Please Don’t Be Afraid To Travel On Your Own

Please Don’t Be Afraid To Travel On Your Own

By |2016-10-01T19:53:46-04:00January 12th, 2012|Popular, Travel Tips & Advice|519 Comments

Afraid To Travel - Bundi, India
You want to travel. You make a vague plan. Maybe you’ll fly to Thailand or maybe to Mexico, but either way, you’re leaving in six months time. You start saving money, you start doing research every single night and your level of excitement grows with each passing hour.

Of course, as this will be your first ‘real’ travel experience, you’re a bit afraid to travel on your own and naturally prefer to travel with other people. So you start asking your friends to join you on your epic adventure. As you show them photos you found online of white sand beaches on a Thai island and of the Mayan ruins of Chichen-Itza, you are more than confident that you will have a travel partner or two in no time at all.

But interestingly enough, the first friend you ask, perhaps your closest friend, turns you down. And so you move on to the next friend, but they too, tell you that they have no desire to join you at all. The third friend, the fourth friend and even that guy that you don’t really like but whose company you think you could stand for a few months in Southeast Asia, all say no as well.

Suddenly, you are faced with the idea of embarking on a journey to faraway and very foreign lands all alone. You start to doubt whether or not you are up for the challenge, whether or not you have the courage necessary to survive as a solo traveler.

Maybe you decide to postpone your trip for another six months, hoping that one of your friends will change their mind and decide to tag along. Maybe you decide to forget about your trip altogether, fully convinced that you can only travel so far away from home with a friend or travel companion by your side.

You still desperately want to travel, so much so that you still spend many a night awake in bed researching random destinations, reading every travel article you can find and browsing through travel blog after travel blog. But now you try to accept the fact that what you read and see online is as close as you’ll come to actually traveling yourself.


Perhaps, during your online dreaming, you stumble upon my travel blog and you decide to stick around long enough to read a couple of posts. Maybe you find yourself reading this very post and you can relate to that process of giving up on your travel goals simply because you don’t want to travel alone. And in all honesty, if that is the case, then I’m quite happy that you are reading this post right now.

Here’s my advice to you. You may be on your own when you board that flight to Bangkok or Mexico City, but believe me, once you arrive, you’ll NEVER actually be alone.

That’s how travel works so don’t be afraid to travel on your own. Unless you stare at the ground and never talk to anyone, you’re going to meet people when you travel, lots and lots of people from all over the world who will be interested in meeting and hanging out with you. In fact, meeting new people is probably one of the easiest things to do when traveling because you have an instant connection with every other traveler. All travelers are strangers in a foreign land and as a result, we often would love an opportunity to travel with a new friend.

Maybe you’ll meet someone at the hostel or guesthouse where you’re staying or at a cafe, in a shop, on a bus or just in the street. Maybe you’ll end up wandering around a city for an afternoon with this person and then parting ways. And the next day, you’ll probably meet someone else to share new experiences with as well. Perhaps you’ll meet someone and decide to travel together for a couple of days or even a couple of weeks. Maybe your plans match up so well that you team up for a month or more.

The point is, you’ll meet plenty of people in just about every single corner of the world, even if you’re the most shy, introverted person on the planet.

Afraid To Travel - Drinks in Mumbai, India


When I left for Southeast Asia back in 1999, I did so all alone. Sure, I asked every single one of my friends to join me, just as most of us would do, but they all said no. However, after a long, hard internal debate, I made the decision to visit Asia anyway, with no travel companion. And this decision proved to be the most important decision I have ever made.

I won’t lie to you. When I boarded that flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok, I was shaking. I was so scared of the uncertainty that awaited me that I could barely even think and as a result, I couldn’t help but realize that this was the most terrifying experience of my life.

In fact, several years later, when I was given ten seconds notice one day that I would have to give a forty-five minute presentation to 1000 people on a cruise ship, the fear I felt at that moment was NOTHING in comparison to how I felt on that flight to Thailand.

But of course, despite the fear, as I soared high over the Pacific Ocean, high over Taiwan and eventually into Southeast Asia, I knew that there was no turning back.


…and I passed through immigration and customs at the Bangkok Airport and I even managed to make it from the airport into the city center without any problems despite the fact that it was after midnight. I spent the night in a budget hotel room and then, during my first stroll around the streets of Bangkok the very next morning, I met a British traveler at a cafe. We started talking and sure enough, we both had planned to travel overland to Cambodia in order to celebrate the Millennium at Angkor Wat.

That was it. Just like that I had a travel partner, less than nine hours after I had arrived in Bangkok. And we got along so well that we ended up traveling together for almost two months.

Will that happen to you when you embark on your adventure? There’s no guarantee of course. But again, if you look up, smile and start conversations with those around you, the chances of you actually being alone are quite small (unless you want to be alone).

And before long, you’ll understand why I answer every single email that asks me what it’s like to always travel alone with the very same response. I simply say, “I may be a solo traveler but I’m never really on my own.

So, with that now said, I urge you to not let the fear of traveling by yourself stop you from achieving your travel goals. It would be such a shame to let that happen, especially when that fear will disappear shortly after you arrive at your first destination.

Have you experienced this fear? Are you afraid to travel on your own? Have you reconsidered your travel plans when your friends didn’t want to join you? Do you agree that meeting people is quite easy while on the road?

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  1. Lukas February 4, 2020 at 2:51 am - Reply

    Hello, I am thinking about travelling alone too. Your article inspires me very much. But I have one question. How did you get the money for the things like the accomodations and the food trough the whole trip? I will finish school this Summer and I don’t have much money from the beginning for the trip.

    • Derek February 4, 2020 at 3:14 am - Reply

      Hey Lukas – Thanks for getting in touch. To answer your question…I worked. In the beginning, I taught English in Thailand. Then I worked on cruise ships, and then, I started working online. Travel does cost money but luckily, these days, there are endless opportunities to earn money in a way that gives you the freedom to travel as well.

  2. Bob December 9, 2019 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Derek, that’s WONDERFUL…great story to make a great point, namely traveling alone.
    I want you you and/or others here, however, to ease my mind about being a person
    with bad travel advice and about why so many convinced others of traveling alone,
    when all I could get from people was super-disinterest.

    After three summers of three-week treks to Central Europe in 1968, 1970 & 1973,
    the last being followed by returning to Massachusetts via a three-week trek to Mexico,
    1974-1979 found yours truly on his own, living/studying/teaching music in and around
    Mozart’s birthplace, the BEAUTIFUL city of Salzburg, Austria.

    I had everything organized either in advance or as I went along. With the exception of
    a FEW clothing items I had everything financed. I wasn’t from a rich family, but instead
    of saving money for a ’57 Thunderbird, I saved for trips. The last three years of that sojourn
    were spent being resident accompanist and piano teacher at the Salzburger Musikschulwerk,
    a position I credit with cementing my then-command of the German Language.
    I’m awfully rusty nowadays, because I encounter FEW people who speak German.

    In addition to studying at a foreign conservatory {Mozarteum} I had to get myself up to speed
    with the aforementioned foreign language, foreign customs, foreign currency {Schillings then},
    the Metric System, and on and on.

    Eating one’s way through a country…?!? Been there, done that FIFTY & SIXTY years ago…!
    Food Network? Nothing new…I recall Julia Child’s wonderful shows. I learned THEN,
    those shows don’t help much. I would explain the cuisine and even show pictures, but
    all too often I would get the reaction, “EeeeWww! How can you E-A-T that stuff???”

    BTW…like today, we complained about processed foods in America, so THAT’S no reason.

    ADVENTURE-SEEKING…? If what I’ve described is not enough…sorry !
    It took EFFORT to plan those years, which did include summers Stateside.

    Only in more recent years did more people start to discover and explore the nearby
    G-E-M region of the Salzkammergut, famed for its spectacular lakes and mountains.

    Yes, Derek, your WONDERFUL point about being alone is not really being alone
    comes alive with my memories. In addition to the sprinkling of Americans there,
    it was neat making new friends and acquaintances.

    In addition to the music job and studying organ and choral conducting, I was
    rehearsal pianist for six choruses, including the Rundfunkchor {Radio Choir},
    meaning more urgency to being able to operate with the German Language.

    A positive result was finally feeling, I BELONGED. Knowing Mozart or Haydn there
    is like knowing Babe Ruth here…it’s their HERITAGE !

    Y—E—T…………I was little more than town news simply for flying “across the pond”.
    Close to nobody was the least bit interested in “adventures” in Europe or elsewhere.

    So, Derek and others, please enlighten me. WHO was so clever as to convince
    others of these great aspects of travel, whereby I could not, and H—O—W ????????????
    I even gave travel agent work a serious look, but I ended up so discouraged,
    because I simply couldn’t convince others. Other people apparently CAN more easily.

    BLOW me out if the water…I am EAGER ! 🙂
    Thank you all for reading this and for any enlightenment.

    • Derek December 10, 2019 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Hey Bob – Thank you for that incredible comment and for sharing your tales with us. I have no doubt that was a wild time, all that traveling you did, actual, real experiences before having experiences became ‘cool’ and necessary for Instagram 🙂

      As for convincing others, that’s a tricky thing. I think today, we have the benefit of putting more of our travels out there for people to see and become enticed by. It’s stories, photos, videos, drone footage, all kinds of experiences that we can share with others. And when they can see and watch those experiences, they want to have them too. I guess it’s just easier to convince people of the benefits of travel now that we can share many of the benefits right online. That makes for a much more convincing argument when people can actually see what you are talking about instead of having to take your words and imagine it. But that’s just a guess 🙂

  3. Martina January 7, 2019 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    Is it that we all go through the exact same feelings? I was sooooo over-excited that I spent a whole year planning my first big trip up to the point of absolute obsession, with detailed itineraries about how to get from A to B, even if these were 5 blocks away jajaajajajajajajaja I don’t plan like that any more, and it wasn’t out of being a control freak but out of excitement as I couldn’t believe I WAS GOING OVERSEAS!!!

    Once you are there, if you enjoy it, nothing can really get in the way. Now I travel on my own quite often and love it so much.

    Awesome article!

  4. Portia October 28, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I have been to a lot of different places In life with my mum and brother as a young girl. However I no longer have that relationship with my mum to keep travelling with her. I try to arrange holidays with friends but none of them want to commit fisue to money issues don’t get me wrong I’m not flush but will g to save! I really want to start living my life and see the rest of the world but I’m so anxious when on my own I feel i’d struggle to travel on my own ‍♀️. But after reading this article and some comments it gives me a more positive view on travelling alone! If anyone has any tips or where would be the best place to go to ease me into travelling alone that would be amazing! Thanks in advance xx

  5. Josh July 29, 2017 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Having social anxiety and aspergers although my aspie traits are not bad, I get really anxious, but still love to travel, I’ve never travelled alone, which is why I was looking for advice from experienced travellers via Google. This is a very interesting and inspirational article. I need to stop day dreaming about backpacking snd go for it.

    I have ideas on where I want to go, learnt Spanish by myself for 5 years coz I wanted to go to Spain or Argentina, haven’t been yet.

    I also love to go to Australia, maybe for a few months on a working holiday, before I reach 30, I’m 28 now, or to the Philippines volunteering with WorkAway.

    But unsure whether to go first, somewhere close, either mainland Europe or here in the UK, by tour (or solo). Or go abroad with tours or go independent.

    I get constant what ifs. Like whaf if I don’t like the tour, feel left out or act weird, or too quiet/aloof or not like the company of certain people. That’s anxiety talking I guess?

    The group tours I seen online seem rushed and expensive, but are they worth it?
    I like to smoothen things if possible.

    What would you advice?
    Sorry if I’m asking silly or complicated questions hehe…

    • Derek July 29, 2017 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Josh – In the end, whether you enjoy the tour or the adventure or the workaway experience or the independent travel….it all depends on you. It doesn’t depend on those ‘things’. With the right mindset, one that focuses on experiencing and learning about the world and soaking up all you can from every day, will ensure that your travels are a ‘success’.

      In the end, you won’t gain anything from travel if you don’t go out there and do it!

  6. Dino March 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Traveling on my own was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. It takes you completely out of your comfort zone and improves so many aspects of your personality, such as your self confidence.

    I’d encourage everyone to try and take a trip on their own at some point. This is a really good post! 🙂

  7. Kathz Reyes December 18, 2016 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I’ve travelled 35 countries – 75% on my own. I don’t regret any single time that I travelled alone even in Africa. And yes, you’re right, I’ve met incredible people along my travel journey and they’ve been my bestest friends up to this day. For female solo traveller – traveling alone is all about street smart (common sense) and lots of guts. Thanks Derek – enjoyed ur blog, I’m a new fan!

  8. Digby November 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I want to head off to North India for about a month next year…Im stuck at how to plan it all and unsure how expensive india will be! If anyone has any tips and would like to travel with me, come along!

  9. Glenn November 14, 2016 at 7:18 am - Reply


    Wow I have just came across this blog whilst sitting at a bar such a great read! I’m in Beijing on my own. Iv always been a solo traveller and have never had any issues with meeting people although I’m finding Beijing that one bit harder. It’s so fast paced, everyone is always on the go. The time of year isn’t on my side either! Iv always stayed in hostels up until this trip where I thought I’d hotel as I knew I had a lot of things to ram into a short period of time! Hostels are where Iv met all the people Iv travelled with! Iv met no one here maybe because I’m in a Hotel! So now tomorrow I have an adventure to use public transport to find the Great Wall! It’s all about the excitement and the unknown though isn’t it!!

  10. Lisa October 29, 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I started traveling when I was 22 years old. It was a crazy experience. I think you will never get over with the anxiety and fear of traveling solo. I always say to others that its a matter of will and careful planning. I really enjoyed your blog and I also wanna share one of my fave travel blog out ther: Maybe you might be interested to check. I’ll be posted on your next adventure.

  11. Aimée October 24, 2016 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Lura, I am in the same predicament as you and I too am looking to travel to Thailand next year. I am from the UK. You already have a buddy here who would love to meet up with you and share your traveling dreams. Aimée

  12. Rainiero October 17, 2016 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I did my first solo trip this year, a short trip (three weeks) to Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. In my case I actually wanted to travel alone, I had found a travel partner but we didn’t agree on many details of the trip (starting by the countries we wanted to visit) so I gave it a shot, inspired by posts like this, and it’s definitely true, you’ll find people along the way and it’s a truly rewarding experience. Thanks for inspiring so much people into doing this, you can’t measure how much happiness you can bring to someone’s life just by writing an article like this one 🙂

  13. BAHTIYAR September 30, 2016 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Hello, Derek. First of all, let me tell you a few words regarding your blog. It is really awesome and very motivating. I have visited a lot of travel blogs, but your website is definitely the most original one. You are right traveling alone has loads of different advantages and positive sides. Traveling with a partner might be very annoying. Especially, if you choose a partner who does not suit to be your travel partner. On my travel blog I have written loads of different posts encouraging people to travel alone. You do the same thing. I think that traveling on your own is a more developing activity. This type of travel develops our spirit, intellect, and many other things.
    Thanks for a great post!

  14. Haley Young September 19, 2016 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl/Derek, my name is Haley Young. I came across your blog post today when I searched ‘traveling alone’. I am currently walking through an unwelcome and unforeseen divorce. I truly desire to travel and to meet and know the people and the different cultures of our world and to share Jesus outside of a mission project. I am pretty introverted and semi-antisocial, so this is extremely forward for me, however, I am wary of traveling alone and felt I should reach out to you upon reading your post. I know it’s a couple of years old and your life is probably very different at this point in time, but I would love any advice or wisdom you may have to share with someone in my current state. I have multiple projects I would love to embark on outside of my home state and country, some circling the realm of sustainable living/farming, and many encircling my deep desire to share the gospel. I would love nothing more than your advice or feedback. Thank’s so much for your time…


    Haley Young

    • Derek September 24, 2016 at 12:10 am - Reply

      Hey Haley – Thanks for the comment. To be honest, the main thing is to get out there first, to figure out what travel style works best for you, which parts of the world you connect with, etc. It’s difficult to plan projects before you even start traveling because there’s really no way to know how things will go once you will travel, there’s no way to know if you will even enjoy a particular destination until you get there. So the first focus should be on figuring out a way to just go somewhere, to get some travel experience, to get comfortable out there in the world. Once you have that and you feel more confident, you can start looking at moving forward with your projects.

  15. Laura August 23, 2016 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Hey all!!! So at the grand age of 47 I want to visit places by myself. I recently lost my job and my whole world has been turned upside down. Now working two jobs and one day I woke up and thought ‘What the hell am I working for’? I have no children, no partner, no mortgage, nothing to tie me down. Life is passing me by…I should be out there doing something instead of just working to eat, run my car, pay bills…what kind of life is that??? What I’d like to know is am I too old for hostel living?? I’m a bit of a loner too so maybe a cheap guest house would be best or maybe I should throw myself in amongst people and just embrace it! Any advice, stories, help would be fantastic.

    • Empathy September 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      You can never be too old for doing things that you are passionate about . Forget about your problems and just do it . Stop caring what other people think of you . Life is about feeling good most of the time . We feel good when we do things that we are passionate about . Be friendly and people would be friendly towards you too . Some of the safest countries for lone female traveler that I have visited are Singapore and Japan . I’m sure there are many more countries that are safe for lone travelers .

    • ellen January 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Hi Earl, I have been a fan of yours for years ! I am 66yeas old, recently divorced, an semi retired. Sold home an put possessions in storage. I traveled alone before marriage for business and for pleasure in a dozen different countries. ( Never got to take a Gap year RTW trip when I was a twenty something). For the last three years during divorce court I traveled to Australia, Africa , Penang ,Bali, St.Lucia and i just came back from spending 2 months in Spain walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. All as a Solo traveler. Staying in Hostels . Loving every minute of being Alive with all sorts of people from all over the world. Your age does not determine your state of mind and attitude! You got to step out ,take the First step an do it! Hell I’ve skydived twice already, just last year. Yes, I make friends along the way and that all happens if you Smile and greet everyone you see, and i’m not an extrovert. I do not take big expensive Bus or Cruise ships anymore. I am on a very cheap backpacker budget. I walk most everywhere along with taking trains, ferries,an local transport. I live like the locals. So to all you older fans out there. I say while you still have decent health ,you can travel anywhere!! I often spend a month or two in every spot, whats the Rush? I’m now off to an Ashram in India for yoga! Earl keep up the good work.

      • Derek January 31, 2017 at 7:23 am - Reply

        Hey Ellen – That is simply awesome!! I’m super happy for you and can’t believe all those adventures you’ve had. And I’m in India right now too…I hope you have a great ashram experience! And seriously, thank you for following along with the blog for so long. You have no idea how much that means to me!

    • Andrew June 12, 2017 at 11:51 am - Reply

      I guess it depends if you value your sleep and a bit of privacy, I normally use Airbnb, you can either rent out a room, or the whole property. Have you started to visit any places yet?

  16. Lura August 3, 2016 at 2:12 am - Reply

    I’m happy I found this blog. I’m happy I’m not alone thinking and feeling all these crazy feels. I’m from Philippines and most people there doesn’t really travel solo. I am currently in the middle of dilemma either travel next year or continue my contract. It’s just I was brought up pleasing and working for everybody. I’m 28 and never felt complete freedom. I needed a solo trip outside the country to know myself and enjoy but I’m freaking hella scared! Reading this shakes my dying inner desire to travel. I hope I’d meet wonderful people. I hope I could make my decision soon to travel in Thailand. Crossfingers to me. Good luck to us all!

  17. Mac July 19, 2016 at 3:43 am - Reply

    I don’t find it that easy! Because of the working world I’m used to pretending I know what I’m doing. I find myself marching through hostels like I’m on a mission! Slow down, chill, smile!

    I’ve not found a solution, but I’ve found the best bet is to try and get off the beaten track.. Try and get away from the group backpacker gap year crowd, and find a less trodden way.. Even better, find a hostel without wifi!

    And at the end of it, be yourself! Don’t lie, don’t talk rubbish just because you’re scared! Let your defence down – this isn’t school, people will like you! I’m still crap at meeting people, but I try and be a little better each time. Solo travel is all well and good, but I feel it’s so much better with a friend…

  18. Nathalie Egerton May 30, 2016 at 1:51 am - Reply

    I was always terrified of travelling by myself, and the first thing anyone would ever tell me when I told them of my travel plans was that is was unsafe.

    In reality, there weren’t that many risks and I found that as long as you used a bit of common sense, it wasn’t that unsafe. Even as a woman. This article reiterates that it really isn’t unsafe to travel alone, because you aren’t ever really alone anyway!

  19. Helen April 19, 2016 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    I have travelled solo at least 4 times & found a brilliant priced flight for my airline of choice, pretty much know my dates, know my destination, been wanting to go to one of these festivals for a year and now it comes time to book my flight and I realized I am actually procrastinating booking it…low and behold – it’s fear. First time I have had to google, “scared to travel”. Took a solo trip to Thailand last year leaving 4 days after I booked it and not much fear. Everything worked out well. Interesting to feel it this time. Thanks for sharing these words, beautiful and encouraging:
    “you’re going to meet people when you travel, lots and lots of people from all over the world who will be interested in meeting and hanging out with you.
    Maybe you’ll meet someone at the hostel or guesthouse where you’re staying or at a cafe, in a shop, on a bus or just in the street. Maybe you’ll end up wandering around a city for an afternoon with this person and then parting ways. And the next day, you’ll probably meet someone else to share new experiences with as well

    • monique April 29, 2016 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      So nice to hear. Im trying to find a place to travel to now that Im newly single. Im only use to traveling with my partner. I have no idea what I would do on my own

  20. Ru April 15, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I want to travel solo too! I’m just sooooo afraid lol! I plan on traveling first within the States and then maybe i’ll expand internationally.

