Making a solo journey abroad requires a fair amount of planning. You should also think about how you will approach the trip, logistics aside. Here’s what I know now about taking a solo journey abroad.
1) Leave Your Comfort Zone
The most important lesson I learned from traveling solo was that even though it was terrifying, leaving my comfort zone was worth it. For days before I left, I was consumed about whether it would be worth it
I couldn’t stop thinking about my flights working out, being so far away from my family and friends, and whether I had packed absolutely everything I would need for the month. Preparing for the trip was almost more exhausting than it was exciting. It was something I had never done on my own before. I felt sure that I was going to mess something up or forget something and ruin the trip entirely.
My heart was racing the entire ride to the airport. The whole time I was waiting to get onto my flights (and even on the flight over), I felt I would never stop sweating as long as I lived. However, looking back now, I know that all that anxiety was down to stepping in to “the unknown.” I was going to do things and go places and be with people I had never met before. And I soon discovered how worthwhile it would be to step out of my comfort zone!
2) Learn to Roll With the Punches
I was so stressed in the lead-up to my trip and only learned when I was there the vital lesson that whatever happens, happens because almost nothing ever goes according to plan. And that’s completely okay. I think this is in fact a lesson that everyone learns sooner or later in life.
It’s much easier to just roll with the punches than spend a ton of time worrying about what the plan is “supposed” to be, or how things are “supposed” to go. That’s what makes traveling so exciting. When you don’t know every turn on the road, it creates a true adventure.
3) Get Insight Before Your Solo Journey Abroad
Something that will really destress you is asking people who’ve been there before. Seeking their advice can really put things in perspective. There’s never going to be a better resource than someone who has experienced it themselves.
Sourcing information from someone who has an inside scoop can make it easier to do almost anything. They can make it easier to decide what activities to do or places to visit. They can also give you some great advice about transportation or activities that you might not otherwise know about.
4) Trust That There Are Good People Everywhere You Go
There is nothing to fear when touring when touring Europe. Fear of the unknown stops you from fulfilling your dreams. Playing it safe always seems easier than going out on a limb.
And yes, there’s almost always someone who will tell you not to go, or that “it isn’t safe.” However, in my experience, there are kind people everywhere you go. Many also share our passion for traveling. They’re more than willing to help out if you need it.
Traveling with an open mind and an open heart is important. Every person who ventures into new territory and partakes in new adventures helps to bring us all that little bit closer together. And that all makes the world feel just a little bit smaller.
5) Plan For Your Solo Journey Abroad Future
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, always save for your next trip. Always keep an ear open to suggestions for places to visit. I know from experience that once the travel bug bites, it’s very difficult to shift! If you come across anyone who is an experienced traveler, ask them where their favorite destinations are. There’s no better person to ask for suggestions and advice than a passionate, experienced traveler with plenty of stories to tell.
by Sara Sands