travel isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.

  26. Anthony says:

    Hey, like many other above- I can relate. When I tell people who got to know me after the age of 21 that I used to be shy and unconfident they usually laugh and wait for some sort of pun. There is no pun, it’s just the truth.

    You know what, the fact that you’ve admitted your fears and not put an impossibility on the option of solo travel absolutely destroys the myth that you are a weenie! Aaaaand I have met Many many many travellers who don’t drink alcohol. The best thing to think in these situations is there is many people out there thinking the same thing as you.

    I appreciate your honesty though and thanks for the good read.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks so much for the support, Anthony! I like doing these really brutally honest posts sometimes, because not only do they resonate well with other travelers, but it feels really good to just get some of this stuff out there! So glad you enjoyed this one.

  27. David says:

    You pretty much took the thoughts right out of my head! I do about 90% of my travel by myself, and I always thought I was a bit “off” because I never ended up partying till 4 AM with my new best friends. I’ve got some of the same shyness issues you do, but even though I’ve traveled by myself for almost 2 years on and off, I haven’t made much progress with it. I still end up traveling alone and not meeting many people. The ones I have meet have been awesome though!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You’re definitely not “off,” David! So many of the commenters on this post have shared similar fears and insecurities. Thanks for reading!

  28. You big weenie you!! As you can tell everyone goes through these emotions. I’ll add in that I used to be incredibly shy and dreadfully insecure before I started travelling. I did not know how to converse with people and I was always worried that I would say the wrong thing or people wouldn’t like me. Travel helped to change this for me and now I have no problems talking to anyone. I can get on a stage and talk to crowds of people even. I’m not saying this to brag but to point out how life changing it can be.
    Not only does it force you to talk to strangers, but it shows you that it can be quite fun as well. And you start to realize that people really aren’t that scary. They are just like you: want to be accepted and liked. So approach all conversations with an open and friendly manner of acceptance and genuine interest and you’ll have no problems interacting with strangers. Travelling also helps you to learn how to get along and relate to all different types of people. I have always found the travelling community to be so accepting and embracing that it made me grow in confidence enough to eventually not really care what others thought of me. (I may have just been lucky enough to gravitate to the right people though as I’m sure some people have some horror stories)
    As for the not drinking, if that is how you choose to live your life then stick by that. And those who do drink and don’t accept you because of you not drinking, are probably not those you want to hang around anyway. There are lots of people not drinking- it costs too much!
    And at the end of the day, it’s different strokes for different folks and if solo travel is not for you, then that is great! There are plenty of other options for you to travel. Obviously, I haven’t travelled solo in a loong time- just can’t seem to shake that husband of mine. But, we never stop interacting with others just because we are travelling together. We love each other and all but conversation just with each other 24/7 can get a bit repetitive and lame.
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..Tips on Life in Italy from an Expat Traveler

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Caz! I’m not necessarily afriad of crowds or public speaking – in fact, I’m fine with be on stage! But there are always those nagging insecurities about not being accepted, even if I am outgoing at times. It’s nice to read stories like yours, though, about how travel has allowed you to grow and change as a person. That’s great. And, with how accepting the travel blogging community has been online, I can only imagine that it translates over into real life, too. Hopefully I can test it out sooner rather than later!

  29. Amy says:

    I hear you on this! I am still horribly shy when it comes to making friends with strangers. So is my husband, which is why we haven’t met that many people on the road. Sometimes I am jealous when I read about of the new friends people are making, but it is just not in my nature to be outwardly outgoing. I’d like to try solo travel sometime, but I wonder if I’d just end up hanging out by myself, instead of putting myself out there.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I often wonder the same thing, although I’d like to think I could at least make one or to friends on the road! Thanks for reading!

  30. Rick Jones says:

    Hah! this post came at just the right moment. Im looking at moving to Thailand at the end of next month and will know no one. Sure, i can talk to my friends online and keep up to date and everything, but the whole “not knowing anyone” thing is always prevalent.

    Coming from Australia, we have a massively big drinking culture, a culture that ive recently given up. So like you, I dont drink (anymore) which will make it a little harder to really loosen up. On the up side, im trying to make friends and get to know some people online BEFORE i head over, making it a bit easier to meet up and say hello.