    • monique April 29, 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Same here, Ive never traveled alone and now that Im newly single I don’t want that to stop me. Im going to try a few states that I haven’t made it to yet first

  21. Mark February 19, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Yes, absolutely agree with this. I made my first international trip back in November to Dubai. After all my friends declined my invitation …. I could not wait any longer and just booked a solo trip. Next thing I knew I was on the plane shaking with excitment. Oddly as soon as I landed I felt totally 100% comfortable. Something about being alone in a whole new world just felt exhilarating, a feeling I can’t put into words. Something everyone should experience.

    I’m off to Qatar in another two weeks… Traveling solo, but never really alone 😀

  22. Kim January 30, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

    I flew to Japan and spent a month in 2009. After that I became hooked on travel. I am planning to visit Algeria in 2016. I am new as a solo traveler and I have a question. How do you get Visa’s for traveling all over the world? I mean going from one place to the next with the requirements and time it takes to get a Visa. How do you do it?

    Thanks for sharing, I am learning alot.

    • Wandering Earl January 31, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      Hey Kim – It’s actually not that difficult. You simply need to look at the visa rules for each country and then plan accordingly. It also depends on your passport as certain countries have an easier time getting visas, or they don’t need visas for many countries, than others.

  23. Chelsea January 28, 2016 at 10:03 am - Reply

    I’m so happy I came across this! it definitely inspired me to travel alone. being a young female adult makes me extremely nervous to travel alone but I feel much more confident after reading this. 🙂

    • Lynsey January 30, 2016 at 6:27 am - Reply

      I feel the exactly same it’s a daunting thought but I feel lite now or never

  24. Alice December 26, 2015 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Thanks for this encouragment, I am going to South Korea on my own at 20 all the way from ireland, I worked hard to save the money and it has been a dream of mine to visit S.Korea since I was 13 years old and I was not waiting any longer for someone to come with me (My mom would have went with me but she would not have the money) so I booked it and I am heading off in February, and it’s all so surreal since it’s something I have wanted for so long but I keep going from being totally excited and thinking I can easily do this on my own to thinking I must be crazy going to the other side of the world on my own, it keeps going back and forth but I know I can do it and I am fulfilling this dream by myself, I have been on a plane on my own before, just from Ireland to Englanf but I had a friend picking me up there and it was only 1-2 hours from home on a plane so it’s totally different so I am real nervous especially since I am only a 20 year old and a female but i will be going and I plan to have a great time, a once and a lifetime trip but it would be nice not to feel this doubt as well lol.

  25. Izy Berry December 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Sometimes is difficult to take the decition of travel by your own but when you do it , i promise that you will not regret anaything

  26. […] confidence to travel, to turn all of the plans in my head into a reality. Just the thought of traveling on my own, the thought of showing up in a foreign land without my friends, my family, a familiar language or […]

  27. Yvonne October 30, 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Thanks for this post! I am setting off in February to travel around South America indefinitely on my own and it is indeed a terrifying sensation, particularly as a female! But I know it’s something that I just have to do, and it’s great to be reminded that I won’t be alone a lot of the time.

    • Lucía December 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      Hi! I am from Uruguay (South America). If you will visit my country i can give you some advice. I can tell you tan we hace the most beautiful beech and cost. Also Uruguay is really a safe place.

    • carol December 3, 2016 at 6:32 am - Reply

      im trying to get the gumption up to travel solo been to alot of places but always with some1 reading these comments are encouraging hope i can do it will so a small trip 1st i think. being a bit older does make you wonder how you will fit in.

  28. ennarr October 25, 2015 at 8:31 am - Reply

    I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog today. I am a petite girl from asia, i really wanted to travel alone this December but I am very nervous. I have traveled alot but never alone but I have decided to travel alone two weeks ago because of personal reason to Australia most probably for a month.

  29. Brock (Edges Of Earth) October 23, 2015 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Traveling alone, for me, is definitely not a fear. In fact, I would rather travel alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love people. I guess I want to stay away from the Western personality for a while. Get away from that mentality for a while. I really want to embark on different cultures and experience them to their fullest, by myself, with no other influences. Who knows, maybe I am just strange lol. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    • Alexis November 5, 2015 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Oooo,no, not strange at all. 🙂
      I wanna start traveling myself, and maybe find a job in Austria. And also maybe travel to Argentina, Thailand, and “them” other places. XD I’m kind of scared of going alone, but I’ll most likely force myself to get out the U.S. anyway because I wanna get away from the culture myself. 🙂

  30. Marlena October 23, 2015 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Wow! I’m so happy I found your website, Earl. I’m one of those people who would like to travel but is too afraid.
    I plan to make a trip to London as I always wanted to go there. But it takes time to get into the mindset of traveling alone. I was robed few times and would do anything to avoid this.
    but your articles inspire me a lot.
    thank you!

  31. Rebecca October 12, 2015 at 5:06 am - Reply

    This has inspired me to not be afraid to travel on my own

    • Mimi October 17, 2015 at 3:31 am - Reply

      Just go for it Rebecca! I am now preparing for a solo 7 day Kilimanjaro climb in December and a 3 day extension to the beautiful Zanzibar island all by myself, I can assure you that by the time I come back I would have met amazing authentic souls, believe me the feeling gets stuck for a long time, what can I say, it like I’m literally obsessed with have no boundaries and limitation. My boyfriend has also joined the solo travel world. When we share our individual travel stories, it feels out of this world. Remember fear is deadly and is the opposite of love. Love your solo travels!!!

  32. Mimi October 9, 2015 at 9:25 am - Reply

    My last solo travel, I went to Victoria Falls in Zambia & Zimbabwe. I am literally enjoying travelling alone at times, I get to have a lifetime experience as I become more aware of my surroundings and this allows me to connect easily with people. It’s scary at first but once you start you never stop!

  33. Ted September 29, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I normally travel alone and find it no problem, but then I may be an odd one out. If you do travel with someone or a few people there comes the time when one simple hold up means missing a train, bus or even flight and that can get very expensive.

    Choose your travelling companion carefully. Best friends usually have no real troubles, it’s when you link up with those you barely know that stuff can go wonky – but not always

    As you mention, fear can be a factor and finding someone who’s going to the same place, on the same flight sure helps out.

    I grew up travelling so it doesn’t bother me, but others of you it probably will, especially on your first few trips. You do get used to it though. It’ll help you grow and learn that you really can do something out of your comfort zone. Then the adventure starts….

    PS: the comments keep timing out Earl

    • Alexis November 5, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      (Thumbs up!)

  34. Ted September 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I normally travel alone and find it no problem, but then I may be an odd one out. If you do travel with someone or a few people there comes the time when one simple hold up means missing a train, bus or even flight and that can get very expensive.

    Choose your travelling companion carefully. Best friends usually have no real troubles, it’s when you link up with those you barely know that stuff can go wonky – but not always

    As you mention, fear can be a factor and finding someone who’s going to the same place, on the same flight sure helps out.

    I grew up travelling so it doesn’t bother me, but others of you it probably will, especially on your first few trips. You do get used to it though. It’ll help you grow and learn that you really can do something out of your comfort zone. Then the adventure starts….

  35. Giusi September 29, 2015 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Yes but don’t forget you are a guy… as a woman I traveled solo and enjoyed it but I am kinda leery of traveling to certain countries…Still wanna do it though. Maybe I should dress as a man? 😉

    • Alexis November 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      It’s not just women, but don’t let that discourage you. It’s good to know about safety issues, but don’t let the bombard you from your experience. Buen viaje (bon voyage) but I’m not a native Spanish person, I’m American. 🙂

  36. Jazz September 28, 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    I’m heading off for my first-ever solo trip to Italy tomorrow… I am a mix of nerves and excitement and uncertainty. I know it’s not going to be anything like I imagine (how would I know if I’ve never been there?) and I’m scared of being too optimistic. I’m using Air bnb as accommodation as I find hostels scary. I don’t mind being by myself but at the same time I enjoy the company of others and can get lonely. The problem is that I have zero confidence in my own social skills and I always just assume people don’t like me, I can be awkward. I don’t want to travel and be alone, not out of choice. I don’t want to go and just end up feeling left out and socially inadequate. I want to gain confidence and just be myself. I’m sick of this social anxiety.

    • Wandering Earl September 29, 2015 at 4:32 am - Reply

      Hey Jazz – Just get out there, enjoy the trip and let us know how it goes! I’m confident it’s going to be much different than you imagine in terms of socializing.

    • Marie October 6, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Jazz,

      I feel exactly the same!! Well done for booking it though and just going for it! I certainly haven’t plucked up the courage to. I would be interested to know how your travels go 🙂

      Marie x

  37. […] I wanted to see before retirement.  It seemed a little hopeless, but then I read a post titled Please Don’t Be Afraid to Travel On Your Own, which I can honestly say was one of the biggest factors in giving me the courage I needed to buy […]

  38. Nomad William September 21, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    This was one of the posts that I read before my almost year long trip into the big bad world alone.

    I can say it was the most life changing experience ever. I’ve made friends from all over the world, and learnt social skills and things about myself that I never would have.

    Travelling Solo is something I would encourage every single person to do if they can!

    All the best Earl, keep it up!

  39. Ying August 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl, thank you for this article. I’m glad I got to read it as I’ve been going through that whole process of reading travel blog after blog, dreamily looking at photos of other countries, and asking people to join me in traveling. Unfortunately, no one else prioritizes traveling. Everyone says no due to time, money, or just because traveling is not important for them. So I’ve realized that I have to take the plunge and just take trips on my own or I may be waiting forever for a travel companion. This article gives me a little more courage. I will still ask friends if they want to go with me, but with the knowledge that they will mostly likely say no and I will most likely travel alone. I am at peace with that. Thanks again!

  40. Claire August 10, 2015 at 12:06 am - Reply

    I’m a 22 year old girl and I’m a week into my first solo trip to Guatemala. I think I’ve spoke to more people in the last week than in any other! I took three planes and had conversations with the people around me for most of all three journeys. I shared a long stopover with another solo traveller in Newark. As soon as I left immigration in GC airport, I got on a shuttle and met three more travellers. And it goes on….

    People say Guatemala and Central America are dangerous but I’ve never experienced danger (I’ve travelled Central America before but not alone). Even for a girl alone, as long as you do research and make sure you know where to avoid, it’s fine. I love this part of the world and I’ll carry on exploring it and making new friends for a long time yet!

  41. mohammad August 8, 2015 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    i am 22 years old from dubai…it was great article..i am travelling tomorrow to bangkok for 8 days and its my trip and i am travelling alone..i am excited as well as i am scared coz i have heard many scams in thailand…does anyone have any advice for me that can help me in my trip..i will really appreciate that.but after reading ur article i feel i can travel depend on god…thank u

    • mohammad August 8, 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      its my 1st trp*

      • Ben August 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply

        Hi mohammad.

        Bangkok is AMAZING!
        The food is outsanding its fast,insane and beautiful .
        My best advice is as follows

        Get amongst it! Get to koh sahn rd. Drink beer talk to people eat the food. Treat the locals respect. Learn how to say no thank you in a friendly yet assertive and polite way. There are lots of hawkers and the can be very persistant.
        Go to the reclining budda the sky bar. Catch a tuktuk.
        Dont be flashy with what you wear and what technology you phne camera you will become a target.

        And please dont go with working girls.
        Dont be that guy!

        Above all have an amazing time and make friends.

        Go well good sir!
        And say a huge hello to bangkok from me and tell her I will be back soon!

    • Wandering Earl August 9, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Mohammad – I’m sure you’re going to have a very enjoyable experience over there!

  42. AJ August 5, 2015 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    This article is great! But what are your thoughts about a 22 year old female who’s never been alone, and terrible with direction, to go on a solo backpacking trip to South East Asia? I really want to go, but I’m super scared since I’ve never been there and heard bad stories about how they treat females…

    • Wandering Earl August 5, 2015 at 11:57 pm - Reply

      Hey AJ – In the end, I think if you do enough research you’ll find plenty of solo female travelers who will tell you that you should travel because it won’t be as scary once you actually start your adventure!

    • Amber August 6, 2015 at 4:29 am - Reply

      Hi AJ,
      I started traveling when I was 26. I moved to Egypt just months before the revolution/Arab uprising hit. I stayed and survived the whole thing. I’ve also traveled a lot of places alone. You just have to have confidence. I now live in China and have traveled to 25 countries (mostly alone) on my school breaks. I wish I would have started traveling at your age. This world is a lot safer than the media says it is! My rule is “Don’t watch the news!” Instead join couch surfing or other travel networks and ask someone who has actually been there, done that!

  43. fran August 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    I’m a 27 years-old girl, currently on a “break” -ugh- from what was a quite amazing long-term relationship. It may work out at the end, but for now I’m on my own. I’d always wanted to go to Japan so I’m pondering on taking a plunge and go there on my own, at the end of this month (!!!), as plane tickets are surprisingly cheap at the moment! I have travelled twice on my own, to the US and Europe, for academic purposes, but never to Asia or for a pleasure trip. All my other trips have been either with my family or friends (or my now absent boyfriend). I’m afraid of the lenguage barrier (my native lenguage is Spanish, and my spoken English is a bit rusty), and to get lost in Tokyo constantly, but at the same time, this may be the only time to do it, and a way to live new experiences that can contribute to think about my life in other ways. I dunno. Should I take the plunge, provided that my boss is kind enough to give me some vacation time?

  44. Sara July 24, 2015 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Dear Wandering Earl,
    My parents have made it very clean that I am not allowed to travel without any immediate family in the near future. They explain that I have to wait until I am 27 or older to gain experience while traveling for the first time. They have told me that they will cut off all contact with me if I decide to do otherwise. I know that I will be travelling alone in college and my parents will never understand my desire to travel. Is it worth the risk?

    • Wandering Earl July 26, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Hey Sara – That’s not something I can answer as that is just too personal of a decision. You really just need to think about it as much as you can, talk to your parents, and try to figure out the best answer for you.

  45. Joanne Sau July 20, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Hi. came across your blog while researching about traveling alone. I am planning something different on my big 30 this November and I plan to travel in Los Angeles California as a backpacker. I am a little nervous and excited at the same time. I want to travel on a budget yet still experiencing the beauty of LA (tourist spots).

    Any advise where to go? like tourist spots, clean hostel, pocket money, etc?

    P.S scared to travel alone but something in me wants to move ahead with this new experience.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Wandering Earl July 26, 2015 at 8:56 am - Reply

      Hey Joanne – That sounds like a great plan! As for advice though, I don’t spend too much time in LA so I can’t really answer those questions unfortunately. But a short look online should lead you to some bloggers who have been there recently and traveled around as backpackers. Enjoy the trip!

  46. Dustin July 12, 2015 at 11:54 am - Reply

    There may be some places that can be a bit of a struggle on your own, but I assure you that SE Asia is not one of them. If you have not been there, the unknown may seem a little scary, but it’s so easy and cheap to get by that once you are there, you will start having fun immediately. Sure, you will make some mistakes, but that is part of the process, and unless you do something really absurd, it certainly won’t kill you.

    Shanghai, where I live now, can be a little more intimidating if you don’t know what you are doing, especially if your a midwestern suburban kid – Think about a moderately well educated hillbilly going to Chinese New York. My first time there was also my first time out of North America (travelling on business, so alone, but not really) but I was able to manage some incredibly frustrating experiences that I later found are common to newbs here, and now I am better for it. Now, I love this city and what it has to offer.

    Since then, I have been very fortunate to have friends from the US that have moved to Singapore, Malaysia, and the Phillipines, so usually if I need a travel companion for Thailand or whatever, someone will go. However, after wrapping up my previous assignment in Shanghai, nobody was available. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Asia without seeing something new, so I pushed out my flight to the States and booked a ticket to Vietnam, which I explored “by myself” for a week. I met so many great people, both locals and tourists, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had.

    Learning to live on your own in a foreign land improves your perception of the world and the people that inhabit it, and it opens up so many opportunities that you would otherwise miss. Trust me, you are far more capable than you may think, and the only thing stopping you is you. Just go.

  47. EJ July 2, 2015 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Hi Sir,
    I am 24 years old, wanna travel more n more. But I am in the same situation as you were. No travelling comapnion. All of my friends said no. So I decided to go to bangkok for one week. Can I join any group. Where can I find such group. If not please guide me for the Solo trip like what are the places that I have to visit…

    • julie August 10, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      HI, My daughter went to Bangkok on her own and then joined a group called “Thaintro” I would highly recommend it – she had a great time and met great people. IPhones are a wanted item in Thailand so keep your electronics secure in a waterproof pack at the beach – she had hers stolen (her own fault) but thefts are a concern.

  48. Kiana June 21, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

    I’m a 15 year old girl who lives in switzerland. I want to go study Japanese in Tokyo for like 4 weeks or more, but all that next year when I will be 16 and have the longest vacation(about 9 weeks<- it won't be like this in the next 4 years). This is all organized by EF swiss (gives students the opportunaty to study foreign languages and get to know the kulture in this specific country) and I wanted to ask if I am too young…on the website it sais that even 13 year olds can do this. Well unfortunatly my parents are more negative about it, yet didn't say no. They want me to wait 2 more years, but in my eyes this is too long and I really want to do this next year(when I have 9 weeks of vacation)rather than when I only have 4. What do you think of this? Am I really too young and too irresponsible? Should I wait 2 more years 'till I'm 18? I'm stuck and I don't want to fight with my parents anymorr just to lose all the time…Should I just accept it and let it go or should I keep on working/fighting to achieve what I wanted? (Sorry for my English. I tried hard) please help me.

    • Wandering Earl June 24, 2015 at 12:38 am - Reply

      Hey Kiana – Thanks for writing but I’m not too sure I can help out with this one. That’s quite a personal/family decision and it really depends on how you feel in terms of whether or not you are ready and how your family feels. There’s a lot to take into consideration with this and again, it’s just too difficult for me to tell you what to do.

      • Kiana July 3, 2015 at 11:46 am - Reply

        Thanks anyway 🙂

  49. Martha June 18, 2015 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I’ve booked a flight to Bangkok on a whim a couple of months ago, it’s now a week before I go and I can’t tell you how apprehensive I am about it- but also excited. This is the first time I’ve travelled alone, and I’m going to be backpacking around thailand for 8 weeks. This post has helped a lot, I have worries of meeting no one and being completely alone in an unfamiliar place but I guess I’ve done the hard part in deciding togo and booking it? If anyone else is going to be there july or August itd be great to make some contacts!

  50. Jenny June 18, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Somewhat reassuring. My 20 year old son has left this morning with a knapsack, saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll be safe.” I am worried. I know he’s smart but it’s that if 5 guys pull over while he’s walking down that road, how will he handle that? But you got through and I guess he will too.

  51. Rose June 7, 2015 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Yes! I am just ending everything in my life and just researching and %100 going traveling… but this exact thing happened to me. I asked a few of my closest friends and they don’t want to go. I knew it though. Lol. I know that there will be other people, it is just scary to think it will just be me out there with little money. I am a female. I have considered going with a group, but i need to find a decent one going my way. I have a general plan to start in the states, use and bike my way to better places. There are other programs I may use, but I’m not sure where I want to go from there. My ultimate goal is everywhere, but starting can be super scary. Do you have any general suggestions for me?
    Thanks a bunch– Rose

    • Wandering Earl June 15, 2015 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Hey Rose – My advice is to avoid having a goal of traveling ‘everywhere’. Just focus on your first destination, get there, enjoy the experience, keep an open mind and network with the people you come across. Then, just see where the adventure leads.

  52. Amber June 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    When I first moved to Egypt to embark on a two year teaching contract, alone, people thought I was crazy and I should never go. I taught for two years (Aug. 2010-June2012) and if anyone knows those years, (I call them my revolutionary years) I look back and people ask if I regret going because of being there during the Arab uprising, ect. and of course every time my answer is “no” because I learned so much about things living there during that time. I also traveled to about 15 countries in the two years I lived there. I traveled the majority of the time alone, because you ask around and people say maybe, or no and I just decided if I want to go somewhere, I am going to go either with or without people. It is now my third year in China and I have one more year left. I am so glad I found your blog because I am currently planning to finish my contract next year and travel the world for at least a year if not for a good part of the rest of my life! Your blog is inspiring and I am sure you will hear from me with questions from time to time. I will definitely be throwing some “tips” your way. I am so happy to find a site like this. It gives me comfort to know that I am not the only “crazy” one out in this small world. Traveling gives you the opportunity to see so many wonderful cultures and meet amazing people at the same time enjoying life. Anyway thank you SO much for this site!

  53. Pam June 2, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    I stumbled upon this after asking google, “If any mothers fear to never return after a solo trip”. I was so happy to read this! After asking everyone and their moms who wanted to join and being turned down every single time. I decided to embark on this journey alone, booked a trip to a quiet little beach town in Mexico called Sayulita. But, as the day gets closer 30 days to be exact! I am getting all these nightmares and fears any help or advice. It’s the first time I travel alone and my big fear is not returning to my 2 year old princess. Thanks!

  54. Passainte Assem May 26, 2015 at 4:18 am - Reply

    Well I do enjoy traveling alone so much, and I sometimes meet people on the road however I get too shy to be the one who initiates any talking, I am always concerned about how people from other cultures will perceive me, or maybe if I become too friendly that would be like imposing myself, and “invading” people’s privacy…
    How can I get over this feeling?

