Thinking about your first big trip? Maybe its already booked and you’re preparing to go. Thoughts start to race through your mind and suddenly the whole thing seems a little overwhelming. I’ve been there my friends, i’ve been there.
I can remember all too well the crazy amount of questions I had flying through my head before setting off on my first solo adventure back in 2015. Looking back now, I can see what a waste of energy my worries were!
Eron and I put our minds together on this post to write up the top 10 fears amongst new travellers and the reality behind them!
1. You WILL make friends.
This was a big one for me. As a solo traveller, I was worried about how I would meet people (or worse; that I wouldn’t meet people at all!) I think all first-time travellers (especially solo travellers) will have this thought at some point before they get themselves into the groove.
The truth is, you will meet SO many people – it’s actually unavoidable. I can guarantee you’ll meet more people than you can keep up with and better yet, you’ll make lasting friendships around the world that are as good or better than the ones you already have at home.
Don’t worry, don’t try and force it, and trust that everything will come naturally. Your future buddies are out there – don’t hold back!
2. Your stuff will be fine
Of all the years of travel, of all the sketchy places i’ve stayed; I have NEVER had anything stolen. I’ve never even met anyone who had anything stolen. Now I’m not saying this isn’t a risk and am in no way trying to give you a false sense of security, but it’s really not as bad as you might have been told to believe. Of course be sensible, ensure your stuff is as secure as it can be but…. try to chill. Fearing for your things will only bring negative experiences and ruin your travels.
There seems to be an unspoken mutual trust between you and your fellow travellers (after all, you’re all in the same boat) It’s actually pretty rare and super unlucky if anything gets taken from you! For some savvy tips about keeping your stuff secure, check out my other post here: MY TOP 5 PRACTICAL BACKPACKER TIPS
3. You don’t need everything planned
Ah, the famous question; to pre-book or not to pre-book? Obviously, this is time-dependent (if you’re only away for a couple of weeks you might want to be a bit more organised to make the most of your trip) but in my opinion, pre-booking and planning my travels in most cases has only been a hindrance. I love the freedom that travel brings and find that if I have everything planned out in advance it leaves no room for surprise and new experiences.
I normally have a rough idea of what I want to do, and i’ll maybe book my first stay of the trip, but after that, I like to figure it out once i’m there. Google can only tell you so much; you will learn heaps about where you are from the people you meet which will determine your journey. There is a wealth of knowledge amongst your fellow travellers and the local people which will no doubt influence your trip (you don’t want to be pinned down to a strict itinerary or tour and unable to check out that cool waterfall you didn’t know about with your new buddies now, do you? )
The only thing I will definitely look into before heading to a new country is visa requirements. Otherwise, don’t fret! You can plan as you go – that’s the fun of it all. I’ve learnt from experience that there is ALWAYS a bed for you to sleep on.
4. There will be challenging scenarios (but that’s the best bit)
Of course, you’ll be challenged – that’s one of the reasons you’re going travelling right? To see the world and learn new things? The challenges that come with travel are hands down the best part. This is where you learn and grow as a person. Step out of your comfort zone and see what you’re made of!
5. But what do I need?!!!
Don’t stress about the contents of your bag. Seriously, chances are you’ll end up ditching half of it anyway. The first trip I took, I left with my bag so full! Looking back now it’s actually cute that I thought I needed all of that crap. Anything you realise you need but don’t’ have can be picked up along the way.
6. Forget FOMO
You won’t miss much at home. I can 99.999% guarantee you that you’ll get back home and realise everything and everyone is exactly the same as it was when you left. There’s a big wide world full of adventure waiting for you, don’t let the fear of missing out back home hold you back!!
7. Don’t I need a ‘real life’?
This IS your real life!!! Shake off any pressure and expectations from society of what a ‘real’ life looks like. There is no one way to live life. This will be THE most valuable thing you will ever do. Your future will unfold naturally. (You might even figure it out whilst you’re away like I did!)
8. Running out of money
If you get low on cash, there are so many ways to earn more or keep yourself going on the road. Volunteering, working for accom, Workaway and Woofing, working holiday visas, teaching English, or start your own online business!! There are so many opportunities to earn or stretch out your money whilst still having awesome experiences. In times of need, you’ll also find that the nicest people and most interesting experiences come to you.
9. What if no one speaks English?
It’s actually shocking what tiny corners of the world you can go to and still be able to communicate in English. Having said that, when you encounter people who don’t speak your language, you’ll be surprised by how much you can communicate through hand gestures and a humble smile. Plus there’s always Google translate! This is also a great opportunity to learn a new language. It’s all part of the fun and will create some great memories.
Trust me, it won’t hinder your experiences at all.
10. It will be THE best thing you will ever do.
Enough said. Now get yourself on that airplane and have the time of your life!