    Like a few others have said, take your current hobbies and find others that do that wherever you go. Im currently looking up the local swing dancing scene to meet some new folks.

    So thanks for your post!

    -Rick
    Rick Jones recently posted..80s Music Video Flashbacks with Rick

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You’re a swing dancer, Rick? That’s so cool! We had a really fun swing dancing scene near my hometown when I was in college. Every summer, I’d go out swing dancing once or twice a week. It was so fun! It’s one of the things I miss most about living at home and having my nights free.

      But trying to “meet” people online before you go is a great idea. It seems like a ton of travel bloggers are in Thailand these days, too, so I’m sure you can make a few contacts there before you ever leave home.

      • Rick Jones says:

        Been a dancer for 8 years. Lindy hop for 8, blues for 7.5. I was teaching at one point, but gave it all up to move on with life. Came back this year to teaching this year. BUT, what it did give me was a background to talk to new people. Didnt matter how obscure the city was or where i was, there was always someone that could dance. I even found some dancing in Bangkok where im heading.

        Travelling to thailand has become a recent development (as in 3 weeks ago), so im devouring all the travel blogs and peoples i can get in contact with before i head over. Im happy on my own, but its going to have to be an inevitability about getting out and about.

        Like you said, just get out there and try it :)

        -Rick
        Rick Jones recently posted..80s Music Video Flashbacks with Rick

        • DangerousBiz says:

          Very cool, Rick. And that’s awesome that you’ve already tracked down some dancing in Bangkok! Good luck in Thailand!

  31. Sally says:

    I think everyone feels the same way on their first (or second… or thirty-eighth) solo trip: Will anyone talk to me? Will I make friends? Will I end up staring at the ceiling all night & crying in my Sunkist? After a really bad travel-partner experience in Spain & Morocco fifteen years ago, I have traveled a lot on my own. Personally, I prefer it (especially for longer trips where I can barely stand hanging out with myself… let alone someone else!) but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been days when I’m dying for someone to just PLEASE TALK TO ME ALREADY. I don’t know if traveling solo has made me more outgoing (I also tend to be a bit shy & reserved among people I don’t know… unless I’m drunk and there is Lady Gaga music blaring… at which point I become the life of the party!). But traveling solo has made me much more comfortable hanging out by myself and helped me perfect my look of quiet desperation (which helps when you’re too shy to strike up a conversation with random strangers… if you look REALLY desperate, people feel sorry enough for you that they will actually speak to you. Yay!).

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Haha, Sally you always succeed in making me laugh! I definitely don’t want to end up crying into my Sunkist. Good tip about the look of quiet desperation… I should probably perfect mine before traveling solo!

      • Anthony says:

        Allow me to shake things up a little; Many people have related to you and I for one admitted that I once suffered shyness and unconfidence. I’m now what you’d certainly call outgoing, a lot of you are speaking of envy well guess what-introverts have admirable qualities too.

        When I’m around quiet people I think to myself “God, I wish I could keep my mouth shut like that and just observe and take more in.”

        Everyone’s different and that’s the beauty. I’ve been around introverts before and wondered if they like me, like you do with the gobby people :) The morale of the story is no matter what or who you are, everyone wants to be liked (even if we do pretend we don’t) :)

        • DangerousBiz says:

          I never thought anyone could be envious of my quietness! Hmm. Interesting!

          But yes, I agree with your moral of the story – deep down, everyone wants to be liked!

  32. Candice says:

    Don’t worry, you don’t HAVE to solo travel. :) Although I can tell you’d have absolutely no trouble befriending people. Remember, it’s not just YOU who has to make the move…more often than not, others will invite you along for the ride. It just happens!
    Candice recently posted..Mummering in Newfoundland

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I know I don’t HAVE to travel solo. In fact, so far I’ve been pretty lucky in finding travel partners most of the time, or at least someone to meet up with once I reach my destination. But you’re right about the interactions going both ways. Whenever I do decide to try solo travel out, I’ll have to be sure to report back about how I did!