  55. M Roy May 10, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

    My son, 20 years old, wants to travel alone to Georgia and Armenia for 3 weeks this June. Are these countries safe for a 20 year old? He has not travelled alone earlier. He has only visited the United States as an exchange student for a semester last year. He is cautious by nature but I am worried that he might fall into dangerous situations or meet undesirable characters in such countries. Should he curtail the duration of his trip. How could it be made safer?

  56. karli May 7, 2015 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Great read! Definitely made me feel better about my trip to Thailand in September. I’m not truly traveling alone for this trip, I will be meeting two friends who will be there already, but I will be alone for the initial plane ride etc. to meet them. What scares me the most about this trip is getting myself to them; I live in a small northern town in Canada and have never flown internationally, I’ve been outside Canada but always driving only.
    For this trip I will be flying to Bangkok with a stop in Taipei; from there I will be flying and/or bussing to the small town they’re volunteering in but haven’t booked that half yet. What scares me the most is flying alone is its out of country to where English is not a first language. I’m very worried about not being able to navigate the airports or I’ll get on the wrong bus or something along those lines. I know I’m probably over thinking it as people do this often but since I’ve never flown outside Canada I have no clue what to expect.

    Any tips or advice about what to expect and what i need to know to get through this would be appreciated greatly! Although hopefully I’ll get lucky and meet someone on the flight from vancouver 😀
    Thanks again and happy travels!


    • Jacqueline May 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Karli:

      My daughter has been gone now one week – she also left a small town in Eastern Canada (alone) and had never traveled alone. She went through London/Delhi/Bangkok. I was so worried for her and the airports were absolutely fine – she had no problems and often there are English speaking airport personnel. She met someone at the Bangkok airport – I have had lots of contact with her and she is having a wonderful time and feels very safe. So if you use trip adviser and /or other travel sights and research the airport and transportation to meet your friends you will feel more confident and your friends are no doubt giving you advice as well. I can’t believe I am encouraging you as I was an absolute wreck with my daughter leaving home and she arrived and so did her luggage. She uses a book about Thailand from Lonely Planet and it has walked her through a lot. Good luck and have a great trip.

  57. Julius May 4, 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Im leaving to taiwan in a week time, and im havin this thinking if i have made a wrong choice of my life, to decide to travel solo for 6mths. At certain nights im havin dreams,mostly nightmare of being broke along the road or gettin totally lost in countries that i dont even speak the language. fear is approaching closer n closer but i cant back out too… i hope somebody out there is keen to travel w me some how….

    • Anna May 5, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

      Don’t panic – what you are feeling now is completely normal. It’ll go away as soon as you get on that flight. Or at least after your first week. Hang on there, I’m sure your trip will be great, this pre-trip anxiety happens to most of us.

  58. Catherine May 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm - Reply


    So I’m looking to travel the world! I’ve got Australia, Thailand, Fiji, Asia and The Med on my wish list …

    Trouble is that I’m apprehensive about travelling alone and just don’t know where to start with regards to where to fly to first, where to stay and just how to generally get around!

    Anyone in the same boat with any tips and tricks? or even somebody looking for a travel companion that would be open to meeting up and travelling together?!

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Catherine May 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      P.s – I’m 21 and from the UK! 🙂

      • Chris M May 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm - Reply

        Hey Catherine, I booked travelling with my mate about 2 months ago and he has just pulled out on me, meaning im going it alone. I haven’t got your exact locations on my trip but I am going to Thailand and Oz, when are you planning on going?

        • Catherine May 16, 2015 at 10:23 am - Reply

          Hey Chris!

          Since posting this I have taken the plunge and booked a one way ticket to Australia! Leaving on 30th May, I will be joining a group called OzIntro where I will have a week in Sydney with this group then I will be just floating about after that! Would definitely recommend you check it out! 🙂

          • Jacqueline May 16, 2015 at 11:48 am


            If OzIntro is associated with Radar Tours as Thaintro is you should have a great time. My daughter was with thaintro for a tour and so far so good :).

          • Jacqueline May 16, 2015 at 11:51 am

            If Ozintro is with Radar Tours I think it will be a very informative first week. My daughter is with Thaintro and is enjoyed her intro in Thailand. Organization seems very helpful – she is not home yet but so good.

          • Jacqueline May 16, 2015 at 11:51 am

            If Ozintro is with Radar Tours I think it will be a very informative first week. My daughter is with Thaintro and enjoyed her intro to Thailand. Organization seems very helpful – she is not home yet but so good.

      • Carl May 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply

        Am up for this been wanting to go ages but scared to go alone

    • Wandering Earl May 5, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Hey Catherine – I would just choose one place and don’t worry about the other destinations. Choose the place that excites you the most and concentrate on that as your first destination. Then start doing research about that destination – where to stay, how to get around, etc. It’s much easier once you pick a specific country because you can narrow down your research!

  59. Hope April 22, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply


    I’m Australian and currently 17 years old, year 12 at school.

    I’m planning on making a 6-month trip to Japan alone in the second half of 2016. My current worry is finding jobs to support myself while over there…

    All of the processes seem complicated when I look online and I just need a simple layout of how I can make this work.

    Please Help!!!

    Thank you~!

    — Hope

    • Iris June 11, 2015 at 4:58 am - Reply

      you can teach English in Japan, a lot of long-term travellers do that. people who speak English as a native language usually have an edge over other ESL teachers who dont. Plus, there are also millions of online jobs, whether, contractual, part-time or full-time posted everyday on different platforms.

  60. Julie April 21, 2015 at 5:30 am - Reply

    HI, My daughter is leaving for a three week trip to Bangkok various stops and ending in phi phi – she is with a tour group for 14 days but then on her own for a week to navigate back to Bangkok and catch her flight home (Canada) – any suggestions for a nervous mom. She is 21 has limited travel experience, except for a couple of resorts in Caribbean. Her first 14 days are with a group – she will have a Thailand cell phone. I am totally losing my mind lol.

    • Sarah M April 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      You’re daughter is going to have the most amazing time. I arrived in Koh Phi Phi six nights ago, already secured a way to sustain myself as well aa met some amazing people. Trust me, let her go. My mum had the same anxiwsties, and sometimes still does. But I promise you it would be Dar worse to suppress her dreams xx

  61. Troels April 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    I’m 19 years old. I currently live a dull jobless life, constantly searching for work, but too vain and apathetic to actually do anything about it. I wouldn’t say that I was actually living, if someone asked. Merely just existing, floating with the wind.
    But I have this very, very strong desire and urge to explore. To travel and meet new inspiring people. But it’s a fight against the current. I want to travel alone to face with my fears and to grow into a more mature and complete person. But my anxiety punches me back into this dull way of living. Besides, I have not much money, but I really want to just get out and and explore life.

    Do you have any ideas or tips on how to just travel with (almost) no money at all? Do you have any tips on how to conquer the anxiety in order to live my life the fullest?

    Best regards from the troubled young european man.

  62. Michael April 10, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply


    This post was really insightful. Thank you. I’ve studied German for 7 years and have never visited the country… 🙁 This summer I want to do a 1-month trip before my language proficiency disappears.

    I have no travel experience, and I’m likely going to be travelling alone. Any tips/websites for finding “reliable and safe” hostels, most economical way to travel across germany via public transit, and any tips in general for solo travel (*things not to do, especially – red flags from people, hostels, etc.).

    I just want to have a positive experience, and learn about German people and their beautiful culture, without feeling stressed and unsafe. I know that Germany is a safe city, but my parents are being unsupportive of my decision, even though I speak the language and am very responsible.

    22, male

    • Sarah April 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Hey there.
      So I was a bit like you. Apprehensive about my first completely solo trip. I booked my one way flight to thailand. Now I’m here, you know what? I absolutely love it. On the first day I made new friends and since then the group has got bigger and bigger. Solo travel is never alone! Unless you want to be. I’ve been in Bangkok for only three days but can easily say it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had I’m my life. I’ve even had a job offer from a hostel owner. The best thing to do, as wiith most things in life, is to just throw yourself into it! My parents didn’t like it either but thanks to Skype they can check up and make sure I’m ok. You’re never too far away of needed! And once gone they realise this too. Now I just got to find a way to keep travelling longer. Lots of love, S xx

  63. Rick @ Bamba Experience March 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I totally agree, travelling alone rocks! I have been living/travelling for 10 years, always alone, although alone is very relative since you meet soo many people it is hard to remember them all!

    • M March 14, 2015 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Recently divorce other side of 35 thinking about going to Japan end of April. I travel for work but travelling solo for pleasure I’ve not done. This is an opportunity to start over and make new friends and start over… Would love to go – but is Japan the place to go and not feel completely alone? Where are the best places to go? Does anyone recommend Japan?

      • American Gaijin March 25, 2015 at 2:39 am - Reply

        I’ve been living and working in Japan for 6 months and wouldn’t recommend it if you’re planning on meeting travel partners or many people. Most expats keep to themselves and there isn’t much English spoken. However, if you’re planning to travel because you want to experience the culture and sights, then go for it! There are also sites like that have events for expats and locals.

  64. charlotte March 1, 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Its very interesting to read everyone’s posts…I can’t believe how much i can relate to everything your all saying..I thought it was just me thinking these things.
    After years of dreaming about travelling I’ve finally booked my trip and leaving for Asia at the beginning of April.
    I am also travelling solo and I am soo nervous about being on my own.
    The thing I’m worrying about is how safe is thailand/asia? My family r really worried and their concerns r starting to rub off on me :-/ please help!

    • Sarah M March 4, 2015 at 5:34 am - Reply

      Hey charlotte!
      I went partially travelling round India and Sri Lanka on my own and just booked my own fully solo trip starting in bangkok in april. From my experiences travelling round these areas are perfectly safe as long as you keep your wits about you. I know no one who has had any major issues and from I’ve read fits this too.
      Youve done the hardest part by booking a flight!
      S x

    • Espyro March 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Hey, charlotte!
      What coincidence! I’m also headed to SE Asia (Bangkok, Thailand), for April 1st this year! And I’ve had the same problems. I’m happy that I might have good advice or even a solution for you!
      Yes, Thailand might be dangerous according to statistics, but once you’re there, it’s all different. As Earl said, with a normal level of common sense, almost everywhere abroad is hardly more dangerous than at home, and Thailand is definitely no exception. You’ll be fine, as the risk included (which is much more tiny than you would imagine) is nothing in comparison to the opportunity you’re giving yourself. If you really need to be secure, go ask the people who actually did travel and thus can speak out of experience! Earl wrote several great posts about this topic, and so did many, many others. They’ll never tell you that the risk is too much, because they know.
      The actual problem is that your family will always worry. It’s very hard to convince them, even with best reasoning and a well of information to back you up. A caring mother can’t do anything but worry for her child if it’s thousands of miles away, even knowing that he/she is as cautious, reasonable, intelligent, etc. as ever possible. Another reason is that if someone can’t imagine doing something for him/herself, he/she is likely to project it onto you. People who are uncertain of themselves are often just as uncertain about a friend/family member. And being unable to convince them is totally fine! Why? Because they can’t even know if travelling is right! They haven’t tried it for themselves! Besides the ones who did travel for a longer time in a faraway country. I found that those are the ones in my family who agree with me and support me. Try to talk to people who did similar things in their lives.
      I think you should stop trying to convince your worried family members. You should state out that you understand their worries but are confident that things are going to work out and that you can do this. That’s all you can do. You can listen to their advice, as sometimes there come good ones you haven’t heard yet. But that’s it. They don’t have to understand this rationally because the problem is emotional. And more importantly, you’re the one who needs to be convinced, not them! Don’t misinterprete their concerns as your naivety, or your inability to convince them as a badly reasoned plan of yours. You can do this and you’ll be fine. Let go of having to convince them, and their insecurities stop peeling off on you. 🙂
      Hope this helped. We can talk about stuff in detail if you want to! I still wonder that there’s so many guys visiting Thailand this April… 😀

    • Rob March 28, 2015 at 1:44 am - Reply

      Hey Charlotte / everyone –

      Turns out I leave for Asia beginning of April as well. I fly into Bangkok late April 2nd, spend two nights (Rambuttri Village Inn), and plan to head north from there. Keep me posted if you’d like chat about the trip further!



      • Sarah April 12, 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

        Hey Charlotte. In Bangkok for Songkran. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done! Will be around this area for foreseeable future so if you’re ever lonely lemme know!

  65. Scott L February 28, 2015 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Hi guys,

    I recently found out my wife has been cheating for many years. Of course, I’m filing for divorce but with great sadness and hurt out comes traveling!

    I’ve never been travelling especially solo and I’m planning a trip within the next couple of months from North to south of the West coast of America.

    Starting in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, LA and finish in San Diego? I’m a chef by trade and I think this trip will turn into a ‘food trip’.

    So, my question is (as a Brit) how should I go about my trip?

    P.S – I’d be lying if, I said I wasn’t somewhat scared travelling by myself.

    • Anna March 2, 2015 at 4:49 am - Reply

      Hi Scott,
      I’m not from the US but I just wanted to comment and say that I think you’ll have a brilliant time travelling alone. Your plan sounds really good, will you be driving?
      Don’t be afraid of travelling on your own, it is a fantastic thing to do in my experience. I’m planning to do a US road trip alone within the next couple of years, I’m very excited about it. I’ve done trips on my own and I am convinced that it is the best way to travel. Good luck, let us know here how it goes!

  66. Patricia February 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I’m planning a trip by myself to Los Angeles by myself for a meeting for about 3 days but I’m so worried about leaving my son I don’t know what to dooooooooo ahhhh

    • Linda February 27, 2015 at 6:13 am - Reply

      He will sense your anxiety. If you act like its no big deal he will not worry. Kids need to learn coping skills and a three day separation will help him learn he is ok without you and that you’ll be back. I am saying this with the benefit of hindsight as my kids are grown and on their own now!

  67. Brian February 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    I have a quick question to those who have travelled solo. I’m planning a trip to Thailand for 3 weeks, leaving April 8th. Should I plan everything in advance, as far as where to stay? I like the idea of having everything planned out but at the same time I’m worried if I meet some cool people and decide to change plans it might be better just to do everything on the fly. Any suggestions?

    • Anna March 2, 2015 at 4:53 am - Reply

      Hi Brian, I don’t think you should. You can but it’s best if you’re flexible and prepared to do other things. My best trip was when I booked a hotel for the first 3 nights and everything else was unplanned. I met a fellow traveller who suggested an island in Thailand that I would have never thought of going to without his input and I had the best time there. So I reckon just do everything on the fly. 🙂

  68. Bill Persson February 12, 2015 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Very interesting article and some aspects made me think of my current situation. At this moment I don’t have a traveling partner or neither any experiences of traveling solo in southeast asia but I have been having thoughts of leaving of to Thailand for 2,5 to 3 weeks in december this year but I have some obstacles in my way. One concern is that my parents are quite worried about me planning going through a trip like this by myself not to mention my experience with traveling. Also I have a very little information about Bangkok such as where cheap guesthouses are in the capital and what to do there so I don’t know if I should stay 3 weeks in Bangkok which is my main destination but now I have gotten second thoughts due to the fact that its a big city filled with so much to offer which comes to another concern..that is, how much of a travel budget should I bring along with me and to be honest.. I am quite a saving person then a spending one and the round trip flight with Qatar Airways will cost 6100 swedish crones (I am from Sweden) so alot of money already goes to flight there and back home. One thing I do realize is that in Bangkok you don’t have to spend to much money each day but I have these thoughts that are still bothering me. That’s why I need some help and that is if I should stay in Bangkok for those three weeks or should I stay there for a shorter period and also about the travel budget, how much would it cost for an 18 year old to spend a good time in Bangkok or wherever it is recommend to stay during some time for a cheap price and how would a suitable travel schedule look for me? By the way I don’t party to much and since I am by myself I am taking more precautions. So for me a good time basically would mean enjoying the environment and the surroundings and possibly visit any beaches not to far away. But also I want to know what there is to visit in bangkok and that when I leave I need to have alot to bring home with me (stories etc). I know it may sound much to ask for but it would be truly helpful getting some answers from someone with a little more experience.
    Cheers! / Bill

    • Nadia March 2, 2015 at 4:38 am - Reply

      Hi Bill,

      For the budget hostel, you can search along Khao San Road, it’s a very friendly place for budget travelers and you will meet all travelers across the world! There are so many solo travelers in Bangkok, you don’t need to much worries! I suggest you to google and collecting info about what do’s and don’t in Bangkok, very useful before you do solo traveling and you don’t have to spend a lot there. Anyway you will enjoy Bangkok!

    • Sarah M March 4, 2015 at 5:42 am - Reply

      Hi Bill.
      A one-way flight through Norwegian airlines for me cost £230 from London to Bangkok. There are cheaper flights available so try momondo.
      Best option is to research where’d you’d like to go. Ive been told by some friends they prefered Chaing Mai to Bangkok so always better to keep yourself Open to options. Khao San road will be my first destinantion when I arrive 9th April, I’ll keep you update when I’m on the ground.
      I literally can’t wait, I’m like a kid at Christmas!
      S x

    • Sarah M March 4, 2015 at 5:42 am - Reply

      Hi Bill.
      A one-way flight through Norwegian airlines for me cost £230 from London to Bangkok via Oslo. There are cheaper flights available so try momondo.
      Best option is to research where’d you’d like to go. Ive been told by some friends they prefered Chaing Mai to Bangkok so always better to keep yourself Open to options. Khao San road will be my first destinantion when I arrive 9th April, I’ll keep you update when I’m on the ground.
      I literally can’t wait, I’m like a kid at Christmas!
      S x

      • Bill March 6, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

        Hello again everyone. My plans have changed alot since my last comment and I will be presenting it now. I have planned this huge solo backpacking trip to Thailand with a start in bangkok and then I move on from there. I’ve already booked my round trip flight ticket with emirates for 5000 swedish crones (about 600 dollars) which in my mind is a pretty good price considering that I will travel in 8 months (22 nov to 22 dec) so it’s a early ticket but with a good price on it. Now I’m focusing about learning as much as I can about Thailand (Places, Food, Budget, Travel plan and the list will move on..) and also the preparation tools and preparation musts (Health insurance, inoculations…) and I’m on a good path of finding alot of tips and information from websites, books and other backpackers experience. But my major issue is how I can avoid negative talk and worries from people without it impacting me in a bad way, especially my parents since they are worried a bit for now but it will turn more serious as the time goes by until the date I will travel. If I didn’t mention it before, I am 18 years old (19 at the 9th december) and my big goal with this trip is basically to “find myself” and to lay off the big and exhausting thoughts of how I want my future-plans to be and also to forget how horrible my high school years has been (bad grades, depression and hard work) and turn it around into a life change and to experience something new and maybe even “cure” these kind of bad tremendous feelings with the help of this trip. Since I am going solo and for this being a first time trip on my own I will of course be aware that I only need to take care of myself but at the same time I am also looking for new people to come in contact with and to experience a whole new level of interactions as I am in Thailand with alot more people looking for new friends and adventures and in that way I won’t really feel that lonely. But to summarize my problem here, it is basically people expressing negativity and worrying towards my big travel plan like my parents and other closeby relatives, how can I handle their talk without them bringing me down? Also a few tips and support will also be really appreciated :).
        Thanks in advance, Bill

        • Anna March 10, 2015 at 9:43 am - Reply

          Oh Bill, hang in there! I think I know what you are going through. I went travelling to Thailand on my own for the first time a while back and my friends and family were exactly the same. I was lucky that they didn’t have much time to sour things for me I made a snappy decision, bought a ticket and I was on my way 3 weeks later! I also flew with Emirates, I remember everything on that flight seems awesome, the food, the view, my seat, everything. I was so happy! I was travelling, alone! I felt I was the coolest person in the world, all those naysayers had no idea about any of the excitement that solo travel brings. Solo travellers are the coolest bunch in the world of travellers, so you’re entering the club of some of the world’s most empowered people.
          Listen, you will love it. You seem like a thoughtful chap, and all you need is some common sense in South East Asia, whatever people say it is one of the safest travel destinations in the world.
          In the meantime, if you’re feeling down just read travel blogs, talk to fellow travellers online – like here – read other people’s experiences, write all kinds of lists of what you want to do. Oh, also I usually write a personal diary and write down all the negative thoughts that I”m experiencing, it almost works like that I can just shut them away by writing them down.
          So, in short, keep yourself excited by talking to fellow travellers, reading about your destinations and write down (and shut away) those negative thoughts.
          And if you want to know anything specific just ask here 🙂
          Very excited for you, you’ll have a brilliant time!

          • Bill March 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

            Hi Anna, thanks for your tips and support :)! I will definitely take part of what you said and use it towards the rest of my planning for this trip. As for the negative thoughts I will use your advise and the worrying from parents, I have learned that I have to accept it because it’s just a part of being a parent, caring. For now I’m still working through my last months of high school and of course I am still planning but you make me feel more comfortable now that after you explained that Thailand is more safe then what you think, so overall it seems that what people who haven’t experienced Thailand might have some of their words based on rumors? Also I am wondering, how do you think of my plan on trying to connect with other backpackers while I am Thailand so I don’t make myself feel to lonely? Because I got a feeling that since I am “unexperienced” I might feel a little homesick sometimes :P, but how have you experienced your three weeks by yourself?
            Sincerely, Bill

          • Anna March 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

            Hi Bill, I’m glad I could help a little 🙂
            Connecting backpackers while you there is more like an idea that seems good now – when you’re there, you won’t need it. You’ll meet people, it’ll be very easy. Even if you’re shy – there’s a lot of people travelling on their own in Thailand and even the ones in group are very open minded. And if you like someone, you can decide to travel with them on the spot. And if you don’t like them anymore or want some alone time, you can do that too. The awesome advantages of travelling alone 🙂 I had more than three weeks, I had over 6 for the first time then I had 3 months once later. That was brilliant.

