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EPISODE 008 – Solo Travel: you’re so brave

Summary

Episode 008 – Solo Travel: you’re so brave is where I discuss solo travel and why some people always say traveling alone is so brave.

Why is traveling alone a “brave” thing to do?

I have some friends who have never and will never go on a solo vacation. Case in point, I recently met up with two friends, both black and from large families.

Episode 008 You are so brave on Slow Traveling Soul Sister blog postOne friend said she doesn’t trust anyone – Wow. So, you only surround yourself with family and a small group of friends but trust no one outside that circle? Are you always looking over your shoulder? Are you inspecting the kitchens of the restaurants you frequent? Are your house and car door locks double or triple-checked to make sure you’re secure? Are all mail and packages laser-scanned before being touched? She has grown children; I wonder how many times a day she talks to them… She’s never used an Uber or Lyft or even taken a taxi because she’s afraid of being attacked. I’m a control freak but that is a level of… something that I’m so very glad I never reached.

The other friend said she doesn’t trust anyone from a foreign country. Again – Wow. You are a Black woman living in America and you only trust Americans? My mind was blown. No other country has such a fascination with guns as America does, except for other terrorist countries. I honestly fear for my life every time I come back to the USA and I pray every day for my family and friends that still live there, especially the men. So I asked: What bubble was she living in? Does she only ever go from home to work and back home? Does she watch the news? Has she ever been sent to the principal’s office by a diabolical teacher or been treated unfairly by bosses or coworkers for no reason? Yes, she has. Well, on that note I had to change my perspective: she does not live in a bubble, she just wears rose-colored glasses.

Granted one friend went from her mother’s house to her husband’s house but the other has lived on her own for a very long time, although not that far from her family.

I was still lost on both counts and really couldn’t fathom their narrow-mindedness.

I understand that there’s a lot of noise and personalities in families, especially large ones. You’ve got the eldest, the middle child, and the youngest along with sibling rivalry, the favorite, the one who got away with everything and the one who got punished for everything, the troubled one, the screamer, the cry baby, the free spirit, the overachiever, the popular one, the studious one, the athlete, the drama queen (or king), etc. And there’s really no opportunity to block out all of that noise from your relatives and discover yourself. Your real self. The true you. The you who can rely on your own instincts and trust your gut. The you who is ready to surmount obstacles, remove blinders, transcend comfort zones, and step out on faith – alone.

Fear of the unknown, lack of trust, lack of knowledge, lack of curiosity, or do you just believe whatever someone else tells you rather than see it for yourself… Some of these things or all of them are holding you back. Which is it?

It’s a Trust Thing…

Honestly, I think part of the problem might be that either you don’t trust yourself. And/or you don’t trust the God that you say you believe in.  Let’s examine these two theories, shall we…?

Theory #1: You don’t trust yourself.

Most of my friends that are afraid to travel solo are over 35-years old. Grown-ass women. I want to ask them: Did your mom go on that job interview with you like when she took you to your first day of school? Does your dad, sister, brother, cousin twice removed, go with you to get gas or pick up a smoothie? You go to work on your own, right? You go back home on your own, right? All those trivial things mentioned above are the nuts-and-bolts of solo travel. You go on business trips, right? I know that not everyone does but a lot of my friends who are scared to travel solo, do go on business trips. I wonder if they ever leave their hotel room without coworkers and colleagues by their side? I’ll have to ask. I always added 2 extra nights – usually the weekend before or after – to the business trip so that I could explore an unknown city or area.

Theory #2: You don’t trust your God.

If you did believe in God then you should know that your days are numbered, that the day of your death has already been pre-determined, that the holy trinity are the only ones in on that secret date, and that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change that date. So being afraid that you’re going to die “over there” vs “in your own house” or “with family nearby” are meaningless excuses because in that case, you would never travel at all, even with a group of family and friends, and you would probably never leave your house. So, why not live the life that you’ve been given and stop waiting around for someone to tell you what they saw or did on their travels and investigate it for yourself.

Did I hit a nerve? I hope so.

I have a set of videos that might help you with basics of solo travel and get you started slowly, with small steps, bit by bit. Have you ever gone to dinner by yourself? Have you ever played “tourist” in your own town or city? You should. Send an email to info@selfishmetravel.com if you want access to those videos.

Back to the subject at hand, solo travel is only a “brave thing to do” if you’ve never done it before or if you’re going to a place that is dangerous and/or treats women like chattel or worse. However, after the 20th solo trip, the term “you’re so brave” term gets really annoying. These are my friends. They know that I travel solo almost each and every time. I’m not brave. I’m just going to go where I want to go when I want to go. You see, I trust my gut and I also trust my God, first and foremost.

Queen Life

You can’t call yourself a Queen if you’ve never ruled – and that means going out, being brave, seeing and doing things sometimes on your own. Waiting on family and friends to have the money, be eager to make that move, or even want to go where you want to go… You will leave this world full of regrets if your dreams are squashed because you didn’t have the balls to go it alone when no one else was available or willing. That is the equivalent of being stuck. Queens don’t get stuck. Rulers are strategists above all things. They move forward or retreat, but they never stay stuck, at least not for very long. Be THAT Queen. Stand on your own two feet, open your mind, eyes, and instincts to all possibilities, and most of all, be brave.

 

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Dani Lew

DaniLew is a podcaster and a retired nomad who loves to slow travel around the world and share her travel stories and personal photography.The Slow Traveling Soul Sister podcast is all about me and my travels around the world for the last 40 years as a solo black woman, My motto: travel nourishes the soul and broadens the mind, but solo travel frees our imagination and builds our Confidence. #slowtravelingsoulsister #GoSeeDoBe

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