  33. Keith says:

    Traveling solo makes a weenie out of a lot of people. I think it’s important to note that many solo travelers, though they may focus on making great friends, chugging buckets of booze, and generally skipping through life, also have moments of quiet desperation in the dark. I can only speak as a solo traveler traveling without his significant other. What would it be like to travel just as a single dude? I’m not sure. Solo travel has made me grow, but it has also reinforced how important my wife is to me. It’s a double-edged sword, not a magic wand. And that double-edge is that all the pressure to meet people is on you. If you retract into your shell too far, you won’t reap the benefits. And that can be a hard impulse to fight.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Great comment, Keith. I especially like that point you made about solo travel being a double-edged sword and not a magic wand. That’s an interesting way to look at it. I’m also not single (though I’m not married yet), and I really do think that changes things when it comes to solo travel. It certainly changes the way I approach social situations, at least. But at least your travels have made you realize how important your wife is to you! That’s always good to realize.

  34. Heather says:

    *waves hand* Fellow weenie, right here!

    I’ve been fortunate to meet some great people on the road, but I can be shy too and am not a big drinker. I would never have guessed it before the trip, but most of the friends I have in Australia I originally met on Twitter :-) I wonder if it will be the same as I choose my next destinations.

    As always, I like posts where people put themselves out there a bit and share what’s on their heart & mind :-)
    Heather recently posted..Heather’s Holiday Hiatus

    • DangerousBiz says:

      *waves back* Hello fellow weenie! Haha.

      My last major trip (not counting the Alaskan cruise I took with my family this past summer) took place before I was even on Twitter. But I’ll be interested to see how future trips are influenced and enhanced by meeting up with people I know from social media!

      Thanks for reading! Glad you liked the post.

  35. Wow. I have so much to say about this.

    I might seem like a crazy girl who will do anything, say anything, befriend anyone….but I am also shy as hell. Incredibly so. Asking a cool-looking group of people if I can join them? Sometimes gives me panic attacks.

    Solo travel is HARD, and for me, the social aspects are the most difficult part. And it does get easier, but only slowly. And again, it;s also easier when booze is involved, but….yeah. If you’re not a big drinker, it can be tough. But don’t think that you need to drink in order to get by backpacking around the world.

    There are ways to make it socializing while solo traveling easier. My first solo trip was all about meeting up with Couchsurfers in Argentina, and having that organization gave me so much relief.

    I think you should travel solo, but don’t beat yourself up about it in the meantime. :-)
    Adventurous Kate recently posted..The Challenge- Learning to Relax in Si Phan Don

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the input, Kate! I would have never guessed that you were shy. That’s nice to know, though, since I pretty much consider you one of my solo travel idols!

  36. Dawn says:

    I’ve always wanted to “do” some of the great train trips that Australia has and yet the fact that hubby does not has held me back. I know that I should just book my seat and go by myself.

    And you know – after reading this and seeing just how many people battle through this “problem” and end up enjoying themselves – that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Awesome, Dawn! I love when things I write (and the responses to them) inspire people to go out and do things. It’s one of the best feelings ever. You should totally do a train trip by yourself. Maybe you’ll come back with such great stories and pictures that hubby will be jealous and agree to join you next time!

  37. Suzy says:

    I can completely relate. I have traveled solo and with people. They both have their positives and negatives. Like you, I can be surprisingly shy when I don’t know people. That can be hard when you travel solo, but I actually like those trips where I am alone. I think it is important to remember that solo travel shouldn’t be just “how can I meet people”. I think you need to be alone and see sights, conquer public transportation on your , etc. Socializing shouldn’t be the main goal of solo travel, but it can be for some. If you ever decide to travel solo, one tip I have, sign up to stay with a host family. That way you aren’t out at the clubs and bars looking for backpackers to befriend, but you are actually having a local experience.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the host family tip, Suzy. That’s actually a really good idea. While socializing with other travelers is fun, I think I really would enjoy immersing myself in the local culture, too. Maybe even more.

  38. When I was trying to form a comment on this post, I noticed that I had quite a lot to say about it. So I decided to write a blog post about it.
    If you’d like yourself to be un-weenied, have a look here: http://www.nicolasdecorte.be/blog/travel/2010/12/should-you-become-a-solo-traveler
    Nicolas De Corte recently posted..Should you become a solo traveler

  39. Will says:

    I hold many of the same fears as you when it comes to solo travel, however I think it’s the only way I could do it. Being out somewhere way outside the comfort zone, solo, is just a wholly amazing albeit scary experience. Plus learning about myself, what I am/am not capable of is for me personally something that can only be found while solo. I hope that by going ‘solo’, the relationships I form, whether locals or fellow travellers, will be so much more meaningful as I don’t have my ‘own’ circle to fall back to if that makes sense? And hey, if I don’t like who I meet, or the hostel I’m at etc, I can move on and meet other people and see new places, if I was travelling with someone or a group, I’d be stuck!