            I didn’t plan, I mean I did but more for fun not for something to follow strictly. I ended up talking to this hippyish guy at one place who recommended this cool island that no one I ever talk to even heard of and I met some really cool people there. Then decided to travel with them for a bit. Then we parted and I was alone. And then met some other people. This is how it goes pretty much.

            Maybe you’ll feel lonely from time to time and you know what? That’s ok, too. That’s the beauty of travelling, you have all these experiences and feelings – the brilliant highs and the not so good days when the weather is bad (not very often in Thailand btw) or you just feel a bit meh, miss your friends, your parents, good food. And maybe you get ill, that could happen too. But these things – bad weather, occasional loneliness, losing stuff or sick days – are minor little things compared to the absolutely amazing feeling you get when you travel alone. New places, amazing beaches, new culture, fantastic tasty food and the people, the locals and the cool traveler types. That’s what’s all about. 🙂
            When you get lonely just call someone you like or organise an excursion with a travel agent then you’ll definitely meet people. Some islands do pub crawls – you can do those even if you’re not so much of a drinker, you can always meet new people that way. But yeah organised trips are cool and most hotels, hostels and guest houses have tons of brochures of trips you can do in any area in Thailand. Or if not, just go to the nearest travel agent – you can totally trust most of them even though they don’t have computers, they just call up each other and arrange things but it’s surprisingly efficient. Just keep an open mind to new people and it’ll be all right I reckon.
            Thailand is safe – there are bad things happen sometimes but it happens elsewhere too. Just have common sense and it’ll be all right. Don’t get into arguments with dodgy looking tattooed locals. Don’t drink so much you pass out at some strange place. Lock your room and if you’re worry about your stuff buy a Packsafe safety net. Listen to your instincts and you’ll be fine

  69. Robson February 10, 2015 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Hi earl

    I’m a 37 year old man who’s just come out of ” the relationship ” and has always wanted to see more of the world . I work for myself and could possibly take a month off to go to Asia, but my main concern is always being alone there or possibly even worse always being seen as ” the old dude trying to fit in ” . I’m not trying to be young again, I just want to have a good time and see new things . Is this for me or should I just stick to run of the mill 30somethimg destinations ?

    • Fernanda February 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      What??? U think you’re old at 37? You’re nuts! Get out there, boy.
      You’re never too old to travel, specially at 37+

    • Anna March 2, 2015 at 5:02 am - Reply

      Nah, you’ll be all right! I travelled to South East Asia a few times and I met people who were much older and still cool. Met people in their 20s having great chats with people in their 40s and 50s. People who travel keep an open mind and age doesn’t matter at all. That’s my experience. Have a brilliant time!

    • Iris June 11, 2015 at 5:38 am - Reply

      lol, there are no 30 something destination. all destinations are for everyone. 🙂 believe me, you’re young. i’m from Southeast Asia where 70+ year old expat retirees are just as common as the groups of middle aged women travelling together or the young foreign solo backpackers in their gap year.

      Maybe to ease yourself into the crazy, chaotic social and cultural world of Asia, start with world cities like Tokyo, Hongkong or Singapore (they can be expensive though, esp Singapore being the most expensive city in the world right now) then go from there to different destinations. I’m a little biased towards Southeast Asia though, and I highly encourage you not to miss this part of the globe. 🙂

      GO FOR IT! 🙂

  70. Euan Anderson February 2, 2015 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Hello, I am new to these forums etc however I am traveling to thailand April 7th 2015 – April 22nd 2015. I have been to thailand once in November 2012 but that was with my friend. Once I arrived I never wanted to leave but I was fortunate enough to have my friend with me. Since I have come back to the UK and almost three years later I am itching to get back to Thailand. The problem? My friend that came with me before can not come so now I face the daunting prospect of traveling to thailand alone! After reading wandering earls article it has inspired me. Although I will only be there for 2 weeks and by some travelers standards that may be looked upon as a short visit for some but for me the feeling of the unknown and the thought of not meeting anyone across the other side of the planet terrifys me! Should I take the leap and board the plane? I can hold a conversation with people but do lack in self confidence….. Hope you can help me. Euan.

    • Andraž February 3, 2015 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Euan, go for it! 🙂 traveling solo is the best, you will meet tons of cool people and you ‘ll have the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want 🙂

      I was in the same situation before i went to my 1st solo trip and im so glad i did it. 🙂

    • Sarah M February 3, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Hey Euan.
      Planning on travelling to Thailand myself early April, hopefully in time for Thai New year.
      This would also be my first full solo travel and I’m lucky enough to have no set return date.
      I will admit, I am ridiculously nervous myself. But by the sounds of it you have nothing to worry about, its just pre-departure jitters.
      If you’ve got any tips on places you remember from last time, please can you let me know.
      You never know, I may see you out there.
      S x

  71. Beverly January 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    My 18 year old daughter is travelling to Thailand with gap year 360 ORGANISATION as a parent im really worried about her safety as ive read bad reports. Can anyone giveme aadvise for her

    • Andraž January 30, 2015 at 4:48 am - Reply

      There is a lot of solo female travelers in Thailand and they are all having a great time. I also traveled solo in Thailand for two months and it was one awesome experience. Thai people are usually extremely helpful and kind.
      The only thing I didnt like was the Koh Phangan island, locals werent so friendly there and too many drunk people (reason: full moon party) but the party itself is pretty okay. I also had one very bad experience on this island and maybe thats why I dont like it.
      anyway, the only thing you should worry about is that your daughter would not want to come back because she’s gonna have such an awesome time there. 😉

  72. Prajna January 23, 2015 at 4:49 am - Reply

    I made it.. solo travel! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
    I invite you to read my blog 🙂

    • Andrew July 3, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Can you put the link up on here or send it to my email please. I’m genuinely petrified but do not want this to stop me.
      Email is [email protected]

  73. Adrian Dunwell January 14, 2015 at 10:25 am - Reply


    I am 19 years old. I work in IT and earn a reasonable salary, so I am saving to go on my very own solo adventure.
    I am only 19 years old so this may sound weird, but I really do want to go out and explore the world and live with locals of foreign countries. The idea of meeting strangers and travelling with new people all the time is absaloutely thrilling and it would also give me the time to have a spiritual trip.

    I was curious as to what your opinion is on this? Am I too young? Am I financially strong enough? I still get scared at the thought of being on my own, but at the same time I am excited by it!

    Help meeeee 🙂


    • Wandering Earl January 14, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

      Hey Adrian – That’s very cool that you want to get out there and travel. It’s hard for me to answer your questions though as everyone is different. Are you too young? There are 18 year olds out there who have no problem traveling on their own and there are 50 year olds who don’t like it. It really depends on how you feel…do you feel ready? If you do, then you’ll probably be just fine out there…if you feel like you aren’t quite ready, then maybe you should wait a little while longer. Only you can answer that! As for finances, again, it depends on the traveler…it depends on your travel style, where you want to visit and on and on in order to determine how much money you need. Budget travel in India will cost much less than budget travel in Japan. Mid-range travel in Western Europe will cost more than in Eastern Europe. Once you figure out how you want to travel and where you want to go, you can start to figure out how much money will be required.

    • Madison Hendershot January 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm - Reply


      I just want to say, you are not the only 19 yr old wanting to travel at such a young age. I am as well, and am currently planning a European trip with a friend from school. Because I am a college student, and female, I get scared at thinking about going somewhere new on my own. I’ve only been out of the US one time, and that was to Canada and as a trip with school, so I wasn’t necessarily traveling alone. I believe that it is best to travel at this age, or in our young twenties, because we are still growing, and we are still open to the world around us. It’s not “weird” or strange. It’s a natural feeling to want to learn and to want to meet new people and to experience new cultures. I also believe that feeling scared is natural as well. You’re going out of your comfort zone and trying something new. You are taking a risk and living your own life. I think of traveling on my own this way, if you have other people traveling with you, you don’t get to see the things you want. I’m really into photography, and when I take pictures I don’t get more than one block down the road without taking about 100 photos, or more. If I were to have other people with me I wouldn’t be able to stop and look at all the interesting things that I see, because others don’t see the same thing. I have a different perspective when it comes to taking photos, and when I’m in a new place I like to be alone, so I can experience everything the I want to experience them. So, I believe that if you think as traveling alone in a positive way, and all the great things you will be able to experience and take home to your family, and possibly take them there one day, your feeling of being scared will just melt away and it will make you that much more excited.

      Sorry for the long comment, but I hope this helps. And good luck planning your trip!


  74. Pauline January 4, 2015 at 1:38 am - Reply

    You should never be afraid to travel alone! Or even worse, to reconsider or cancel your plans because someone ditched you!
    You will make the most beautiful encounters one your way!

  75. James January 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply


    I’m a British man and I am heading out to the Philippines myself in about two months time, I will be travelling alone but meeting up with a lady when I get there, although it will not be in the capital Manila, so I will be travelling from Manila alone.

    I have no idea what to expect, I have never been outside Europe and have not travelled outside Britain for more than five year’s.

    I’m so nervous but although I face a long journey to get there I am not backing out.

    What can I expect?

    • Andraz January 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Dont worry. You will have the time of your life. 🙂

    • A Filipina January 5, 2015 at 7:31 am - Reply

      Hello. 🙂
      You may hear a lot of negative things about the Philippines, from the stunted government to the traffic to the ripping-off cabbies, but remember, not everyone’s out to mug you. So let your guard down and enjoy what the country has to offer.
      Cheap yet delish eats, white sandy beaches, and hospitable citizens- what more can you ask for?
      Of course, every place has its share of thieves and conmen- just treat people the way you would like to be treated and they might just do the same.
      Have fun and God bless you on your journey.

  76. George Sassons December 14, 2014 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Catherine I am an older Australian and September 2013 I was in India for 28 days it was a fantastic experience and well worth going there, But not for a female on her own, Please do not do it alone. there are sections of Indian society that have no respect for females, be warned do not go there alone. Regards George

    • Wandering Earl December 14, 2014 at 8:37 am - Reply

      I would have to disagree with this one. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find no shortage of examples of females who have traveled to India on their own and who had nothing but positive experiences. I have three close female friends who did just that – one of them is going back for her 3rd solo trip there in 2 years. So I think it has more to do with travel experience and preparation, and making sure you use common sense at all times.

    • neize December 30, 2014 at 9:07 am - Reply

      Hi George,
      I’m a mature woman planning going to Asia.It will be a solo travel.Do you know something about it? Does it have the same problems as in India? Thanks

    • Catherine March 10, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      Well I did India alone for 2 weeks then Nepal for another 2 weeks. Traveling alone was the best thing I’ve done EVER for myself including getting married. Ha! This trip, at 50, wasn’t to see things but a more spiritual one for me. I haven’t shown my photos to more than 3 people or really discussed the trip and its meaning with more than 1 close friend. I had plans for the first 4 days in India and that was it. I did find India..uhm..well I experienced India. Jury is still out if I would return. I loved Nepal and did a fantastic 4 day hike which was the climax of my trip. Emotional to say the least. Travel to India. Travel alone. You’ll never be the same after you travel alone. It definitely ignited something within me and I know a different person exists beyond the life I live at home.

  77. […] confidence to travel, to turn all of the plans in my head into a reality. Just the thought of traveling on my own, the thought of showing up in a foreign land without my friends, my family, a familiar language or […]

  78. Lin December 5, 2014 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Mid-fifties and just revving up for solo travel. Booked with a group tour out west US in January, then I hope to keep moving forward and be more independent. My husband is a home-body but I’ve Got To Go!! Any suggestions or correspondence from other ” boomers” would be welcome.

  79. […] familiar with Wandering Earl. His is one of the first blogs I ever read and became hooked to after Please Don’t Be Afraid to Travel On Your Own. I have re-read that post, and sent it along to friends who are on the fence about traveling, many […]

  80. Brett November 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Yup Im going to Thailand this Dec 06 for 3 weeks! I’ve done a resort in Cuba by myself…. A bit akward at first but then I met everyone on the resort!

    I think backpacking will be much different and am looking forward to it. Another adventure!

    • Ari December 1, 2014 at 1:38 am - Reply

      Hey I’m thinking of going Around the same time for 3 weeks but terrified of the idea of being alone. I’ve never traveled alone before but like meeting new people. Just the thought that worst case scenario I’ll actually be alone gives me the chills. You nervous at all?

  81. Tuush November 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I am 24 year old from South Africa and wanting to travel alone to Thailand in April 2015 to 03 May 2015.

    Not there for long but hoping to do Bangkok, Phuket and Chaing Mai.

    Your blog and comments have reassured me that it’s okay and normal to do so. Tad bit sceptical about backpackers and bnbz so have many friends have requested hotels.

    I really want to make friends and meet new people.

    Any ideas

  82. Ben October 21, 2014 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Epic blog man!
    its weird how people thousands of miles away and several time zones and some odd years can be so linked *swoons the never ending and expanding and AMAZING synchronicity of the “human existence” (pauses for a metaphysical contemplation)

    so? here I am . a New Zealander about to embark on a mission thru South East Asia (2nd time round- this time solo)

    thought I would add a comment and maybe link with some readers who may be in the same area?

    Bangkok 29/11/14- 03/12/14
    Chiang Mai 04//12/14- 08/12/14
    Pai 08/12/14-12 or 13/1214
    Then maybe further north mae hon son? or chiang rai?
    back to Chiang Mai around 17/12/14
    20/12/14-27/12/14 phnom penh
    28/12/14-02/01/15 koh rong
    back to phnom penh till 04/01/15
    Ho Chi Minh City 04/01/15-11/01/15

    get @ me
    [email protected]

  83. Brooks October 11, 2014 at 3:02 am - Reply

    I’ve traveled to so many places alone (U.S. And abroad) that sometimes I like traveling alone rather than with someone. Simply because I know a few hours after I arrive there will be new faces to meet, from different cultures. Makes the travel very lively for me.

    Even local travel in my area I find friends, family simply are not interested in going to because it pulls them away from their familiar. So, I’m willing to go places alone because I know other people who are at the same place have the same agenda as I do, to see some place, to learn something new.

    Example: next week I have planned a day long hike in the mountains. No one is interested in going. So, it’s O Solo Mio for me. Not afraid as there are other people there and they are hiking to see God’s creation rather than stay inside.

    Earl: I’m glad you brought up this topic.

  84. Steve October 3, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I’m 62 and have not traveled much outside the U.S. This Sunday, Oct 5, I leave for the Philippines for two weeks and then Thailand for one week, alone. I feel anxiety. Last month, as a shakedown, I went to the Dominican Republic for a week. Out of the country, but close enough. The DR worked out fine. The Philippines and Thailand are different. They are very far away. And three weeks? I am nervous.

    The tickets are paid for. Plans are set. I will do the trip and feel nervous about doing it I suppose. I’ve been talking about checking out this area of the world for years. Looks like the time is now. Good thing I have some Xanax.

    • Wandering Earl October 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Hey Steve – Let us know how it goes once you’re back, and I’m sure you’re going to have plenty of positive experiences to talk about!

    • Mike (Nomadic Texan) January 23, 2015 at 9:06 am - Reply

      I am almost 65 and have been traveling the world since my early twenties. In between, I married for 36 years, traveled and had three wonderful sons, who all travel now. My wife and I are no longer together, as she did not want to keep traveling.

      This year I have seven countries in Europe, five countries in SE Asia and a couple of countries in South America scheduled. I am also walking the Camino Frances. I am not getting any younger and there is so much left to see in this beautiful world. Have no fear, Thailand and the Philippines are bothering great places. You will have a blast!

  85. Catherine September 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. I laugh as it is all soo true. I am surfing the net avoiding my hearts desire and to get over to the travel agent to book my trip to India…alone. I don’t know why I fight it, I know its going to happen, just do it and move on to figuring out details.
    Thanks again!

    • Noelle January 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Im sitting in a cafe in Mexico this evening, feeling anything but alone. At 42 part of me sometimes tries to convince my self that I should leave these adventures to the younger crowd… but No way!
      I meet people everywhere I go. Sometimes I go to a community center or connect with a non profit ,and sometimes, like this, I find a cafe with Wi-Fi, where you are bound to meet other travelers. I pick small, friendly towns and just take it slow.
      Don’t fight it, live it!!
      Life is a beautiful adventure, or a scenic walk of new experiences – whatever you want it to be… go book that flight! And have a great journey!

      • Wandering Earl January 18, 2015 at 4:45 am - Reply

        Hey Noelle – Well said! Thanks for adding your experience here 🙂

  86. Andraž September 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    great reading 🙂 lifts spirit as Im also going to thailand for my 1st solo trip… 29th October untill 18th December. me and my wakeboard

    Bangkok (6 nights)
    Ko Phangan (5 nights)
    Ko Tao (6 nights)
    Phuket (1 month)
    Abu Dhabi (2 nights)

    If any1 is also traveling and wants to grab a beer or something: [email protected]

  87. Danelle September 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Wow! Super relate! I’m also planning on going alone in Thailand this December and was actually starting to save on a college budget. I also asked some of my friends, one of my friends said yes but unfortunately she can’t travel by december because she still needed to fix her passport. Than I asked a travel agency if I could travel alone and they said that travelling alone is more expensive and the immigration might hold me because i’m still young. I also thought that too since I’m too small for my age so I guess I have to postpone it. And then i came across your post and feel inspired. I might not go in december as planned but maybe in time, maybe before I turn 19. *fingers crossed* so thank you for writing this post. I didn’t thought that someone could EXACTLY relate to my situation right now. I’m starting to think you’re a psychic. Hahaha. Joke. God bless!

  88. David September 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Having been in hostels in the UK, living in the Netherlands and having been to Paris I can say these are definitely very nice choices!
    In the hostels in the UK I have always come across fellowtravelers and I have such great times, going to restaurants, pubs and clubs with people in the same room. A lot of people are a bit anxious and reluctant, but practically everyone wants to have that experience of travelling and meeting a lot of people!

    You have bad stories everywhere, but if you take care of yourself and be responsible, you will be fine! From everyone I heard stories about Barcelona being a dangerous city, but when I went I absolutely loved it!

    Go for it!

    PS I would always choose Rotterdam over Amsterdam, but that’s just my personal preference as I was born and raised in Rotterdam 😉

  89. Jemima August 26, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    I will be 18 this year and want to go overseas next year for the first time. I have travelled alone before but never overseas. Do you think that is wise or should I wait a year or so?

    • Wandering Earl August 28, 2014 at 3:53 am - Reply

      Hey Jemima – It depends on you and whether you feel you’re ready. There are 18 year old solo female travelers out there, that’s for sure, but if you’re not comfortable with it and don’t feel ready, then perhaps you should wait. I would spend some time thinking about it all, doing some research and figuring out whether it makes sense for you right now. And if it does, just know that plenty of others have done it and you can make it happen as well.

  90. Ilona August 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    I have done extensive travelling on my own as well and because I have not been “protected” by a companion, it was easier to meet other travellers and that seat on the bus next to me often provided interesting travelling companions. I travelled around South America following my intuition each day and thus was always at the right place and the right time for the next adventure to exceed my expectations. Having no one to consult with and making your own plans is liberating and I will always remember those experiences. Also learning Spanish at a conversational level meant that I was able to meet and make friends with local people as well as other travellers.
    Having said all that, done that and got the T shirt, I would now like to experience travelling with with a like minded companion.
    Thank you for your blog, I am enjoying perusing it.

  91. atif August 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    To cape town betwen 28 nov to 4 dec 2014 travelling solo for first time need company to feel comfortable

  92. Darien August 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    I’m 20 years old and I’ve been wanting to travel for years now.. everybody I ask to come with me always make up excuses. I don’t want to look back on life saying what if I did this or what if I did that. Traveling is my passion but I’ve never traveled alone. These next few years I want to travel everywhere possible. I’m willing to let go of the life I have in my small town to see what this world has to offer. How can I get passed this hump. I’m from NJ and I’d really like to meet others with the passion of traveling.

    • Wandering Earl August 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Darien – I recommend starting with my Getting Started page as you’ll find plenty of useful posts that will guide you towards your goal and provide you with ideas on how you can begin such an adventure.

  93. Rajeesh Nair August 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,

    I am from India and I also wish to travel the world starting from my own country just as you. Although it won’t be possible for me to go on a non-stop escapade as you did. Still, I wish to travel each and every country on the Earth.

    Now the one question I want to ask regarding this post is whether you encountered any thugs or anyone like that during your traveling especially in India or South America for instance..

    • Wandering Earl August 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Hey Rajeesh – No, I’ve never encountered any thugs. I had my wallet pickpocketed in Delhi once but that was the only crime I’ve really faced in over 14 years anywhere in the world.

