You Should Know All About When You Traveling Alone
Its 5:00 ARE and I am excited. Once again I cannot sleep; the only difference about this time is that the normal slight feeling of fear from traveling alone that I am used to is replaced with sheer excitement. The truth is (as I have later learned) that most people are terrified of traveling alone and the reasons make sense.
In fact, it is probably well more normal to have that slight bit of nervousness than to not feel it, especially if you are traveling alone. If you have read my other posts by now you are probably aware that most of the traveling I do is by me. One of the common questions that I am asked by people is in regards to traveling (or backpacking) alone, why I choose to travel this way, and questions about safety.
The true reason I started to travel alone was simple because I had nobody to travel with. From somebody who often gets lost coming home from places in my hometown, the idea was very scary later though this decision turned out to be one of my best decisions.
Is it lonely?
Sometimes the good news is you are NEVER alone. When you travel alone it can be extremely easy to meet people. In fact, it seems as if it is easier to meet people when you travel alone then when you travel with someone else. You force yourself to talk to people. If you stay at youth hostels it becomes very easy to join other groups of people and make new friends.
When you travel with the same group of people it becomes very easy to get caught up in a bubble where you avoid things outside of the bubble. I would not have had to contact many of the good friends I have met when traveling if I was with someone else because I would simply spend the time talking to my friend.
Is it safe?
This is a more difficult question to answer. Safety is always a concern when traveling anywhere (you can read my article about Safety in Europe, or about common traveling scams. Of course, as with going anywhere by you, traveling alone creates additional risks. Personally, I find that I am much more aware of my surroundings when I am by myself as opposed to when traveling with a group.
That being said, this is coming from a 6ft 3-inch 200-pound man. It goes without saying that girls have different travel risks than guys if you are a girl it may be better for you to travel with someone. I have however met many women backpackers who travel alone and have had no problems with it.
Taking simple steps can make you a lot less of a target. Chances are if you are a target of crime in Europe, it will be a non violent crime. So your best bet is to watch your stuff closely. While it can save a lot of time and expenses, traveling at night also increases your risk of crime. Besides the obvious traveling at night increases the chance that you will be tired and not fully aware of your surroundings and makes it an easy target.
I have always been a fan of traveling alone. Some of my most memorable experiences have come from these trips. While there might be some additional risk, by being more observant you can safely travel by yourself.