    However, I shall soon find out if I’ve made the best or dumbest decision in a matter of weeks!
    Will recently posted..Just over 2 weeks to go till I fly to India!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      There are definitely benefits to solo travel – a lot of which you mentioned. It’s probably one of the best ways to get to know yourself a little better, just throwing yourself out there into the world. But scary, too!

      Good luck on your upcoming adventure!

  40. [...] presents Why I’m a Weenie When it Comes to Solo Travel posted at A Dangerous Business. The 81 comments provies what a beautiful piece of writing this is [...]

  41. tareh says:

    one time i had this awesome itinerary all planned out 3-4 months in advance, with website pages all printed out, LP journal pages ripped out and CS contacts all jotted down in a piece of paper – all stapled together and all that suddenly became useless when i accepted an invitation of this old couple on a bus we rode together. so instead of angkor wat it was 2 weeks of bee harvesting, cow tending and fishing in Tonle Sap.

    One good reason to solo travel: Able to totally skewered your travel plan (in a good way)

    • DangerousBiz says:

      While it’s too bad you didn’t get to use any of that thorough planning, it sounds like the change in plans worked out for you! Bee harvesting in Cambodia? Sounds like a cool story there!

  42. [...] Why I’m a Weenie When it Comes to Solo Travel – I spilled my guts about being wary of traveling completely on my own in this post, and got a ton of great support in the comments. [...]

  43. Rabihat says:

    Great honest thoughts on the fear of solo travel, Loneliness is naturally one of the biggest fears of first time go-it-aloners. It’s important to realise however, that no one’s alone when it comes to feeling lonely! Those moments when you are having a bad time, feeling homesick, nervous or as if you’ve not had a normal conversation with anyone in 24 hours, are simply part of travelling and shared by seasoned backpackers, individuals and groups alike. And let’s be honest, even when you’re back at home, it’s usual to have good and bad days.
    Rabihat recently posted..Chest Coach System Review – Does It Work

    • DangerousBiz says:

      You’re totally right, Rabihat – you can have bad, lonely days anywhere, even at home. And, at the same time, you can even feel lonely if you ARE traveling with friends or a group.

      Thanks so much for reading!

  44. Brady Stump says:

    Enjoyed the blog post!

  45. Rob says:

    I pretty much always travel solo. I’m a huge fan of going and doing wherever I want. Meeting people is pretty easy, alcohol or not. Fellow travelers at the hostel or B&B. Other people sitting alone at a cafe. People in bookstores.

    I arrived on Crete 10 years ago knowing nobody, planning to explore a few days before a friend was going to arrive. I wandered into a bookstore/coffeeshop and asked if anyone knew where there was a map store. An American sitting at one of the table showed me after we’d finished our coffees, and we ended up chatting for quite a while. Finally he looked at his watch and said “Oh damn. I need to go. I do an English-language radio program so that the people in Crete can here native speakers. Wanna come? Sure, I said, and 5 minutes later we were zooming through the streets on his motor scooter. We arrived in one piece and it was nice to meet the other folks that were there, and then the Archbishop of Crete wandered in to participate in the program. We all introduced ourselves on the air, and finally the guy (whose name I forget) said to the archbishop “Your excellence (or whatever), earlier Rob and I were talking about Zen Buddhism. Why don’t you and he have a discussion. So I got to spend 30 minutes doing a compare & contrast of Greek orthodox christainity and zen on the air with the archbishop while everyone else sat and listened. I ended up hanging out with the guy and a friend of his from Scotland for a few days, and then a couple more when my friend arrived. We got see places and do things that only someone who lived on the island would know about. It was awesome. Oh.. did I mention the guy in the coffeeshop grew up 10 miles from where I live in Colorado, and trained in TaeKwon-Do with my instructor. Small world.

    Solo travel rocks. :)

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Small world indeed! But what a cool story.