  94. Dennis August 12, 2014 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Chris I turned 40 last fall, and finally decided to go somewhere none of my friends or familly ever visited. So after a bit of research and asking around if any friends would join me I ended up in Panama, alone. I only had 2 weeks so I decided to spend it all in that country. I was as Earl says terrified while sitting on the plane there, not seeing another european on the plane (from Sweden)
    I only had one adress to a hostel in P city. I managed to get there, and there a whole new world opened for me. Lot’s of people lived there from all over the world. Finding new friends at every turn. Everybody you will meet are in the exact same shoes as you. Curious about the world you are in, and interessted in meeting new people. I would be amazed if you did not find new travel companions after 1 day there.
    I am now planning my new trip to central/south America, planning to go from Mexico to Brasil, and guess what. I havn’t asked anyone to join me 🙂

  95. franky A August 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone ,

    My name is franky Im from Los Angeles ,CA
    Im at a point in my life where I need adventure and something new. Im 24 years old independent male and have a descent paying job which I am willing to give up in order to travel. I have a genuine passion to travel I love learning new things and will try anything, I am planning to travel within the next few months possibly europe and would be nice to find like minded individuals to accompany me. If your interested send me an email I would love to hear from you

    • Ari December 1, 2014 at 1:48 am - Reply

      Hey Franky,

      I’m in a similar boat as you. I’m a 24 year old guy and actually just left my job about a week ago because I was miserable and also want to travel for a bit before the next one. I’ve been wanting to go to thailand more than anywhere the past few years and now that I’m finally free my friends aren’t. Would you be down to go really soon in the next few weeks? Even though I’m more inspired by this website I just can’t get myself to backpack alone

  96. Tagel M August 11, 2014 at 8:18 am - Reply

    I think it is a life changing experience and you are so lucky. Do U have a plan to visit Africa. If so, U have to start from its capital Ethiopia!

  97. Chelsea August 8, 2014 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Sounds like we’re in the same boat. I’m 26 and also a female wanting to experience another country. Where are you wanting to travel to?

  98. Andrew Porter July 17, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Great post. I too love travelling ‘alone’, you meet new people so much easier and are free from commitment to anyone.

    I first went travelling for a year with my best friend which was great. I then eased into solo travelling by flying off to Africa on my own to do an overland trip with a company, so that’s kind of half and half. Finally I set off for South America on my own and it was the best trip I’ve ever had. These days I have friends asking to travel/go on holiday with me but I turn then down as I’d rather set off on my own for the freedom and adventure. It really is as easy as Earl says to meet people travelling. You always have the standard ice-breakers, “where are you from”, “where have you just travelled from”, where are you going next”, etc and of course usually tourists are of great interest to locals, as locals are to us.

  99. Kathy July 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    HI. I came across your blog while googleing for this exact topic. I laughed because it was talking about me. I have never traveled out of California and is so scared, and yes I sit home researching random stuff on google about traveling.
    Maybe I can find someone on your blog with the same fears. I am almost 28 and have never been anyway. I am tight on budget but I have been saving, and being a female, I am more worried to travel alone than if I was a male. What do you think? Also, do you have tips for traveling on a tight budget. I don’t want to live life worrying that I am not rich enough to see the world before I die….

  100. Chris July 8, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Hi Earl, do you think the same ease with meeting people and finding friends occurs for older solo travelers? I’m 36 and thinking of doing a month or two in SE Asia and getting lonely is a big concern for me.

    • Wandering Earl July 8, 2014 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      Hey Chris – I would say that it’s probably easier for older travelers since we tend to be more comfortable with who we are at that point in life. We don’t worry too much about what others might think about us, making it easier to approach people or to be approached by others…the point is, you’ll have no problems at all, especially in SE Asia!

      • Chris July 8, 2014 at 8:30 pm - Reply

        Thanks Earl, I love reading your site for encouragement

  101. marmaeyer July 6, 2014 at 9:48 am - Reply

    I’m 19 years old and I would like to travel to Africa with absolute Africa later on this year. I spent 1 month in Nepal last year alone, but I’m hoping to find a travel buddy to spend about 3 months with in africa
    If your interested please contact me

  102. Connie June 29, 2014 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Hey Earl,

    I’m 17 and finishing my last year in high school, and wish to throw away all the expectations of the daily grind and education and success in the from of paper and a pay check for a while when I finish, to go on a journey to see the world and deepen my experiences, and learn more about foreign cultures and myself.

    Thing is though, even travelling within my home country of Australia, I have inhibitions about travelling alone, mostly coming from my parents.

    I worry that because I am a woman travelling alone I might be more likely to become a victim of all sorts of horrendous situations that travellers can sometimes find themselves in. I worry about rape and sexual harassment, about theft, about getting kidnapped or lost. I feel like I can’t go without a group to have people looking after each other, especially for a hike. (One to stay with someone if they get injured, the other 2 to go get help together).

    Do you think that it is wise for a young teenage woman to set out travelling by herself? Or should I try and find a travel buddy, at least to accompany me until I meet someone else to travel with?

    Thanks, I love your blog. It is very inspiring and helping me get through this last horrible year of high school.

    From Connie.

    • Arry July 1, 2014 at 3:40 am - Reply

      Hey Connie! You know that is the same case with me! Even I am gonna be 18 soon and want to leave to explore the world. But as I am also a girl, I fear about all the things you mentioned above! But I feel there are many females who explore the world ALONE and all they use is a bit of awareness and common sense while travelling. I don’t think we should give up our desires just because we are girls! Let us go out and explore!

      • Connie July 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

        Thanks for the encouragement Arry! It’s great knowing there are people like me who are going to do a similar thing. I will definitely be reading up on tips for safely travelling alone. Maybe invest in some pepper spray for peace of mind. Maybe we will cross paths in our travels one day 🙂

        • Arry July 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

          Yeah! I look forward to that! By the way, here is a link that is based specially on solo female travel! I found it yesterday while searching for similar stuff. I found it quite helpful, so you should have a look. It contains advises from experienced female solo travellers. Check out all the links on that page!

    • Wandering Earl July 7, 2014 at 3:22 am - Reply

      Hey Connie – Thanks for the comment and overall, my advice is that if you use the same common sense you use at home, the chances of anything happening while abroad is as equally small. Would you feel better traveling with someone else, at least at first? That’s a question for you to answer and if the answer is a definite ‘yes’, then maybe that’s a good idea until you get comfortable with traveling and see that the world is not as scary or dangerous as you currently may think!

  103. J June 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Good post, I’m leaving king Friday from UK to Bangkok and I’m terrified.

  104. Ruth June 24, 2014 at 7:27 am - Reply

    This is exactly the article I needed to read right now. I’m planning on taking some big trips soon. I’ve traveled on my own before, but never for extended periods of time, and I’m terrified that my hopelessly shy and socially awkward self will just wind up depressed at the end of this trip. But this was reassuring. Wish me luck and thanks!

  105. Kelly June 24, 2014 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Hey Sebastian, thanks for the recommendation. I will definitely check it out next round. =) I booked my tickets to Ams/Belgium/Paris prior to your reply. Yay!
    Hey Earl, I booked my tickets! With 3 weeks left, I am now trying my best to research as much as I could. I will read your posts for more tips.

    • Wandering Earl June 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      Hey Kelly- Congratulations and definitely a good decision!!!

  106. Hannah June 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    I can really relate to this post and this is basically what I have been telling my friends who ask me if I do not find it lonely travelling on my own. I reply that I do not – like you, I find it very easy to find company (and I’m a fairly shy person, but with a an appetite for travelling that far supersedes that).

    I cannot make any claims that I have gone as far as you – one of my furthest trips was a week-long trip around Western Scotland (I’m a Swedish 20-year-old woman living in England) – but I always prefer travelling on my own. I always meet so many interesting people at hostels of all ages and some I still keep in contact with. On the trip to Scotland, I met an English-Chinese couple on the train to Edinburgh which I talked to during the whole journey. Then I met a Brazilian woman in the hostel, who I did sightseeing with and dinner. In Western Scotland, I made friends with the staff at the accommodation where I stayed and we went on a pub crawl. So was I ever lonely during my trip? No, I wouldn’t say so.

    I think you have to be fairly self-reliant, though, but that is something you will learn by just taking the plunge.

    To be honest, I don’t really mind some solitude either, to be able to quietly take in your surroundings while walking.

    • Wandering Earl June 24, 2014 at 12:23 am - Reply

      Hey Hannah – I think what happens is that we quickly realize that if we do want to be around others while traveling, it just takes a little effort, and not much else, to ensure that happens. And I also like some solitude while traveling as well, so it’s nice to switch back and forth, knowing that I’ll always be able to find people to hang out with if I so desire.

  107. Kelly June 7, 2014 at 6:21 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    I went for my first solo trip to Japan in 2010. I decided to stop looking for like minded people and choose to believe in myself. Even though few months later I trembled at the thought of what I did, I felt free and happy then.

    I have always been a socially awkward person. =x

    I almost went to Northern Europe 2 weeks ago but the plan was aborted because people around me told me all kinds of scary encounters. Fear got the better of me. (Imagine I have colleagues who thought it is unbearable to even have lunch outside on your own.)

    Now I am back to square one. My desire to travel is so high I am now looking at travel forum for travel buddies.
    It is good to know that there are many solo travelers out there with the same concerns.
    But as an introvert, it is tiring me out.

    I’m researching on UK/Amsterdam/Paris when I came across your site. Reading the introduction makes me laugh as I am having similar roller coaster emotions now.

    I think my most important step now is to book the very expensive air ticket so there is no turning back. But I still lack the courage. Hopefully I will post here in a month or two later with the words I did it! Wish me luck T.T

    • Wandering Earl June 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm - Reply

      Hey Kelly – Just go for it! Especially in Northern Europe where you’ll meet plenty of other travelers everywhere…it has to be one of the more comfortable regions of the world to travel! Book the ticket and let us know how it goes 🙂

      • Sebastian June 19, 2014 at 7:38 am - Reply

        If you go to Berlin you will see that so many expats live here…you will have no trouble at all finding people to talk to or to join you for a night out. I highly recommend coming to Berlin…best place to be in Europe 😉

  108. wesley June 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    After about 3 months thinking how crazy it would be to travel on my own i suddenly decided that i had to get away for holiday and escape the stress of daily life. My friends dont travel alot or some would to in the summer. so i went on my own 1 week to morocco. On my way i feeled like i was doing something very very crazy and was quite anxious, nervous. Would i spend a week in social isolation not talking to anybody. Nothing of my thoughts were true. On my way travel from holland to the hotel in morocco i had already had a good conversation with 4 persons. After the days i made many friends, from couchsurfing and also many local people. Especially a hospitable country like morocco would be (for guys) very advS isable for first time.travellers by themselve. One advise i have to give is that you would have take caution with people that you meet because every country has good and bad people. But dont let that stop you because while being in morocco i have met some people that are out for your money but also many people that treat me like im there brother and actually take care of me and want to give you more than they take. Overall experienc
    Was very very nice i would definatley do it again. However my preference would be with a friend.

    • Wandering Earl June 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Hey Wesley – Those are all great points and I’m glad you ended up going out there on your own and having a positive experience. And while you would prefer to travel with a friend, at least you’ll probably still go after your travel goals even if you can’t find one to join you. As you know, there are plenty of people out there, including other travelers, that you can meet along the way!

  109. Christina June 2, 2014 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Hej Tasha!

    Im from Denmark! When you arrive somewhere in Europe, you can buy what they call an interrail pass….its not expensive and that way you can travel through Europe with train….Its a good inexpensive way to see Europe. I’ve done it plenty of times-always fun. 🙂 Other than that….Ryanair and other similar discount companies fly to many places in Europe and you won’t be broke from the buying the plane ticket alone… 😛
    People are generally very friendly in Northern Europe….But its more expensive here…But we speak English very well and there’s always someone to talk to if you feel like it. 🙂
    If you happen to arrive in DK before August 18th (when I leave for my trip), I’ll be happy to show you around 🙂

    Let me know! 🙂


  110. Tasha June 2, 2014 at 12:15 am - Reply

    I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog! I’m a 22 year old femal, Canadian, and I’ve never been out of the country. I’m planning a solo trip through Europe in four months time, and I’ve been procrastinating on buying a plane ticket because I’m so nervous about committing to this trip! I think the thing I’m most worried about(besides flying on an airplane, which I’ve never been a fan of) is actually meeting people. I’m a fairly shy, socially awkward person, and I’ve never been the type that was able to walk up to total strangers and strike up a conversation. I guess I’ll just have to really push myself (farther) out of my comfort zone.. It’ll be an experience, that’s for sure. Reading this post has made me feel a bit better though, so for that, I thank you 🙂

    • Wandering Earl June 2, 2014 at 10:12 am - Reply

      Hey Tasha – If you really want to visit Europe, you should give it a try and believe me, it’s so easy to meet other people that you won’t even have to push yourself too much at all. Staying in hostels will ensure that there are always other people around and all it takes is a simple ‘hello’ to meet new people!

  111. Christina June 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Great Post! This was what I’ve been looking for…
    A couple of months ago I decided that if I EVER wanted to see New Zealand, NOW is the time to go….with being single (no responsibilities to a husband/kids), no mortgage payment and leave from my job, there’s really no better time…But I’ve been struggling with the loneliness issue of traveling alone….I went to Honduras alone (BIG MISTAKE-one lesson learned there: always research before you go anywhere!) and was miserable! I’ve never been extremely outgoing….But this post more or less confirmed it for me…At the end of the day I’ll be okay. If I want company, I can find it…..If I want a travel partner, I can find one…..strangers are merely friends I have yet to meet. 🙂
    So! One year in New Zealand/Australia/Fiji here I come!

    Thank you for boosting my confidence when I was THIS close to canceling my ticket.



    • Wandering Earl June 2, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Hey Christina – I think that by the end of your trip you’ll be quite happy you didn’t cancel that ticket. You’ll find plenty of people to meet if you want in those regions of the world. There’s a reason why New Zealand is often on travelers’ lists of friendliest country they’ve visited…you’ll have a blast!

  112. Andy May 15, 2014 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Great post! I’m leaving for a 3 week solo trip to Colombia in less than a month and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get a full nights sleep until then, but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway despite my fears because I’ll never know if I like it unless I do it.

    I’ve spent 2 months in Chile studying, a week in Guatemala for a work trip, and done a couple solo road trips in the US and Canada, but have never travelled completely alone in a “less developed” country where I will have to rely on public transport.

    I think in the end I will be glad I decided to go. I’m hoping to meet other travelers in hostels to hang out and travel with too.

    • Wandering Earl May 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      Hey Andy – I don’t think you’re going to have any problem at all meeting other travelers and having the kind of adventure you’re seeking! Do let us know it all goes in the end!

  113. Yoshi-Man May 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply


    I was thinking about travelling to south-east Asia on my own and I’m half-Asian. I’ve wondered if I will have difficulties to be recognized and communicate with other travellers and the local people. Maybe the other travellers will see me as an local inhabitant and as I can’t speak a word of the asian language, I will have difficulties with the local people as well? Maybe these issues doesn’t matter but I just don’t want to be ignored in the whole of my trip.

    • Wandering Earl May 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      @Yoshi-Man – I don’t think it will be a problem at all and in the end, the best way not to be ignored is to talk to people 🙂

      That’s all you have to do and nobody is going to care at all. You’ll meet plenty of other travelers and locals will communicate with you too, even once they realize you’re not a local!

  114. Ebony-Rose May 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    This article is great! I have actually been given the gift of travel by my Godfather, for my 18th birthday. I can’t wait to look into where I could go and your article has made me really excited! The only thing I really worry about is my safety. I’m careful and sensible, but I’m young girl, 5’4″ and quite skinny. And very weak when it comes to self-defence. Would it be wise for me to travel alone to somewhere I’ve never been?

    • Wandering Earl May 11, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

      Hey Ebony-Rose – In general, if you practice the same common sense while traveling that you would practice while at home, the chances of anything happening are quite slim. Common sense really is the best security measure that you can take!

  115. Jo May 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    See the thing that worries me about going it alone is getting lost. In a big country you have never been before and trying to find your way around is scary. I’m from London but if I step out of my town into another I’d get lost as I am useless with maps but at least I can retrace my steps back to familiar territory, you can’t really do that in an exotic place.

    • Wandering Earl May 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Hey Jo – The idea of travel is to get lost from time to time 🙂 But seriously, getting lost is not something to worry about to the point where you don’t travel. You’ll learn how to get around very quickly.

  116. Barry May 6, 2014 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl, thanks for the helpful advice as I am pretty much on the same boat as most other people on this page, wanting to travel alone but doubts stopping me. Would you never argue that sometimes people though wouldn’t be as friendly as you claim to be? as putting trust into random strangers even if they seem nice and are travelling too, can be potentially dangerous especially if people find out you are alone and see you as an easy target.

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      Hey Barry – In the end, people are good and if you use common sense while traveling, the chances of anything happening are quite slim. Contrary to common belief, there really aren’t mass amounts of people in every tourist destination following around foreigners, looking for easy targets. It’s about the same as it would be back home probably. Trust people, use common sense and if something doesn’t appear right, then walk away. That’s all you need to ensure you stay as safe as possible.

  117. Ashley May 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Kayla,

    You are absolutely making the right choice! The fact that you even made this decision is reason enough to know that you are doing the most exciting thing that you’ve ever made happen in your life. I spent a year in Australia and loved every minute of it. I travelled with my best friend for the beginning and then ventured out on my own which was when the real experience began. You don’t need a concrete reason to do this, as in school or work, just your drive for adventure is reason enough! Trust me and save yourself the worry, you will have no problem meeting people and having a blast. Australia is one of the easiest places to backpack and meet young people similar to yourself. It’s packed with backpackers looking for the same thing, an amazing experience and even better friends. It will change your life I almost guarantee it.

  118. Sue May 1, 2014 at 3:17 am - Reply

    I posted in this around 6 months ago just before I headed off on my independent travels. I have to update. Best thing I ever did. Traveling by myself has shown me a completely different side to traveling than you get when doing group travel. Locals approach me more – much less intimidating by myself than in a group of travellers and pretty much everyone is friendly and helpful. And I get to decide myself where to go, how and when. Local transport is another great experience. And there are always other travellers in the same boat so I’ve ended up traveling with some for a bit. And then we go our own ways and it’s easy and nice. Fear is the thing that holds us back – and so far my worse fear (not meeting anyone and hating it) definitely hasn’t happened. The opposite has. I strongly encourage anyone who is considering it to just do it!

    • Wandering Earl May 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm - Reply

      Hey Sue – I appreciate you sharing your experiences and of course, I’m definitely not surprised that it all turned out that way and that you’re encouraging others to travel on their own as well! That’s what I love to hear because, that’s how I feel too of course and it’s a shame when we don’t end up traveling because of that fear.

  119. Sara April 26, 2014 at 12:33 am - Reply


    I want to travel this summer, and I was thinking about doing this college group backpacking tour, but I’m terrified because I’m really shy and I’ve never been one to party and drink all night, and I’m afraid that if that’s what it’s like, I’ll end up beind a total social pariah. I really want to get to know a city and drink coffee in a cafe and maybe do some writing — really mellow, uninteresting stuff in between the sightseeing and so forth. But I’m not quite brave enough to travel alone, and I feel like a group tour might be safer? I’m so mixed up!

    • Wandering Earl April 30, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Hey Sara – The best thing you can do is to try it out and see how it goes! You don’t need to party all night to have a rewarding travel experience. You can focus on what you want to gain from your trip and forget about what others are doing.

  120. sarah April 24, 2014 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Hey, I love this idea. I’ve always wanted to road trip around parts of America especially San Fran to la. When are you planning on leaving? Hopefully I’ll have enough cash to not have to return to the Uk. I did travel around parts of Sri Lanka and India by myself for a month earlier this year and yes although it is scary o met so many lovely people that the time just flew by. Now I’m home all I’m doing is working to save the cash so I can leave again. The idea of going by myself for a longer period is daunting but this might be the only chance I have to do it so why not

  121. Jasmine April 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Hiya Earl,

    I really admire you and your travels!
    I am just finishing university and really want to travel but have no one to go with. I am also very socially anxious and I fear I’ll have a hard time making friends when there’s probably more interesting and outgoing travellers around making friends with each other. My whole life I seem to have been left out, perhaps I’m just easy to ignore haha. I fear it’ll be the same when or if I travel. Do you ever meet any shy or socially awkward solo travels? I’d love to know how it goes for them… Also, I live in England but my friend who is on a placement in Philadelphia at the moment says I should visit her there for a few days and then I could travel to somewhere like Washington or New York… I don’t know, somewhere like NY I’d imagine is somewhere you’d go with other people, I’d feel silly on my own and probably very self-conscious. What do you think?

    • Wandering Earl April 21, 2014 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Jasmine – With travel, you quickly learn that there’s no reason to be self-conscious because so much is going on and you realize that nobody really cares what you’re doing, how you’re acting, how you look, etc. Nobody’s paying any attention at all. And while I’ve met some shy travelers out there, usually they will say that they are still able to meet other people while traveling. It’s quite difficult not to meet other people regardless of how shy you may be 🙂

  122. […] It’s written by the awesome dude Wandering Earl, and you can find the original blog post here on his website – you should definitely go follow him. I hope it’s as awesome for you as […]

  123. Lauren April 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Hey Kayla!
    I’ve just come back from travelling Australia and New Zealand for 4 months on my own. I was so excited until it got closer to the date I was leaving and like you, was so nervous about venturing into the unknown all alone I almost considered cancelling my flights! When I was on the way to the airport and saw the sign for Heathrow I was literally shaking from the nerves! What my mum told me really helped with my nerves when I was worried.. and that’s that if it’s really that bad when you’re away and you decide after a while that travelling really isn’t for you then guess what… you can just get a flight back home 🙂 at least you’ll know that you tried and you’ll never look back with regret thinking I wish I’d have done that. I can honestly say it’s the best thing I ever done and had the most brilliant time! So much so that I am now saving to travel Asia and then go back to Australia on a work visa. Of course I was a bag of nerves on the way there, convincing myself I wouldn’t meet anyone but I was never really alone from the moment I arrived. And when I did have the odd day alone it was actually quite nice to just chill out. Traveling really does change you for the better. You become so much more confident and self assured. Just remember that nerves are perfectly normal and have an amazing trip!

