Shy Solo Traveler: How to Overcome the Fear of Traveling Alone
If you love to travel, but your shy nature stops you from enjoying your passion as much as you would like, you are in the right place.
I am an introvert, and I love to travel. I don’t mind traveling alone nowadays, but it wasn’t always like this. Let me let you in on a few secrets that helped me stop being a shy solo traveler.
Secrets for shy solo travelers
1. Understand the introvert/shy stereotype
Introverts have been depicted as fearful individuals who hate speaking up or taking risks. Although introverts have fear, it’s because they are human and not because they are introverts. Fear is universal. It affects everyone including extroverts.
The fear may assume a different shape or form. However, it is still fear. What’s more important is; introverts aren’t more afraid than extroverts or ambiverts, and everyone has the power to overcome their fears. Once you understand the introvert stereotype, you have the power to do what you have always dreamt of doing.
2. Use your power as an introvert
Introverts take self-evaluation very seriously, and since fears originate from within, introverts have an advantage when it comes to introspection. They can observe and evaluate their own emotional and mental processes better than everyone else.
If you take time as an introvert, you can be able to understand the specific origins of your fear for traveling alone, what beliefs and thoughts trigger the fear, how the fear feels, etc. Your ability to self-evaluate is an advantage because understanding fear is one of the first steps to conquering fear.
One of my greatest fears as a shy solo traveler was finding myself in uncomfortable social situations with people I wouldn’t want as friends. Identifying this source of my fear has allowed me to consider the people I would love to interact with when I travel after which I choose destinations or places/environments I am most likely to encounter such people. Doing this has helped me have unmatched control of the social situations I find myself in.
3. Plan ahead
Like most shy solo travelers, my greatest fear of traveling alone was rooted in fear of the unknown. To beat my fear, I have had to plan meticulously for all solo trips I take. When traveling to a foreign country, for instance, I always take my time to learn as much as possible about that country to make social interactions with locals easier.
I look up every single place I plan on visiting and go as far as preparing conversation starters, i.e., open-ended questions which require more than a yes/no answer. My social interactions are less spontaneous and more intentional with a course of action if things don’t go as planned. I am usually more comfortable traveling solo when I prepare for everything including the unexpected.
There is no such thing as fearless people. Everyone experiences fear. So, never count yourself out of a trip you have always wanted to take because you are a shy solo traveler. Instead, learn to use your uniqueness to your advantage. Shy people or introverts process things internally. Therein lies your strength.
As an introvert, you are in a better position to understand the source of your fear for traveling solo (why you are a shy solo traveler) and find effective ways of dealing with the ”true” source of the fear.