      Since writing this, I HAVE done a bit of solo traveling. And I’ll admit that I didn’t completely hate it. :)

      • Rob says:

        “didn’t completely hate it”. What a rousing endorsement! :)

        I’ve actually traveled with other people as well, and it’s *really* important, I have found, to have contingencies planned out. A great friend of mine and I were traveling around Europe in the summer of 1985 and agreed ahead of time that if we ever got tired of each other we’d just split up for a couple of days. That, plus the fact that we had similar interests removed a lot of the “traveling with others” pressure. Contrast with the same trip to Greece mentioned above where I spent half of it traveling with an ex-friend from Boulder now living in Scotland. She was a complete PITA. She brought 10 times as much crap as she needed, was unhappy with virtually everything we did and every place we stayed, and got all pissy when I started meeting people I was never so glad as the afternoon I put her on a plane back to the UK. That’s when I pretty much decided it was traveling alone or with someone I knew *really* well..

        • DangerousBiz says:

          Haha, I meant it to sound better!

          I don’t mind solo travel, but there are plenty of times when I’m alone that I wish I had someone else to share the experiences with. But, everyone is different! That’s what’s so great about travel!

          • Rob says:

            Indeed!

            And then there’s the combo-sort of travel where you meet someone, travel together for a while and then go your separate ways.

            So many options – so little time! :)

  46. Antoinette B. says:

    I think this post is very very raw and hones, I love it! Everything feeling you described, I’ve felt it all before solo traveling (except i do love to drink, but hate getting too drunk and hung over in a diff country). I wouldn’t really label myself as a “solo traveler” because I love traveling in general, whether by myself, with my bf, family, or friends. It just so happens that these days, when “life happens” for everyone around me (ie: career, moves, family, pregnancy, children, money, unemployment), I cannot sit back waiting for others to join me; when I get the free time to go away, I go! Before I used to feel sooo scared, so insecure, sooo lonely, walking around and touring unfamiliar places whose languages I dont speak nor understand. BUt those same emotions somehow magnetized and all of a sudden, I was meeting solo travelers left and right who were just as happy as I was to meet people from the same country, OR who speak the same language for that matter. And it gets better every single time. I am actually preparing for a solo travel to Turkey next week, and sometimes the “loneliness” feeling tends to creep up but then its gone in less than 2.2 seconds; what I’m more concerned about is the safety for female, solo traveler in a Muslim country. So there you go! I hope you embrace your emotions and go for solo travels anyways. I promise you you’ll have just as much fun!!

    • Rob says:

      Antoinette – I think you make a good point about having to GO when you can go, even if nobody else can (or will) come with you. I’m heading (solo, of course) to Croatia next month. A good friend might join me, or might not, but I just bought my tickets and told him the dates I’d be there. If he comes, that’ll be good. If not – that’s good too. Life is an adventure!

      And the day after I return to Colorado, I’m attending meet, plan, go in Denver! Jet lag and all :)

      http://meetplango.com/national-event/2011-denver-event/

      • Antoinette B. says:

        Rob, I looooooveee Croatia! I was just there in June (by myself, of course) and met three other solo female travelers from San Francisco and South Africa. We bonded and hung out like as if we’ve all known each other throughout college or something! It’s nice to know that when I visit South Africa, I’ll def have someone to show me around. There is just something so liberating about these trips, I tell yah.

        • Rob says:

          Antoinette:

          Where were you in Croatia? I picked the Istra peninsula just because it was featured in an article I’d read, but I’ll have a car so the whole country is at my fingertips.

          Hopefully there will be interesting other travelers too. I haven’t made any plans for where I’ll stay; perhaps you have some suggestions? Did you use hotels, hostels, apartments, or something else?

          I’m looking forward to being there during the “Truffle fair”. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten truffles, so it’ll be another new experience.

          If you want to e-mail me directly (rob.philip@gmail.com) I’d love to hear about your trip.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for such a great comment, Antoinette! I think it’s great that you don’t wait for others to join you in travel. You’re right — you can’t sit back and wait if all you want to do is travel! Life is far too short for that.

      Have fun in Turkey! That’s one place I’m really dying to visit. Though, like you, I’m a little unsure of traveling there by myself. Hopefully you can find another solo traveler or two to team up with!