    • Wandering Earl April 8, 2014 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Hey Lauren – That is so great to hear and I guess for your next trip, you won’t be dealing with those nerves any more! That confidence you have gained will never disappear!

  124. Jessica April 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    So, you may want to look into an organization called WWOOFING, the acronym stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is an exchange program that’s offered in tons of countries. You need little money and I am positive it will give you the experience you are looking for. To sum it up, you volunteer on an Organic farm between 20-25hrs a week (typically M-F 5hrs a day and weekends off). In exchange for your labor, the farm owners give you a place to stay, food, and the true experience of the culture. I did this in Spain for 3 months and LOVED it. My intentions were similar to yours, I left a finance job in order to pursue a more simple, less chaotic life. Another motivating factor was to learn Spanish. The great thing is, you select the type of farm you want to go to and you can stay anywhere between a week to a year depending on what they are looking for. I spent money only in between traveling to different farms and of course on sight seeing and tourism. Hope that helps!

  125. D April 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    I want to be like you, I want to leave the UK and travel the world, literally.

    I will be doing this on my own and have no money or savings as of yet.

    I intend to save up around 2-3000 pounds to be able to get me going but I am wishing to live off the land and go back to the roots and essence of being a human being.

    I dont know where to start or what to take with me but I cannot take the bull*** stress of inner city life. What do you suggest?


    • Wandering Earl April 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      Hey D – Just have a read through the blog as that’s what it’s here for, to help others figure out how to achieve their travel goals!

  126. Kayla April 6, 2014 at 6:15 am - Reply

    Wow this site made me feel so much better! I’m 19 years old and moving to australia for a year. It’s my first trip alone EVER, I haven’t even been somewhere out of Canada without my parents. I one day just booked a flight, got a visa and called it a day. Only a few more months now and I’ll be boarding a plane, to a place where I don’t know a single soul. I’m so excited but I’m so nervous to the point i feel as if I should cancel… I don’t have any real reason as to why I’m going. I’m just.. Going. However I do feel it will be good for my soul and a great experience. Am I making the right choice??? Please help!

  127. vinny March 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Hey there!

    Great post man … so glad i found this from a simple google search…my stuation is similar to what happened to you. However, our destinations are different. I live in London, England. My friend has decided to drop out of the idea of travelling with me to california, due to his other priorities in life. Of which i undoubtedly respect his decision to do so. But i really want to go california..and do the epic road trip of travelling from san francisco to LA. I want to see the landscape and sights that california has to offer…and i feel that this kind of activity must be taken with a group of friends…me travelling by myself to a place like this and doing road trip type activities and even enjoying the nightlife is not something one usually endulges in on ones own. Thats just me opinion…it seems a little weird. But i’m here hoping you would help me change my mind and maybe offer your expertise in world travel.

    • Wandering Earl March 28, 2014 at 3:56 am - Reply

      Hey Vinny – Well, I’ll say this…if you travel to LA, stay at one of the more popular hostels in the city, I’m sure you’ll find other travelers who would love to join you for that road trip. Most people want to take on that adventure and I would be very surprised if you didn’t find anyone to share it with! Either way, there are new people to meet everywhere you go, so even if you begin alone, you’ll be meeting people in every town – Santa Barbara, Monterey, Santa Cruz, etc. – along the way!

  128. Rob March 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm - Reply


    Great site. I have just stumbled on it from a google search and I’m so glad I did. I was meant to be flying to Cancun Mexico for a 2 weeks with my girlfriend but we have now split up. I only have a flight, no accommodation and the trip is in 3 weeks. I was thinking of cancelling but after finding your site I feel like I should venture out solo and explore. I’m a bit apprehensive but seems like a wasted opportunity if I don’t go. Can you point me in the direction of some good sites to read up on given my short timeframe. Also any advice from you travels would be great. Keep up the good work. Wish me luck!!

    • Wandering Earl March 25, 2014 at 4:03 am - Reply

      Hey Rob – You should definitely go, you’ll have a great time down there. What kind of advice are you looking for exactly? If you have any specific questions, send them my way and I’d be more than happy to answer.

  129. PS March 10, 2014 at 2:46 am - Reply

    Thank you for your post. I’m leaving for my first solo trip this week and as the days get closer, my anxiety level has increased. I can’t sleep right now since I’m so caught up in my own fearful thoughts! But I realize they’re just thoughts and I’ll hopefully be fine. Great post to help people reduce anxiety.

  130. Rob March 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    This is spot on to how planning my trip is right now. T-minus 2 months, and it seems like i’m staying up later each night reading and researching.

    Thanks for the post!

  131. kat February 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Hi guys,
    I almost today booked for Thailand for a month in November to travel on my own and panicked.
    I feel I need to do this, I have had very bad health in the last four years and found myself completely reliant on people. Now I am on full form and I need the courage to do this. For me to learn again how to trust in myself. I am 24 and now after a broken relationship and living on my own I believe it us the perfect time.
    Sorry about all the babbling. . My family are very against this idea

    • Matthew Cheyne February 26, 2014 at 8:40 am - Reply

      This is awesome to read Kat. More power to you. I too am a solo traveler with many health problems. Sometimes we just need to do the things that empower us and make us feel better. To hell with what others, family included may think.

    • Wandering Earl February 28, 2014 at 11:40 am - Reply

      Hey Kat – If you truly want to take that trip then you owe it to yourself to book it!

      • Matthew Cheyne February 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

        You’re right Earl. Kat just needs to do it and go ahead and make that booking and put herself beyond the point of no return as far as solo travel is concerned. That’s what I did back in 2001 when I bought my ticket to Sydney, the first of many solo traveler trips there. It’s scary at first, there is a lot of fear and trepidation but it is so so worthwhile in the end.

  132. alicia-joy February 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more that travel alone rocks! Yes, it can be intimidating at first, especially for us ladies. But you just have to start. Like anything, you get more comfortable with it the more you do it. I meet so many interesting people when I travel alone. I also think it has helped me to grow. When you travel alone, you have to think & make decisions on your own. It will test your resilience, your patience, and your faith in yourself. It is a powerful life experience. Always be aware of your surroundings, follow your instincts, stay smart, and have a blast!!!!

  133. pheobe February 21, 2014 at 6:09 am - Reply

    Hi Morgan, I am travelling solo to thailand in August. I’m 21 and this is my first time travelling alone. I am more excited than nervous but i’m sure as the date gets closer I will be very afaid. I am glad to hear I am not the only female solo traveller

    • Gina March 30, 2014 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      Hey Pheobe,
      I’m travelling to Thailand in July/August too! Pretty anxious too, not going to lie! I’m just making sure i’ve read up on everything and all the crazy things i want to do! Hope you have an awesome time!

      • Nadia April 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

        I’m also 21 and thinking about travelling solo to Thailand in August! I am so confused though because all my friends (including one who has travelled in SEA with a group of people she met on a volunteering trip whilst out there) keep saying how I shouldn’t do it alone and that it will be too dangerous and I’ll get lost…the list goes on. Still, it is very encouraging to read posts like this, but can’t help thinking why they’re trying to put me off going solo?

        • Anna April 18, 2014 at 10:28 am - Reply

          Hi Nadia,
          I know how you feel…I booked my very first solo trip a year ago. I was absolutely terrified, I couldn’t sleep for weeks before the trip and yes, everyone kept saying it was dangerous. I did it anyway and it was the best decision of my life. I was never alone unless I specifically chose to be. I’m going for a 3 months trip on my own very soon (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and possibly Myanmar) and I’m so excited. Thailand is a really great place to start, it is safe, it is friendly and there are a lot of chilled out travellers you’ll meet. Don’t listen to your friends, do it anyway! You’ll absolutely love it.

  134. Morgan February 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Hi there

    I am 22 years old and i would love to travel to Thailand and then onto Europe but i am scared to go alone as i am a young girl and many people have said not to go alone. What would you recommend?

    • Wandering Earl February 20, 2014 at 4:30 am - Reply

      Hey Morgan – It’s your decision in the end but all I can say is that there are plenty of solo female travelers out there of all ages who I’m sure would tell you that traveling on your own to Thailand is not a problem at all. Just have a look through my “Links” page and you’ll find plenty of travel blogs written by solo female travelers out there exploring the world.

    • Kristen February 20, 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

      I went alone to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia when I was 24, and it was AWESOME. SE Asia is a very good place to go alone, because there are a lot of other solo travelers there too, and they’re usually glad to join up with you. I had the choice to be alone, but it was also easy to meet people to travel with, just by staying in a hostel dorm. I never really felt unsafe. I would say definitely go, you’ll have a great time!

  135. Wesley February 10, 2014 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Dear Earl,

    Your article persuaded me to go travelling alone. I was wondering, which country in Europe / North-Africa have very open people and would you recommend me travelling to. I ask this because I’m a little affraid I end up not talking to anybody (I’m very socially, if a conversation has started though).



    • Wandering Earl February 13, 2014 at 6:53 am - Reply

      Hey Wesley – I don’t think you’ll find much of a difference wherever you go as it will all be up to you in terms of communicating with other people. There are open, friendly people everywhere but usually, you need to initiate some kind of conversation. Luckily, you can go to and instead of using this service to find sofas to sleep on, there are plenty of locals that just want to meet up for a coffee/beer/meal. This is a great way to connect with locals right away, wherever you go.

  136. Lorraine Sonney January 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    I am planning on travelling to Playa del Carmen. Reason for choosing this location is from stumbling onto you site. I wanted mexico. I have been there once for a week in an all exclusive paid for by my boss. What a beautiful place.
    I think I am having a midlife crisis, a very serious one where I need to get away for a month or longer before I have to figure what ever it is I am going to do. I am turning 55 Feb 1st. Still look young and feel young at heart. I always wished I had of traveled when I was younger and had no ties…
    I never did. Well why the heck not now before I get any older and find myself wishing years down the road that I had of done this.
    I am a little scared but really think I can handle it. Planning on selling my car and putting everything else in storage. I am very out going which I think is good…
    I found your site so helpful about living abroad for under $1000 per month. I have really enjoyed a lot of the information shared period. I have to say thanks because more than likely if not for your site I may not be making this decision.
    Thank you for all the information and all you said about Playa del Carmen.
    Wish me luck! Any helpful last minute hints??
    Thanks Earl,
    Kind regards,
    Lorraine Sonney.

    • Wandering Earl February 5, 2014 at 5:34 am - Reply

      Hey Lorraine – I think Playa might be the ideal place to just relax and figure things out. You’ll meet plenty of people, have access to beautiful beaches, great food and plenty of interesting destinations all over the area. It’s natural to be scared but usually, shortly after you arrive, those fears quickly disappear!

  137. Justyna | January 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Traveling alone is the coolest thing I’ve ever started doing in my life! It’s nothing more than a freedom of choice, no hurry and being where you are and when you want. Friends always ask me if I don’t feel lonely traveling alone. No, I don’t. Traveling alone doesn’t mean being alone 24/7. We still meet people on the way and make friendships.

  138. Michael January 13, 2014 at 6:12 am - Reply

    This is a great post for reassurance, in fact this is the third time I have read it in 2 months. My 3 month trip to Central America is 18 days away now and the excitement has turned into full on nerves and fear. Typical story I’m 29 and never been backpacking/travelling before. I woke up this morning and realised that 3 months is the longest I have ever been away from home alone and thats when the doubt and nerves kicked in, but then I looked through my plans of where I want to go and what I want to see. I realised then that when it comes to the end of my trip I’ll more than likely wishing had another 3 months to stay. I think the fear is just the fear of the unknown and doubts of how I will cope if/when something goes wrong. I think counting down the days isn’t helping, I kind of just want these 18 days to fly by so that I can be on that plane starting my adventure.

    Anyway, just wanted to share my experience of being afraid to travel solo. No doubt I will give this post another read and look through the site before I go for some last minute reassurance.

    Thanks a lot.

  139. marc Tully` January 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    hi, i want to travel south east Asia this july for 2 months, but the problem is i will probably be going solo. What tips would you give? Hopefully travelling thailand, laos, vietnam and cambodia over the 2 months. My parents are worried for me travelling alone, is there anything i can do to reassure them?
    Thanks!! 🙂

  140. Sasha January 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I feel the same way!
    I’ve read everyone’s post here and it seems if the problem is traveling abroad solo, why not find a like minded individual who shares your sames dreams?
    Now that i have the travel bug i am going to search for someone who feels the same way, do you want to travel together?
    Im down to go anywhere but the US. i really would love to tour thru thailand, australia, bali, etc!
    Its worth a try to find people who are on the same boat as me

  141. Sasha January 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Amy,
    I am totally with you. I just turned 29 (definetly do not feel like it) i quit my 9-5 office job , 4 months ago & i have been trying to get a gig as a tour leader, but no luck so far. Ive been worried about traveling alone since i am a female. I read your post and reading everyone else’s post of traveling solo, i thought i’d reach out to you and possibly being travel buddies. I say power in numbers and maybe having a travel buddy for a trip will make us both confident the next journey to travel solo.
    What do you think?
    I’d love yo travel to southeast asia, Australia, thailand, etc

  142. Sasha January 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks you for sharing Jessica & Vicky
    I just turned 29 & i am ready to take the leap into traveling the world. The thought of leaving it all behind makes me feel alive yet the fear of the unknown hasnt allowed me to make the move yet. After reading your posts, it makes me feel that ‘ im not the only one’
    I left my office job 4 months ago & have been trying to get a gig as a tour leader, no luck so far. Im thinking if just doing my own thing & set out on a one way flight.
    Thank you for posting!!

  143. Sarah January 5, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Hi Earl –
    Do you have any tips for girls traveling on their own, or any advice you have picked up along the way from other solo women travelers.
    I would love to explore and educate myself on some of the more dangerous countries in the world (or the ones that sound dangerous due to the media) but how different would they treat girls to guys as I’m going to guess their equality laws maybe something a little old fashioned and different than that to the UK.
    How safe is it for girls?

    • Wandering Earl January 7, 2014 at 4:10 am - Reply

      Hey Sarah – I think you’ll find that it’s not much different actually. As long as you use the same common sense you would use at home, you’ll be much safer than you think while traveling. You might want to read this recent post I wrote about a woman traveling around the world on her own. And there is lots of great thoughts in the comments section as well:

  144. myla December 31, 2013 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    hey I was wondering if I could get some advise ..I have not yet booked any flights but I was planning on travelling to Malaysia and Vietnam and Thailand and Cambodia and laos possibly in april planning on booking a flight to Malaysia for a few days ..should I not book all my other flights n accomodations. should I do this in Malaysia I was advised by a friend to book flights in each destination and to book hostels too instead of advance booking ..i’ll be travelling for one month

    • Wandering Earl January 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      Hey Myla – That’s a tough call. Usually, I would say that you should wait and book your flights as you go because there’s no way of knowing now how much time you will want to spend in each place. But since you only have one month, it might be best to organize everything ahead of time so that you don’t waste time while traveling, trying to make reservations and bookings.

  145. A Leap of Faith | officeofficeohlord December 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    […] a nomadic life. Travels from one corner of the world to another. And I saw the following post – . And I want to travel alone too – simple. It is, of course, scarier than it sounds. The […]

  146. Agreed; i left home in 2009, and since then have been living and working abroad. Now in Beijing, China. Can’t speak the language, work for the Chinese government (my bosses and directors dont speak English, and i dont agree with their approach to work), been home once (for 2 weeks for xmas once since then). And my job is travelling with Olympic sports teams around the world (over 40 countries so far, lost count now). Yes i know that lonely feeling, and well i also agree, when you live and work, and travel, there are so many others in the same shoes. For example in Beijing, oh it’s another white guy at the local cafe or the pub, “hey what you doing here?”, it’s a conversation starter and you can both have similar lonely feelings and will thus be friends like that. Or you will sit alone at that pub, and the local’s will be like “why is this white guy here?”. And then they will want chat with you to know more about your interesting place you came from and why you are in their home, even with use of google translator you can make friends easily.

    I think i have a lot more friends after a few weeks in any new country, then i had my whole life back in home. Back home i was a norm, an average, 9-5 job, like the other 6 million people in Sydney, same culture, nothing different, nothing to make people want to start a chat with you. Now abroad, i feel, i got more opportunities to meet people, make friends, and enjoy my life. Yes i miss family and that, but i also know that i couldn’t go back that life.

  147. Leslee December 10, 2013 at 11:22 am - Reply

    I’m with you 100% on this! This is the only thing that keeps me from traveling internationally as a single female. I’m somehow all about traveling the U.S. alone because usually I can meet someone and feel comfortable due to knowing someone that lives within the state or near enough to where I’ll be. But something about the international travel has me fearful of my own safety. It’s a risk, without a doubt. I guess if you can find someone at the airport or on a connecting flight to connect with it will/can ease your discomfort. It’s just that time in between meeting someone with a like mind that can be very nerve racking.

  148. Jihan December 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    This is true. When I went on my first solo trip to Europe (London, Paris, Rome) a lot of my friends recommended different travel agent to organize this trip for me but I turned them all down. I did the planning and everything myself. I bought a map, pre-booked my ticket to all the museums that interest me, that way I dont need to get in long lines, read a lot of travel blogs, etc, etc. My travel went smoothly. I would say one of the best trips I had in my entire life. Not to mention I’ve gained a lot of friends along the way.

  149. Jihan December 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I just did my first solo trip abroad. I did a lot of traveling before, but always with atleast one companion. I am originally from Southeast Asia and I’ve seen an ample part of it. I travelled around Europe alone and now Im back in the States, I can’t help but think/dream/plan about going back and this time I wanna do not just a whirlwind travel. I wanna quit my job and just roam around Europe for a good whole year or two. I fell inlove with Italy and Im planning to stay there for a couple of months. This blog is very inspiring and Ive learned a lot from all the commentaries. Keep it coming!

  150. Anamika December 7, 2013 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    I have had this dream about travelling the world since I was a kid. But the problem is I am in India. That does not make a problem for me – I have a supporting family. But I often find myself without company whenever I wanna go for trips as Indian parents are milder versions of prison guards :-)So I can go, but the company is a task. I have been cancelling my plans thinking I will feel lonely since years now. But I was just internet dreaming about going somewhere and, stumbled upon your blog today and I think I am going to venture alone. I am a pretty social person. But isn’t it likely that if I go for a trip form India, organized by Indian agencies, I will be with Indians on that trip and not people from other lands and places. Not to appear non-patriotic, but I am sick of Indians and I need a break. Can you suggest some remedy that I have a crowd travelling but not from the same country..?

    • Wandering Earl December 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Hey Anamika – The best solution is to try and travel on your own, not with an organized trip. An organized trip will limit your experiences as every day will be planned for you and you must follow that itinerary. Traveling on your own would allow you more freedom to explore the places you want to see, to move around as you like and to meet many more people everywhere you go!

  151. […] Please Don’t Be Afraid To Travel On Your Own By: Wandering Earl You want to travel. You make a vague plan. Maybe you’ll fly to Thailand or maybe to Mexico, but either way, you’re leaving in six months time. You start saving money, you start doing research every single night and your level of excitement grows with each passing hour…  […]

  152. Mike December 3, 2013 at 2:52 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    I don’t think I could have found your blog at a more perfect time. My girlfriend of two years and I have been planning a trip to Thailand for the last six months. With less than a month before our trip, she ended our relationship. Suddenly I was faced with mourning our relationship, deciding what to do with our apartment (we’re currently still living together), and contemplating my future, all while our trip loomed. We decided to both take the trip but go our separate ways upon landing in Bangkok. So here I am with less than two weeks to go before I leave.
    I don’t mind saying I oscillate daily, perhaps hourly, between excitement about the upcoming adventure, sadness about the relationship and the trip we could have taken together, and outright fear. I can relate to what you felt on that first trip from LAX to Bangkok. I’m taking that exact flight in 13 days. This is really my first time traveling, let alone traveling alone. I spent the last three days rearranging my trip. I’m planning on using the trip to figure out what comes next. One of my fears is that I will be so stuck in my head that the whole trip will pass me by. I’m also afraid that I’ll be alone for the whole time; that I won’t be able to meet up with other travelers. I’m staying mostly in hotels which seems like it will make it more difficult to meet people.
    There’s so much I’m worried about right now from communicating with people to what type of backpack I should bring. I’m scared. But I know that it will be amazing. I know that this trip will inspire me and at the very least make me realize that I’m okay on my own. Your blog has put me at ease, even if just a little bit, realizing that others have had my same fears. I will survive this! Now all I have to do is find the right travel pack.

    • Wandering Earl December 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Hey Mike – All I can say is just let us know how it goes after a couple of weeks and I’m quite confident that your adventure is going to turn out quite well in the end!

