People talk about the exciting bits of traveling such as meeting new people, seeing amazing sites, creating new experiences, experiencing various cultures, and even falling in love. Rarely do people talk about the challenges that may happen during the trip or things connected to coming back home. So do you know what the hardest part of traveling is? Before heading to your destination, read this article to prepare yourself for the 12 possible challenges of travelling.
The Hardest Part of Traveling
Overcoming your fears is exhilarating and conquering the fear of the unknown in a trip is an uphill task. For example, you may constantly worry about how to get to a destination and how things will turn out when you get there. Things connected to time of flight or train, hotel room booking, weather, transportation, etc. are all full of uncertainties, causing lots of worries and anxieties.
Anxiety of the first day
Many people experience their worst fears and anxieties when leaving for the trip because they are leaving their comfort zone. The first-day anxieties may make one feel like going back home. But the anxiety and fear reduce after one takes off and the heart will be filled with excitements instead.
Loneliness is among the greatest challenges of traveling alone. Loneliness comes and goes like an uncontrollable wave. Sometimes you can feel as free as a bird when travelling solo, while other times you may feel forgotten by the whole world. The solution to this feeling is joining a travel group or trying to make new friends along your way to keep you accompanied.
Things do not always work out as planned. Anything can go wrong when traveling including missing a flight or a late bus, running into storms without umbrella, or the resort being overwhelmed by tens and thousands of tourists. You cannot choose what life brings to you but you can choose your reaction, which shows your real character. The disappointments teach us a valuable lesson on patience.
Meeting the expenses
Traveling is expensive especially when traveling alone. Most travel agencies charge a higher price to solo travelers. To make things worse, even if you get two-for-one deal, you have no one to share it with when traveling alone.
Taking quality pictures
The list of the hardest part of traveling alone is not complete without saying how difficult it is to take photos by yourself all the time. You may carry a selfie stick, but taking selfies is tiring and you may even look the same in all photos. Besides, some worry about looking silly as they try to make a good pose and take photos of themselves at the same time. Yes, you can ask help from a stranger but you are not guaranteed of quality photos. What's more, the stranger may disappear with your camera within a blink. Even so, here comes the savior: consider using the timer on your camera to take some quality photos.
Attitudes of others
The attitudes of those close to you may be the hardest thing you have to deal with when you decide to travel alone. Your family and friends may mean well when raising questions about your decision to travel alone but it is difficult to respond to their concerns. For instance, they will remind you of people who disappeared or were attacked when traveling alone. You may also have to deal with attitudes of other people in your destination who get surprised that you are not traveling in a group.
Having your breakfast or lunch in a restaurant alone is fine but having dinner alone is sad. The groups of friends and couples enjoying their meals together will make you uncomfortable. You may encourage yourself and try to keep your head high but it is not easy.
To overcome this challenge, make lunch the main meal instead of dinner and order for an 8-course meal with a bottle of wine to indulge yourself. Besides, have your dinner in an informal place where it does not seem weird to eat alone.
The hardest part of traveling alone is getting lost. Although it can be exciting to get lost in a group or with a friend in a new destination, getting lost when traveling solo is definitely terrifying. Always wear comfortable shoes when travelling, especially if you are not sure of the directions, because you may be forced to walk for a longer distance. Remember to drop pins of your location and your hotel on Google Maps. You can access Maps on GPS, so you don't need to worry about an internet connection or roaming fees.
You will need assistance when traveling whether it is packing your bags in the plane’s overhead compartment or just watching your bags when you go to the toilet. Besides, you will need a helping hand when a taxi driver in your new destination tries to overcharge you or when you need to get supplies.
A warm tip: You should still believe that much as the world has many horrible people, the majority of people are human and willing to help you. If you want people to be kind to you, practice helping those in need.
Some people consider the hardest part of traveling is staying safe in a new place. And some safety rules you follow at home can help keep you safe during trips. For instance, avoid showing off valuable items or walking in quiet areas alone at night. Do book your accommodation in advance so you can find a reliable place to live in. In case you encounter an offender, scream for help and firmly ask him to leave you alone. Most importantly, always trust your instincts. Leave any place or any company that makes your feel uncomfortable.
Coming home after the trip
Leaving the new friends you met on your trip and the destination you fell in love with is difficult. It is also hard to go back to your day to day life, connect with your friends and family, and go back to work after a trip.