  47. NLM says:

    Fellow weenies, unite! Today I posted photos of several things I was too afraid to do when traveling: Hoping there will be lots more–for both of us.

    Happy Monday,
    Nancy
    NLM recently posted..I’m NOT Going to Swim with the Sharks

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I usually try my best to confront my fears when I’m traveling — even the solo travel fear! But there are still certain things I won’t do, either. And you know what? That’s okay!

  48. Manish says:

    I just came back from my 4 week solo trip to north India. I am an introvert and extremely shy kinda person. I was scared to hell before i started this trip. I feared i wont be able to make any friends and stuff like that. But it was not like that at all. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I didn’t made much friends (only 1 solo backpacker) but i still i enjoyed it. I loved my alone time. I loved each and every moment of these 30 days. I was playing a role of observer. All in all, it has helped me open up a little bit.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      That’s great o hear, Manish! I’m not sure I would have the balls to travel around India by myself. So good on you! Glad to hear you enjoyed your time there.

  49. Rob says:

    I just returned from two weeks in Italy and Croatia (I know .. no challenge there) in time to attend Meet, Plan, Go in Denver. Where I met a gal who is about to embark upon a month traveling solo in Burma. I really felt like a weenie when she observed that she was kind of nervous, but what the hell – it’s an adventure.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Haha. Well good for her! But it’s not something I’d be comfortable to do yet. That’s the beauty of travel, though — everyone does it differently! That’s what makes it so interesting to talk and read about!

  50. Cristina says:

    Amanda! I have the exact same fear. I feel that I SHOULD go it solo (I’m mean really solo, without a group or partner). It’s definitely a whole new experience, we should all have because you learn all those things you listed. But I think I prefer going with someone else (not groups). You have someone to share your experiences with, collaborate on the exciting things you’ll do next, someone to hold the camera while you vlog, hold your backpack when you go to the loo, help make out the gibberish accents, count the strange currency, eat with at a cafe (would you really want to eat alone in beautiful city)?!

    So, if ya ever want a travel buddy I’m your gal :)
    Cristina recently posted..Sun-kissed in Spain: Top 3 Beaches in Barcelona

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’ve traveled solo quite a bit since writing this post, but I still maintain that it’s not my ideal mode of travel. Yes, I like having the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want to, but I get lonely in the evenings (like at dinner!) and usually wish I had someone to talk to by the third or fourth day. But, luckily there are plenty of travelers to meet on the road to help combat some of this!

  51. [...] travelers with envy or longing because I was convinced that the nomadic lifestyle was not for me. I didn’t even know if I was cut out for solo travel, to be [...]

  52. Michelle says:

    I guess I am a weenie too. I have traveled solo. I have traveled for months at a time, but I much prefer doing it with someone. And I much prefer having a home to come back to. I am not a partier or a heavy drinker so I always feel like I am missing out on the clubbing or other activities involving alcohol. I am also a bit shy and quiet so it is always hard in a new places for me to connect with others, but I am getting better at it. I sometimes wish I could have a travel partner just for conversation at dinner. Days aren’t bad because you can do your own thing, but nights….nights kinda suck when you are alone, in a foreign place, with no desire to hit up a club.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      It’s like you took words right out of my head, Michelle! (Especially about the lonely nights.)

      I’m getting better at and more confident about traveling solo, but I much prefer traveling in a small group or with one other person, just so I’m not bored so often! Plus, problem-solving is so much easier when you have more than one brain to work things out!

  53. [...] photo essays, videos, and more. Some popular posts include Great American Road Trip 2011: The Plan, Why I’m a Weenie When it Comes to Solo Travel, and 9 Money Saving Tips for Travelers from [...]

  54. Bia says:

    Hi, I’m Bia, from Brazil. I’m 36 and single. I can totally relate to your feelings, I’m not a party animal and I don’t drink (I’ve been this way my whole life). I’m planning a solo trip across Europe and I’m terrified! I love being on my own, I’m not scared of unknown places…it’s the forced intimacy and the fear of not being able to mingle because people will think I’m uptight and boring. Shared rooms are not an option, but I’ll have to stay in hostels due to budget. I hope I get over this concern before my trip, but your post helped a lot! Thanks!

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