  153. Sue November 25, 2013 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Just found this post. Perfect timing. I have travelled a reasonable amount but usually by doing some sort of group travel – albeit some of that being five months on a truck trip. A year or so ago I spent some time in Sth America. The original plan was yet another truck trip but after a couple of months group travel I changed my plans and ended up spending two months travelling by myself. This was the highlight of that trip. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. And as an outgoing person I did meet people and travel for them for a bit. I also decided to base myself in La Paz for a bit and worked in a hostel bar for free accommodation and cheap meals/drinks. It was scary though and it came about more because of circumstances than a plan. I have now booked to go to SE Asia in Jan for several months. This time with no one else, no group travel and no real plans. Being totally honest I’m petrified. But I also want to do it. To have the experiences that travelling alone can give you. And to prove to myself I can do it. My friends have no idea I’m scared – usually I can convince someone to come or I have the fall back of a group tour and they are used to me disappearing for months at a time. Much as I love travelling (and I do!) I do know that travelling isn’t always the holiday that everyone thinks it is. It takes work & time to decide where to go next, how to get there, how much to pay, how to be understood and find and get the right bus/train, how to look after everything when it’s just you and you just want to go the loo but have your backpack with you! But all these experiences are what we crave and enjoy I guess.
    One other thing I have to comment on is that I’ve been reassured by the ages of some of your replies. I am no longer in my 20’s (or even 30’s much as I cringe to say that) and it seems harder to do this as you get older. The expectation is that this is what “youngsters” do – quit work and travel. But I still feel young and still want to do this, even if my passport tells me otherwise
    Wish me luck and that I have my best trip yet!

  154. Alana November 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Good for you!

  155. Catherine November 12, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Hi Earl. Your post and some of the comments are so encouraging and inspiring. I plan to do next year, exactly what you did in the beginning – visit Bangkok then go over to Cambodia. I did a mini-trip solo to Krakow last year and it was great. I felt totally safe the whole time and I got to see so much in a short space of time.

    I am a 44 year old female and my kids are in their late teens, so I am able to take a month on my next solo trip. Finding someone to go with me for a month would be impossible as everyone has different commitments. The main safety concerns I have are things we can’t control like natural disasters, terrorist attacks and appalling drivers, but we have all those risks at home every single day.

  156. Angeline October 19, 2013 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I think this is the time for me to source for airticket and hotel to Bali, Indonesia. Travelling solo is always 1 of my dream but have no courage to do it until I found this blog, I think I can do it this time.

  157. Lauren October 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Hi there!

    I’m so glad I come across this article! I’m all booked to fly to Australia – n/z – Thailand for my first backpacking trip in 4 weeks… solo! Same situation as lots of people, have wanted to travel for years but friends have said they’ll go then dropped out, can’t go etc and finally decided to pluck up the courage and book the tickets!
    I’m so excited to go and I’m a confident outgoing person so don’t think I’ll have to much trouble meeting new people but I’m starting to get nervous now! Thanks so much for your article, reading it had made me feel so much better and made me realise it’s normal to feel like this!

    • Wandering Earl October 20, 2013 at 2:12 am - Reply

      Hey Lauren – We all get nervous, that’s usually unavoidable but the good news is that it won’t take long at all after you arrive in Australia for all those nerves to disappear! Enjoy your adventures ahead 🙂

  158. Nurul Lubis October 11, 2013 at 6:49 am - Reply

    I am female 33 years old. I started my solo trip aboard when I was 27 to my neighbouring country, Malaysia and Singapore. A lot of people thought that I’m going crazy and they’re pretty sure, I’ll get bored once I arrived on the foreign land.
    And, what most people thought was totally wrong. I really enjoyed my solo adventure. And as you said, I was never totally alone. I had been travelling to 14 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. 9 of them I did it myself.
    Having a company can be good. But, sometimes, I face the situation that solo traveler is the only option. I chose to keep going.

  159. […] Please Don’t Be Afraid To Travel On Your Own By: Wandering Earl You want to travel. You make a vague plan. Maybe you’ll fly to Thailand or maybe to Mexico, but either way, you’re leaving in six months time. You start saving money, you start doing research every single night and your level of excitement grows with each passing hour… […]

  160. Sagar October 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,

    Thanks for the post, I’m going through a separation with my wife and it’s been eight months now. I have lived all alone for these eight months and I usually work from home. I don’t have many friends either. I’m from India and I plan to travel solo to Philippines. I’m not sure whether to take this trip or not. I don’t know whether I will meet someone there who will accompany me throughout my trip or not. The probability is very less. How does it feel if you have to be all alone and see the places. Would it be exciting or dull. I don’t know how I will feel there. Will I be happy for coming out of house and seeing a beautiful place or will I realize that it was not worth to travel this far. I’m not happy now and not sure whether traveling will cheer me up. Let me know your thoughts. Yes, I’m confused and I want to get out and do something that will make me happy. But, I’m too scared.

    • Wandering Earl October 15, 2013 at 6:06 am - Reply

      Hey Sagar – There’s only one way to find out and if you’re not happy now, there’s nothing wrong with trying something new, such as traveling to a new country. That might be exactly what you need. And you can always meet new people…just go on and meet up with people. You don’t need to stay with them but there are dozens of people who just want to meet travelers for a coffee all over the world.

  161. Anne October 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks Earl for the advice. I know that whether I’m alone or in a tour group I would need to deal with the culture shock, but I would become used to the environment in another country. I can’t wait to get over to Italy 🙂

  162. Paul C October 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Sorry to break the female chain. I’m a 61 year old youngster who thinks going alone is best. Wherever I go, I see and do what I want, without negotiating a compromise with someone or following a travel group. That sounds selfish, but it works for me. And meeting strangers is better than talking old subjects with someone you know. I struck up a conversation today with a Russian on a train from Minsk to Vilnius. Tonight in a restaurant I was surrounded by a US tour group who only talked about California. Boring! As a recovering alcoholic, I love to go to AA meetings wherever I can, because I meet real down to earth local people who are very welcoming of strangers and want to share their story and city/country. Hard to believe too, but my wife, bless her, does not like to travel, but encourages me to go any time I can. I am truly grateful.

  163. Anne October 3, 2013 at 5:37 am - Reply


    I’m a female in my mid-20s and would like to travel to Italy next year. Ideally I would like to spend a few months there. This would be my first solo trip overseas. I’ve learned from experience that I can’t always rely on friends to stick to plans as they can and do bail out and those few friends I have either can’t afford to travel or have other commitments. People around me have suggested that I go on tour groups and have concerns about me travelling on my own because of safety, being overwhelmed in a new place and an unfamiliar language. I would actually be more comfortable travelling on my own than in a group as I like the freedom it brings and I consider myself a shy person. I’ve had a look at some tour groups and they can be very expensive. I’m learning Italian in my spare time. How & where does one meet people when they travel alone?

    • Wandering Earl October 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      Hey Anne – If you’re traveling on a budget, the best place to meet other travelers are at hostels which offer cheap accommodation all over Italy and all over the world. You can find them on a site like

      For meeting locals, you could try to meet up with people through as there are people in almost every town and city that just want to meet foreigners to hang out with and learn from.

      And once you start traveling, you’ll see that meeting people is much easier than you ever imagined!

  164. mahina September 30, 2013 at 6:45 am - Reply

    hi there,

    i am a 26 year old woman, leaving to volunteer in a wildlife sanctuary in africa … tomorrow !! i am actually freaking out although i have already traveled to new zealand where i lived for six years, to florida and to canada alone. it s great to know that so many people are feeling the same way and following their dreams, it s a tough and dangerous world out there especially for a woman, but sometimes it takes a bit of risk to live our lives to the fullest and make our dreams come true. am really really scared, more than i have ever been going from the remote island of french polynesia to a country in africa, but my heart yearns for it and it feels right, and even though am alone, i know i wont be when i get there,, i just hope everything is going to be fine

  165. Joann September 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said here. After realizing that I could no longer put off my travel plans just because no one’s coming with me, I went into my 1st solo travel last year. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! And now, I’m happy to see friends going solo too in their trips. 🙂

    • Wandering Earl October 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Glad to hear that Joann and thank you for adding another example of how well solo travel usually turns out!

  166. Julie September 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    This article was well written, and gave me a burst of confidence. I am backpacking all alone through the East coast of Australia and New Zealand for a few months, I’m a 22 year old female. The dream and excitement are strong but they are being buried by my nervousness and my terror of leaving the comforts of my home.

    • Amy September 12, 2013 at 9:11 am - Reply

      I am so glad that I have come across this article.
      I am a 23 year old female and really want take extended leave from my 9-5 job and see a slice of the world. Unfortunately, all of my friends don’t share the same dream.
      I’m very nervous about travelling alone and have never even been to a restaurant/cinema alone before.
      I have spoken to many people who have been travelling and know that this is something I need to do. I know that if i dont take the plunge and follow my heart I will live to regret it.

      I’m planning to do a trip of some kind early next year (South East Asia, or otherwise). If anyone sees this message and would like to buddy up on a trip that would be amazing!

  167. Sarah September 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    This is a wonderful blog.Im a 31 yr old woman and have been to a fair share of countries but always with at least 1 person. I have a week off at the end of October and really want to go to New York, it will have to be alone as no one else can come. I know you may think Im pathetic fretting over just one week but Im scared at going there alone & the main anxiety I have is that Im brutal at following directions,Ive always relied on who Im with to do it for me.Im scared Ill get lost!!(Sad I know!!)

    • Wandering Earl September 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Hey Sarah – Just go and then tell us how it went. I’m confident it will have been well worth it!

  168. Vicky August 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Jessica – you need to be careful who you listen to. Just want to share something…. When I was 21 I traveled to South America with my brother – he was 19. We traveled there from New Zealand by boat to Panama. Neither of us knew of anyone else who had done that. This was in 1973! Before we got to Colombia and while there we heard so many horror stories about people being robbed and worse. We spent six weeks hitch hiking around Colombia and not once did we see any trouble of any kind. Nowhere until we arrived in Chile and the coup happened did we see any trouble – and we got out of there fast.

    If you look at the statistics you are at a much greater risk if you stay at home – especially if you live in a city in the States. The trouble is, all these well-meaning folks who care for you live in a very small world. They usually have no experience of traveling to where you want to go and they are unlikely to go for their own dreams.

    I think your biggest danger is in having regrets if you don’t follow your heart. Of course bad things can happen anywhere, but if you take the same care you would at home, keep an eye on your valuables at all times, you’ll be OK. And as many have said here – when you travel alone you are open to meeting all kinds of interesting people you wouldn’t meet as a couple or otherwise – and you will only be alone when you want to be.

    One last thing – it’s normal to second guess yourself – you’re about to leave and all these fears come up. You are going to have an awesome time and will likely get slightly addicted to this wonderful travel thing – your life will never be the same again and I can bet you will never regret leaving your 6-figure job!

    Have lots of fun and let us know how it goes!

  169. Jessica August 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    My situation is much like yours Michelle and I’m terrified. I’m 25 and decided to quit a 6-figure job because I’ve always had these relentless desires to travel. I’ve booked a flight to Guatemala to visit a friend staying there for the summer. As it’s now 3 days before my flight leaves I am reconsidering everything. I’m constantly being told that it’s a 3rd world country that’s very violent and that since I’m female travelling alone I won’t be safe. I’ve also made arrangements to visit Spain and I’m hesitant to visit there as well due to reading horror stories on-line or my friend’s/family’s negative comments. I’m driving myself crazy and hate that I’m over-thinking and re-thinking my plans. Any further tips or encouragement would be much appreciated!

  170. Bridget August 17, 2013 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl!

    do you have any recommendations for females traveling alone? I mean, I don´t wanna paint the devil on the wall, but isn´t it a bit more difficult for Ladies to travel the world, in terms of getting raped, or whatever might happen…. I don´t even wanna think about this, but of course somehow I am concernd and I wouldn´t dare to travel a Muslim country like Marroke alone as a woman!

    • Wandering Earl August 18, 2013 at 7:52 am - Reply

      Hey Bridget – Well, all I can say is that I meet solo female travelers all over the world, in every single country I’ve ever been to. As long as you use the same common sense while traveling that you would use at home, the chances of anything happening are quite slim. There’s no reason to believe that every country presents a greater danger to solo female travelers than your own country…in fact, I bet you’ll find that most places you visit will feel a lot safer 🙂

  171. grahame August 17, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Hey wandering earl you are a real inspiration not only to me but a ton of other would be travellers out there. I have been following your blog for a while now and it’s given me so much more confidence. You see, while my friends and family think that I can’t possibly continue travelling at my age. I’m 60 years young and I live only to travel. I have been doing it now for some 30 years and I can’t get it out of my skin. Though I’ve travelled to lots of other countries, I went to South East Asia in 1993 simply because my business went down the toilet and I had a brand new vision. I flew from South Africa where I live to Taipei in Taiwan (but then you knew that) on China Airlines on my own and didn’t ever want to come back home. So much so I never ever travel on South African Airlines. I also went on to Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Cambodia a number of times. When I turned 60 last year I thought I might leave South Africa for good and just keep travelling until my time is up. I’m not married and have no kids. I am now thinking of doing an English Teaching course and head back to Thailand or China or wherever. I am an artist and an expert on nutrition (I try to help people on what’s the best way to live cancer free and other horrible illnesses ) and would love to do some humanitarian work in Cambodia. I am healthy, slim young at heart and very much alive, I have now become a writer and want to go wandering just like you. gadabout grahame

    • Wandering Earl August 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm - Reply

      Hey Grahame – Thanks for that great comment and seems like you’ve certainly seen your fair share of destinations already. And I can of course understand that desire to remain on the road in some capacity, and teaching English sure is one way to do that. If that’s what you desire then I say go for it!

  172. Pepper August 12, 2013 at 4:56 am - Reply

    It is easier for a man to go alone, but as a woman, she is at a disadvantage. The third world countries and middle east countries that are male dominated are not accustomed to female alone or will prey on the single female. Young women must consider the consequences and weight the risks before embarking on journeys alone. I love the adventure but I am for safety in numbers and it is cheaper by the dozen- share the expense and be safe.

  173. Craig August 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Hey great article 🙂

    Planning on doing a year travelling next Christmas time and am also afraid of the loneliness. I’m a shy and quite self conscious guy, but does give me comfort that there are others in the same position. Hoping the travel will help with my confidence and interaction with others.

  174. Niamh July 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,
    I’m 17 and hoping to go travelling within the next few years. I’ve always wanted to travel the world but my only problem is that I’m scared of going without a friend. However I’m so glad I stumbled across your article but I’m still wondering if I should go alone. I’ve never done anything by myself as in when I move from secondary school to college I still had a friend with me and it just scares me the thought of not having someone there. I’m stuck in two minds of should I go travel the world on my ones or should I go with a friend…?

  175. Matthew July 3, 2013 at 1:08 am - Reply

    I enjoy solo traveling. Of course always nice to share adventures with your friends, but that can also cause a lot of problems and strain on friendship long-term.

    Going with a friend can make it easier to just stick to your own group, versus going solo helps influence meeting new people.

    Going solo allows you to pursue any direction you choose — explore where you desire, eat what you desire, rest/sleep when you feel like it and leave when you are ready. If you are with someone else sometimes it ends up compromising on what you really want to do and you end up doing something in between what both people want leaving both people unsatisfied. Part of your mission of exploring where your heart leads you means being completely free to make your own decision of where you want to go. Maybe this sounds selfish but it can really be difficult to find a friend who really wants to experience everything exactly the same way you do, especially for extended travel.

    Part of your travels may be a journey to ‘discover yourself’ as well as discovering the world. Going solo allows you to discover yourself as deep as you wish to take it.

  176. Ashton Demont June 25, 2013 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Hey Earl,
    I as well shed some tears reading this Blog. Ive been wanting to visit Bali, Thailand and India for a long time now and never had anyone to accompany me. A month ago I bought my ticket and said the hell with it. Now 6 weeks left before my trip, I am terrified and having second thoughts, nervous and just a bundle of mixed emotions, everything from excitement, to fear, nervousness and regret. Thank you for this Blog. It did give me some hope that I needed!
    Thank you

    • Wandering Earl June 27, 2013 at 3:10 am - Reply

      Hey Ashton – All of that fear and worry will disappear very quickly upon your arrival in Asia!

  177. Jason Wall June 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Heading on my 1st solo adventure in 2 weeks, going New York for 1 week then onto Canada starting at Banff and taking it from there.

    Both nervous and excited but I’m sure when I’m there ill be laughing at what was I nervous for.

    Cannot wait new countries and new adventures and hopefully lots of new friends 🙂


    • Wandering Earl June 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      Hey Jason – You absolutely will be doing that and I certainly wish you the best with your adventure! Do let us know how it goes once it gets underway!

  178. Sherron June 21, 2013 at 4:36 am - Reply

    I can’t agree more. I did a trip to Thailand (12 days) it was the first time travelling overseas (besides frequent trips back an fourth from Aus to NZ). I had asked around friends and had people saying yes but not really committing, then finally thought, I can’t not do something I’ve been dreaming of because nobody wants to hold my hand!
    I will say that a good chunk of my time was spent on a tour, even doing that alone I was afraid that nobody would speak to me, I would be the only person doing it by myself, I would be the lone person of the group etc to the point where I was overtaken with an ill feeling in my stomach the entire weekend before I flew out…..well nothing could have been further from the truth. I spent my first day just wondering around taking in the surrounding area of my hotel. The tour then began and when it finished I had made friends that I still talk to on occasion and 2 of whom I explored Bangkok more with the 2 days before I flew out.
    So, if you’re really worried, you could try a little tour first because there’s a good chance you’ll meet like minded people as well

  179. Karen June 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Wow Michelle – well done you. Having decided to go see the world instead of buying a house 3 years ago I can honestly say it was the best decision of my life. You’ve made the right choice- hope you have a fantastic adventure!

    And as always Earl – great post.

  180. […] actually the opposite. It is hard to have some alone time while on the road, simply because I am constantly around new people everywhere I […]

  181. Michelle April 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Julian, I did! I quit and bought my tickets to get outta here! My fiance is extremely supportive and that was a huge factor in my decision to do this. He went on his dream solo trip to Korea a few years ago and feels that I should have that opportunity to travel on my own as well regardless of the financial hit we’ll no doubt experience. Yes, it’s so important that you have the support of your partner or spouse and I think this bodes well for our future.

  182. Michelle April 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    Well I quit the day after I wrote the comment! I was a wreck at first wondering if I had just destroyed our life before we even started but my heart grew lighter and lighter as it got closer to my last day of work and when it finally happened, I was SO relieved and I wholly believe it was the right thing to do. The stress and repressiveness of that job was hurting me mentally anyway and it really needed to end.
    I’ve got tickets booked and visas are in process. It’s not easy, some days I’m all worries and other days I’m filled with excitement. I’m not looking for a new job yet, I’m going to let that rest until my return when I’m refreshed and have some clarity.
    Again thanks for all the encouragement you give to everyone!

  183. Julian April 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Michelle! Just go do it! Before or after your wedding….he will wait! Let him know your dreams, despite whether or not it will ostracize him. My woman and I just split ways because I want to go travel and she can not(/already has). But before we split, I knew that if she went, I would wait, and if I went, she would wait. It’s that simple.

  184. Marilyn April 23, 2013 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Thank you for your story. I was just talking to my Aunt about how I want to change my plans to travel to South East Asia within the next week, because I will be traveling alone, and then I saw your story. I haven’t booked my flight or anything yet, and I haven’t even prepared. I have traveled on my own in the past many many times, but something about this one is making procrastinate. However, your story has given me some confidence and some support to move forward with my plans. So thank you and I’m going to go to the travel agent tomorrow.


  185. Lisa April 20, 2013 at 12:31 am - Reply

    I am making my 5th overseas solo trip 3 weeks. I joke that when I need “alone time” that is when I pack up my bags and passport and head out for a month at a time. I’ve made wonderful friends along the way & I really wish more people would embark without the saftey net of “I need someone there with me.”


  186. Jess April 8, 2013 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to say that I am so glad I stumbled across this on google as I am terrified of flying into Asia on my own this wednesday!! I am so worried I wont meet people to travel with but what you have written has put my mind at ease, so thanks!:)

    • Wandering Earl April 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Hey Jess – You’ll have a blast and be sure to let us know how it goes!

  187. Michelle April 4, 2013 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    This post popped up in a google search on solo travel and I’m so glad it did. I’m 31, in a senior position at my corporate job, getting married this Oct, and positively wracked with anxiety about whether or not I should make the decision to quit and make my SE Asia travel dreams come true before “real” adulthood obligations come and find me. I actually shed tears reading because your words hit some soft achy spot inside of me. I feel a mixture of extreme guilt (I have a wedding to pay for!) and also sheer panic that if I don’t do this now then I’ll probably never be able to do it until I’m an old retired fart. As I enter this month, I know I need to make a decision soon. And that’s where I’m at right now. Hopefully I come back to this site with a positive update. Thank you for what you do!

    • Wandering Earl April 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      Hey Michelle – Do let us know which direction you choose to go in!

  188. Abi March 5, 2013 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Hi Earl

    I have stumbled across your blog quite by accident and the bits I have read have been really encouraging. I have always wanted to travel but I have always put obsticles in my way “not enough money”, “be on my own”, “scared if something happens”……I have decided that I AM going to do it on my own!!

    I visited my sister in Thailand last year whilst she was travelling for a few months. We went island hopping from Koh Samui, Koh Phanghan and Koh Tao (that’s all the time I had off work)…..I was so surprised how many people we met, how friendly the locals were and how easy it was to navigate around. We backpacked everywhere and even the cheapest accommodation was clean and tidy.

    So…..I will start to save up some money, sell some possessions that quite frankly I don’t need, and plan my trip for hopefully next year sometime. We only live once so have to go for it!!

    My motto in life “I’d rather regret the things I have done than regret the things I haven’t!!!”

