Hi, to all those that read my last blog I hope it helped and motivated you! To follow on from last week, here are a few more of my pressing anxieties prior to leaving the U.K for my first solo adventure and what I learnt along the way!
3.Am I capable of looking after myself? Can I make the right decisions when I am out there? Am I a good judge of character?
4. Am I going to be safe? What if someone robs me? What if someone spikes my drink? Or, even worse, what if someone kidnaps me? These were very really fears for me and often things people would ask me before going away!
Below are the answers that I learnt from travelling solo:
3. From organising the next hostel I was staying at to keeping track of the money I was spending to stay on budget, being one step ahead was something that became second nature. Adapting to unexpected bumps in the road such as working out an underground train system written in a foreign language to waiting 15 hours for the very delayed bus, it puts your bus that is 10 minutes late when back in England into perspective! Travelling definitely makes you aware of how patient, calm and flexible you can be. You learn that is ok to make mistakes and on the flip side to have faith in yourself. You also learn to have more faith in people around you; strangers will happily help you with your heavy rucksack to the top of the stairs, tell you not to pay more than x amount for a taxi and write down the name of some local food you should try. You quickly begin to value your own freedom, independence and how quick thinking you can be in under pressure situations.
4. Depending on where you are going, the risks of violence and danger can fluctuate. This was one of the main reasons I chose to travel Europe for my first solo adventure. It has a reputation for being relatively safe compared to many other areas in the world but it does come with a price tag to reflect that! This being said, no matter where you go in the world there is a risk so I would just say to always be aware of yourself. Keep your bag in sight, separate your bank cards (one in your rucksack and one on you when out and about) so in the unlikely event that something is stolen from you, you have emergency cash and card back at the hostel. Always use the lockers available in the hostels, you can also take your own lock to keep your rucksack safe too. If you are going to have a drink or two try to go with people you have met previously and when out at night stay in lit up places and make sure you know how to get back. Keep your drink with you at all times and make sure to buy your own, it might be nice to accept the gesture from someone else but it just isn’t worth taking the risk! These might all sound like obvious tips but they can settle your nerves when wondering if you have taken all precautions to keep yourself safe, especially when you are travelling alone!One thing I always did was take a card from the hostel so when trying to get home, any taxi driver or local can understand where you want to go if they struggle to understand your accent. Make sure you find out the price of a taxi before getting in to avoid getting ripped off. Above all, I would say always trust your gut, if anything doesn’t feel right don’t feel obliged to stay…leave, it might be impolite but your safety is more important than appearing rude. Common sense, being aware of the people around you and always listening to your intuition are definitely things that will help. I know all these risks might seem quite scary but as long as you are careful you should be safe so don’t worry too much!
This trip has taught me the value of having faith in myself and others, I have learnt that I am more capable, positive and independent than what I first thought. These are qualities that I would never have described myself as being and for that alone I will always be grateful for the opportunity I took to explore solo. You are better than what you think but you may never find that out until you try. Travelling is a lesson that simply can not be taught in a classroom. It truly does inspire you to change your life for the better and look after the life you have. Thank you for taking the time read this, until the next time take care!