Two Common Fears That Could Be Holding You Back From Traveling (And How to Overcome Them)

If you’d love nothing more than to pack your bags and go traveling but somehow you just never get around to it, it may be worth asking yourself what’s stopping you. Even if you’re unattached, with no children and you don’t even have a mortgage yet, throwing caution to the wind and heading off on an adventure can be daunting. If you’re on the fence about whether you should go traveling, you’re only wasting precious time, and you may regret it later, when you’re more tied down.

Whether you’re dreaming of visiting the Amazon or taking your first North American road trip, don’t let your fears and apprehensions about travel get in the way of your dreams. If you need a little push to take that step, this list of the most often used excuses why people decide not to travel—and the solid arguments against them—will get you packing your backpack in no time.

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Excuse: I Don’t Want to Travel Alone

Many people are excited by the idea of heading off to a foreign land, but they put it off endlessly when they’re unable to find someone who wants to join them on their adventure. Unfortunately, this means you end up not leaving your hometown at all, and giving up on an experience that would be even more beneficial for you if you’d been able to head off on your own.

Why You Should Reconsider Solo Travel

Saying that you’d rather not to travel if you have to travel alone is like saying you would rather not eat if you have to eat dinner by yourself. Crazy, right! Some of the most educational and thrilling travel experiences are encountered on solo trips, which thrust you into new situations, so you have to take in everything that’s going on around you. You’re also given opportunities to be more authentic in how you express yourself, rather than constantly feeling like you need to reaffirm whatever social role you usually have.

Here’s How to Make it Easier…

Stay at a Hostel

 A useful thing you can do if you’re nervous about striking out on your own is to stay at backpacker hostels. These cheap accommodation solutions are where fantastic adventures (and amazing new friendships) are born. Backpacker accommodation locations usually have their own exciting and youthful culture, which allows you to get to know people quickly, while also developing meaningful connections with fellow travellers from around the globe. Of course, many of them will also be traveling alone, so you’re sure to meet other brave souls like yourself. Many of the world’s most popular backpacker hostels also boast a crammed calendar of fun day and night time excursions that draw you out into the world with other residents.  Expect everything from bar crawls to sports events and cultural tours. This means you can be an introvert and still meet people easily, without having to devise excruciating ice-breakers of your own!

Base Your Trip On Your Passions

If you’re concerned that you won’t encounter like-minded travellers on your solo globe-trotting adventure, try planning your entire voyage around events that you know will attract others who have interests and passions in common with you. For example, if you’re a keen surfer, plan your trip around the best surf destinations you can think of, and connect with others who have the same idea of a good time. Love dancing? Head to a festival in South America? Or if meditation is more your style, why not try a Buddhist retreat in Thailand, where you’re sure to cross paths with others who feel similarly? It doesn’t matter what activity or hobby you pick—what matters is making the decision to put yourself in new environments, where you’re guaranteed to encounter like-minded folks who share your values.

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Excuse: Travel is too Dangerous

It’s understandable that many people are nervous to visit certain countries because of the bad news they see reported in the media.

Why You Should Reconsider:

If the only thing you know about a place is that some negative events have occurred there recently, this may put you off travelling to that place, despite the incredible sights and experiences that the country may have to offer. Of course, there are always things that can go wrong when you’re travelling. Dangers do exist. Travellers get robbed. Belongings can be stolen. But it’s worth bearing in mind that these sorts of things also happen in your own country. Travel is not the issue, but travellers’ lack of awareness when they’re in foreign places.

Here’s How to Make it Easier…

Do Your Homework

The best way to get around this is to expand your horizons in terms of what you consume from the Internet. Don’t only read the news online. Do your research about a place you want to visit, and always look out for current travel warnings that let you know which countries are currently safe to visit. In general, most of the places you want to go to will be okay, but it can give you that extra peace of mind if you take the trouble to find out for sure.

Be Prudent:

Invest in a secure suitcase that you can fit all your valuables inside during travel. Conceal any valuables that you need to carry on you when you’re out and about. Bring a lock with you, for any lockers your hostel may provide. Avoid dark and deserted streets at night if you aren’t sure where you’re going, and certainly don’t get into arguments with anyone who seems even slightly intoxicated.

Ask Your Hotel Receptionist For Advice

Another brilliant way to help yourself feel a little safer when you’re off travelling the world is to ask the receptionist at the front desk of your backpacker accommodation for advice about safety. Ask if there are neighborhoods that are safe to visit at night, and if there are others that are less safe. Most hotels have locals staffing the main desk, so if there’s anything to worry about, they will let you know.

Whether you’re keen to go on your first overseas trip, or you’ve just let travel fall by the wayside because of other priorities, these reasons to get over your travel fears will help you get up the courage to book those flights!

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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