    • Wandering Earl March 8, 2013 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Hey Abi – That’s about as good a motto to have! And if you ever have any questions while planning your travels, just let me know…

      • Abi March 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm - Reply

        I sure will Earl 🙂 the sooner I get away from the cold, damp UK the better!!!!!

  189. Lito Canadilla February 25, 2013 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Earl, I am going to Bangkok-Cambodia and Vietnam soon by myself. Can you give me few good tips? or the do’s and dont’s of these countries. thank you so much.

    • Wandering Earl February 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Lito – Just enjoy yourself over there! It’s such a great part of the world. My biggest tip is to meet people and talk to as many people as you can. This way, you will learn about destinations that you never heard of and you’ll end up having experiences that you never imagined. It’s all about the people! If you have any specific questions about these countries, just send me an email and I’d be more than happy to answer.

  190. Ash February 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl im 20 years old and for a long time now i allways wanted to travel around the world as i allways wanted to since i 13 years old and i just woundering where would be the best place to start off with then move on from that place to a diffrent one as it be my first time going out in the world like this and casue i intend to stay there much long i was woundering if u could please tell me how i could go around getting a visa to stay out there longer or dont you need to get one for it ? and if u need some sort of work visa to get jobs out in diffrent places for if i need it

    thanks Ash.

    • Wandering Earl February 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      Hey Ash – There’s no simple answer to those questions. First, you need to decide on a destination, which you should do by closing your eyes and thinking of which part of the world you really want to experience first. Once you pick a country, then you have to look into their particular visa rules as every country has different restrictions and options. Some countries allow you to stay for long periods of time, others don’t but the key is to choose the destination that really calls out to you and then go from there…

      • Ash February 22, 2013 at 6:12 pm - Reply

        hey Earl thanks for the reply and i will indeed do that its sounds good to me and yeah i will read up on some countries and look into the history as thats what im in to countires history and culture

  191. Cindy February 21, 2013 at 12:50 am - Reply

    I am a 58 year old women who would love to find a traveling partner but I would have to live on 800$ a month. I was wondering if this website would be a good one to find another women to travel with as I just don’t think I have the guts to do it alone.

  192. Bill Barnes February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks Earl, I have five nights booked at the Hotel Isabel, I think it’s supposed to be a decent place to stay, it’s near the Centro Historico. thanks for the encouragement! Sincerely, Bill Barnes

  193. Bill Barnes February 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    hi Earl, I am going to Mexico in 12 days, and am starting to get really nervous. I am not nervous about the beginning of the trip, to Puerto Vallarta, Guanajuato, and San Miguel de Allende, but am really a bit scared to go to Mexico City at the end of the trip, I think I will get robbed, ripped off, mugged, who knows. I am considering cancelling the Mexico city part of the trip, is this irrational? thanks, sincerely, Bill

    PS I have 4 days planned for Mex City. I could just skip the flight from there to the states, and fly home from Guanajuato

    • Wandering Earl February 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Hey Bill – Don’t you cancel Mexico City! Stay at a hostel right near the “Zocalo” (which there are many) or if you want a hotel, stay at Hotel Azores, a great budget place, a couple of blocks away from the Zocalo (main plaza) as well. The city is beautiful, the parts you’ll go to will be safe and there is so much to do, see and eat. Most people are shocked by Mexico City because it is nothing like what they imagine…in a good way!

    • Bill Barnes February 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Earl, just to add backround to my previous comment about being nervous to visit Mexico City. I have traveled alone many times, mainly to Europe, and have never been nervous like this before. I guess I just consider Europe safe, and Mexico City unsafe, maybe I have read to many alarmist things about people being ripped off and beaten in cabs in Mexico City, but it sounds so wild and wooly there. maybe I am just over reacting. thanks, Sincerely, Bill Barnes

      • Wandering Earl February 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm - Reply

        Hey Bill – It’s not really that wild at all, especially if you stay in the main center and don’t venture out to the outskirts. The center really is beautiful, clean, calm…not what most people expect.

  194. mikey February 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I left for my first around the globe trip 5 1/2 months ago, Im currently in Spain. Anyway, I began traveling with a friend who also wanted to travel the world. I was one of those who was calling people to come with me, for I was scared to go at it by myself. Although, I value the time I spent with him, I realized after two months that traveling alone would be better. So… I wished my friend well, and from Australia I headed to Malaysia on my own. The reason traveling alone is better is because this is YOUR trip and when traveling with someone else you almost always have to compromise, and when is the next time you’re gonna be in New Zealand, you should do what YOU want to do. Also, you rely on your travel companion so much that you lose perspective and insight on how strong you can be when traveling. I mean, you’re in a place thats different from anything or anywhere you’ve ever been and you have to deal with that head on. Its extremely exhilarating to figure out how to deal with a new place and get to where you need to go, and in doing so you realize how self-reliant you are. Meeting people is easy also, and sometimes you meet people your travel companion might not necessarily like or vice-versa and it kind of puts you in an awkward position. Anyway, traveling on your own is nothing to worry about, you will meet people. Earl- I’m so glad you wrote what you did about ‘even though your “alone” your never actually alone.’ This is exactly how I describe backpacking the world. The backpacking community has such a strong feeling of camaraderie, its amazing that a community exists like this in the world, I am glad to be part of it.

    • Wandering Earl February 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Hey Mikey – I was just having a conversation about this last night with someone who is about to start traveling. I was telling him the same thing, that there is an instant connection between travelers out there and as a result, there are always people to meet and you never have to be alone if you don’t want to. Glad to hear your own adventures are working out so well for you!

  195. shaira February 9, 2013 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Hi, I am glad I came across your blog, as I am going to thailand in march by myself and I have been so scared of what’s ahead of me. I’ve heard a lot of scary stories from people, but I think it is just to discourage me from travelling.. I now am very excited to see what this adventure brings’ simply because I’m gonna be on my own.

    • Wandering Earl February 13, 2013 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Hey Shaira – Just go out there and enjoy your adventure…you’ll meet plenty of people over there for sure!

  196. Olivia - young on the road February 5, 2013 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Hey Earl,
    If you could turn back time to 1999 then that is where you would find me currently.

    I’m a teenage girl and I’m going to do a solo travel in SE-Asia, starting on the 19th of March 2013. I will be writing about it in my blog though, to update friends and family and reassure mother dearest, he-he.

    I will be combing through your posts for some Asia advice!

    • Wandering Earl February 5, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Hey Olivia – Well, let’s see how your adventure unfolds and where it shall lead…perhaps you will end up on the road for a very long time as well 🙂

  197. Fernanda January 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Reading your post I felt as if I was writing it myself. It perfectly describes the way I love to travel. The first time is always harder, but it´s also the best one in terms of getting to know yourself. Only when you are alone by your own is that you really learn what you´re capable of.

    I´m now at work, but my mind keeps thinking about all the places I wanted to be and reading this reminded me of my first time (travelling alone, of course hahhaha). I was 17 when I bought the tickets, had just turned 18 when I got in that plane to Madrid. It was my first time leaving my country (Brazil), I had only my backpack, my passport and some money. I told my parents I was coming back shortly, but secretly I had a plan to stay till the world cup in Germany, and so I did. I end up travelling for six months, it may be nothing compared to your twelve years, but for a 18 year old girl it was the adventure of a lifetime.

    It was easier than I thought for a girl (apart from one incident with a drunk guy trying to rape me after a Barcelona match), and surely better than I thought. Actually, once you travel alone, travelling with friends can be a bit boring and disappointing.

    After that I´ve been travelling everytime i can afford. I don´t have the guts to leave all I have here behind but I really (REALLY) like what you´re doing with your own life. And if I can give a piece of advice (for girls specially) is to don´t be afraid of travelling alone, even if some bad things happen to you on the way, there is always something you can learn from it and the good moments will always prevail in your memories.

    • Wandering Earl January 24, 2013 at 4:39 am - Reply

      Hey Fernanda – Thank you for sharing your story and offering that advice. I think your tale is another perfect example of how much safer and easier it is to travel the world on our own than most of us think. And as you said, it is often more enjoyable as well!

  198. Angela January 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Hi, i stumbled across your page and it’s filled me with confidence. I’m desperate to travel to Thailand but like most people i’ve not got any friends that have the same time/cash or ambition. I’ve always thought that being female and travelling alone is extremely dangerous but after reading messages from the females here I’m finally finding the confidence and motivation to just do it!! Thanks, i’ve been inspired!! 🙂 x

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Hey Angela – That is excellent to hear and I can only repeat, “Just go!” Once you arrive you’ll wonder why you were ever worried in the first place 🙂

  199. Ella December 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Im travelling alone in Feb to oz! I’m unsure if to book a tour like the oz experience or just book the greyhound bus and make my own way.I’m so scared about doing it alone!

    • Wandering Earl December 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Hey Ella – Maybe you should do the Oz Experience for a few days, see if you like it and go from there. It’s best to try each option out and then make a decision as to how you want to proceed with the rest of your trip.

  200. Lito Cana December 18, 2012 at 10:01 am - Reply

    December 2013 is the game. I’m going to Thailand by myself. Carebear! Thanks Earl!

  201. […] Wandering Earl: Please Don’t Be Afraid to Travel On Your Own […]

  202. Tiffany December 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I will be alone in playa del Carmen for New Years if anyone wants to get together.. 🙂 30 female

  203. Ava Apollo November 26, 2012 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I read this as I was planning my trip, afraid that I would be alone/lonely and really scared to take the leap. It’s incredible how, after two months of travel in SE Asia, I have never been alone. You were completely right. I had nothing to worry about.

    • Wandering Earl November 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Hey Ava – Very nice to hear and of course, I’m not surprised at all 🙂 I just wish more people would take that leap and discover this for themselves!

  204. Nadia October 23, 2012 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    I totally agree with Earl and Victor 🙂
    I just visited Thailand on this August with my family and I took one day to travel alone by myself. And it was FUN to get lost but stay safe.
    The night before I’m reading some basic information for tourist about Thailand and it’s really helpful to keep my awareness up. The only thing I can suggest to you is, do not believe and follow the local guide who offering a ride by Tuktuk because it’s totally a scam, the rest of it enjoy the country! 🙂
    Read a lot of travel blog about Thailand so you full with information and you’re ready to hit the road. Have fun! 🙂

  205. Colin October 11, 2012 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Really enjoyed reading this. I am planning on taking my first solo trip and intend on heading to Thailand. I’ve been trying to read up as much as possible through various blogs. Would you suggest reserving a hotel for the first night or two before heading over? Just to get settled? Or are rooms pretty readily available. I want to spend three or four days in Bangkok and then see as much of the country as I can. Again, do you have suggestions about whether or not to do a travel package within a guide? Or is it just better to head over and see where things lead?

    • Earl October 11, 2012 at 4:19 am - Reply

      Hey Colin – If it’s your first solo trip then it does make sense to book a hotel for the first couple of nights, just to eliminate the worry of finding a place upon arrival. Rooms are always available but again, it will be a lot easier to have a place already booked. Actually if you plan to stay in Bangkok for just 3 or 4 nights, you might as well book a place for the entire stay as that will save you a lot of time. As for visiting the rest of the country, it’s all up to you. I’ve never used a travel package with a guide but I’ve always had unlimited time. So I think it depends on how long you will be in Thailand…if it is a couple of weeks, maybe you would want something organized, although I think doing it on your own might be better. Just pick a few destinations that appeal to you the most and go there…getting around Thailand is quite easy!

  206. Simon October 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Just stumbled across your web site Earl and haven´t read all of it , just briefly read a few postings and very interessting is it as well !
    I did a 6 month RTW this year alone and was so nevous as I flew from London to Delhi , exactly the same as you described your first trip to SE Asia. Also with me it did nt take long before I met the most wonderfull of people of all ages, since I am 44y it was also pleasent to be accepted by the younger generations as well as those in my age group. I only intended to go for 3 months and I really never thought I would hack it that long but the 3 months turned into 6 months and I really never wanted to come back.
    Anyway, I have got the travel bug and am planning a trip to South America starting in Argentina and then up and across back to SE Asia, and due to my circumstances I might stay out indefinetly.
    What I am trying to say is , if I can do this alone then anyone can as I was not the most outgoing of people and if anyone has any doubts then I can only re iterate what you and others have said here that it is impossible not to meet people on the way.
    I am also thinking about blogging the next trip , is it easy to do ? Have never done a blog and am not to sure how it all works

    • Earl October 6, 2012 at 5:25 am - Reply

      Hey Simon – That’s such a great comment and I’m sure it will help others realize even more that traveling on your own is much easier than we imagine! And the fact that you’re about to travel again is even more proof that it’s not so terrifying. As for blogging, it all depends on your goals. If you want to create a blog to keep your family and friends updated, then, yes, it’s quite easy to set up and accomplish. If you are looking to blog in a way that reaches a wider audience or to earn money from a blog, then it’s definitely more challenging and requires some research and a lot more effort. It’s basically a full time job 🙂

      • Simon October 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm - Reply

        Hi Earl
        No ; i am not looking at making money just to let others at home etc know what I´m up to 🙂

  207. Nicole September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl!
    Stumbled upon this article which has helped ease some of my worries! I’ve travelled around South America and Asia, but its always been with my 2 best friends, and being the shy one of the 3 i’ve always met fellow travellers through my friends that have started talking to them, but i made some great friendships along the way. I’ve been saving up for Australia for the last 6 months and as the other 2 aren’t so keen on going, i’ll be going by myself! I’m definitely more confident when travelling (for some weird reason) but I can’t help but think that their presence gave me that confidence while I was away and I’ll end up being quite lonely a lot of the time! How much confidence do you realistically need to be a solo traveller and actually meet other people? I’ve always found that the friendships I made were one of the best part of travelling…


  208. catherine September 1, 2012 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Hi Earl!
    I’m planning on going to South East Asia to see Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, especially and then on to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in January… I loved your post from the word ‘Go’ because I can completely relate to it!… I’ve asked soo many of my friends if they’re interested in coming with me on my travels but every single one has said No! At the moment I’ve got a friend who said she might come depending on her money situation but she’s not too interested in going to Aus or NZ afterwards, so I’m very doubtful!… I literally feel like I’m waiting an eternity for her to make up her mind! I’m not too bothered about going to Aus or NZ on my own as I’m planning on doing the Kiwi Experience so I will hopefully meet people on that…
    I was most worried about going to Asia on my own but your post’s really helped to put my mind at rest! Would you recommend booking your flights in advance? I know you can get this ‘multi-flex’ option which means you can change dates if you need to but I’m not sure if this still limits me…If i meet nice people while im out there i dont want to feel like I can’t get to know them too much as I have to leave to catch my next flight…

    Also, I see there are a few tours you can do for about 30 days – a little on the expensive side… but I’m sure I can meet people on these. They take you to all the main attractions and sights to see…while I am bound to meet other solo travellers, do you think this will restrict me? I’ve found a good one with this travel agency but it seems they only let you spend 2 days at some destinations…I’m planning on going Tubing in Laos for quite a while longer!

    Also with regards to ‘Island Hopping’ around Thailand, do I need some sort of pass which will be cheaper to buy in advance?

    Thanks for any info you might have!

    • Earl September 2, 2012 at 2:46 am - Reply

      Hey Catherine – In my opinion, you don’t need to book your flights in advance as you never know what will happen or where you’ll end up wanting to go until you get there and having set flights will only restrict you and limit your flexibility. As for tours, I don’t think they’re necessary in SE Asia as you will meet endless people from day one and if you find a place you want to stay in for a while, the tour will require that you pick up and leave after a couple of days. Again, it’s about flexibility as with a tour, your entire trip is planned out for you and you can’t change direction at any time.

      As for tubing in Laos, that’s not something to be too excited about as the situation there in Vang Vieng is quite sad. Foreigners have overrun the place and taken a small, peaceful village and turned it into a non-stop drunken party, without any regard whatsoever for the local people and their customs.

      And with island hopping, there is no admission fee to any of the islands so you don’t need a pass. You simply take the ferry to whichever islands you wish to go.

      Hope that helps.

  209. Lorraine August 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl and fellow solo travelers,
    I’ve been taking solo trips for years and years. Mainly because my siblings and/or girlfriends are so caught up in their current “man” to want to go with me. I’ve never, ever let it stop me.

    Incidently the last trip I took to Ecuador, I was never alone unless I wanted to be. The people I met (couples) were just amazed that I went there by myself. To me it wasn’t amazing.

    I now find I enjoy my solo travels more than companion travels because my trips are more spontaneous. I rarely plan my trips, other than where I’m spending the night. Some of the funniest (and fun) experiences have happened as a result of something just happening.

    Always know that you’ll only truly be alone on a deserted island.


    • Earl August 27, 2012 at 6:13 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comment Lorraine and it seems that you feel the exact same way! Heading off on your own is not something to be afraid of at all!

  210. Brittany August 16, 2012 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Hey Earl!
    Thank you for posting this. I am an American living in the UK. Before I go back to the US in a few months, I really want to travel Europe. But I have been afraid to go alone. I have been wanting to travel all my life and I feel like this is my chance as I am almost finished with my MA here. Every time I travel with a friend, we always see what THEY want to see and do, and nothing that I want to do. That gets so frustrating and makes me feel like I should not have even gone. So this article is really inspiring to read for me. Being a tiny 5’3″, 98 pounds, and looking like I am 15 has always made me feel like I could never travel without sticking out. So thank you for the encouragement.

    • Earl August 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Brittany – Forget about all that and just go out there and travel, otherwise you will regret it. And if you don’t travel around Europe like you want to, that would be a real shame since you would quickly discover that everything you fear, is really nothing fear at all!

  211. Vicky August 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl, just discovered your website – love it. Thanks for the great info. Like Christine above, I’m a 60 year old woman – I’m in the process of selling my houseboat in Vancouver, and plan to travel alone. In 1973 (were you born yet?), I set off to hitchhike around South America with my younger brother. We’re New Zealanders. We didn’t know anyone else in NZ who had done this and surprisingly our mother dealt with it fine – I think she was a bit excited herself. I spent 9 months in Sth America, my brother a bit longer – but a lot of the time we each went off with different people we met along the way and we’d meet up a few weeks later. It was so easy to meet people – and that’s where you get the best info about places to go and tips along the way. That was ages ago now, but I’m ready to set off again – this time alone, and taking my coaching business with me, and branching out into other things too. I’ve been to about 45 countries so far and by far the most common comment I get from people I talk to is: I wish I could do that. I always tell them: you can, it’s about the choices you make. I know for sure that if we don’t do what is important to us, that’s what regrets are about – not to mention the pain of living out of integrity with yourself. I’ll be contacting you for more websites for older women – I’m sure there are lots of us around.

    • Earl August 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Hey Vicky – Welcome to the site and that’s quite a travel history you have, with even more adventures on the horizon! And you’re right about those who say ‘I wish I could do that’. It’s just a convenient excuse and anyone can make decisions that will lead to the achievement of their goals. I’ll be looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming travels! And no, I wasn’t born yet in 1973 🙂

  212. Sahil August 6, 2012 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Loved your post. I have finally found courage to book the tickets and go solo for my trip. Until now I’ve just been looking for reasons not to travel alone, reading your blog cleared out all the doubts I had in mind. I will be travelling for a month in SE Asia, in 20 days from now. Really excited and looking forward to having an epic journey!

    • Earl August 7, 2012 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Hey Sahi – Glad to hear that and I wish you an incredible journey to SE Asia! I’m sure the excitement is building, as it should, every day…

  213. Gemma July 22, 2012 at 1:40 am - Reply

    Hi earl!!
    I love your post!! I have a solo travel through southeast Asia in October and November and I was wondering how do u guys do it? Do u generally book hostels and internal flights before leaving? Or some trips or anything? I think it would help me to feel calmer and also it might be cheaper but I also want to have the opportunity to join other travellers and maybe change my route once I’m there so I’m not sure how to do it… Any advice? Thanks

    • Earl July 23, 2012 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Hey Gemma – I don’t book much before leaving these days…maybe the first couple of nights accommodation. Apart from that I just figure it out as I go along and in many parts of the world, if you don’t plan to fly all over the place, accommodation/buses/trains/etc will be the same price if you book it well in advance or at the last minute. If you’re open to changing your route and being flexible then I would only book the minimum amount ahead of time, although if you do plan to fly long distances, you should probably look for cheaper flights before you head to Asia…

  214. Christine July 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    well, I AM in my early sixties, female, not an amazon at 5’2″, and although there are situations where being a woman or a man makes a difference in safety/common sense, I have found that my age can sometimes work in my favor. In Bankok, I wandered the wrong way at a long public market and found myself in some lonely semi-deserted area in the dark. I saw a tuk-tuk coming and waved him down, whipping out the hotel card to provide directions. It was a long ride back, but the little old man driving would not take more than he was owed, and he took my arm and walked me directly into the hotel lobby.

    For first time travelers though, why not try Belize? It’s exotic yet somehow familiar, has lots of x-pats and wonderful beaches & islands. On Ambergris island I was out bicycling one early morning and saw a young man cleaning freshly caught fish beside his little cafe, which was not open yet. He called over to ask if I was hungry, which I was. His wife unlocked the cafe door, turned on the lights, sat me down at a table, and then they went into the kitchen to prepare fresh fish. I was enjoying the cool dim of the quiet place when the woman came out and apologized for leaving me alone. I was invited into the kitchen to visit w/the family while they prepared my meal & it was wonderful. The fried fingers of fish were delicious, and what I could not finish was wrapped in paper and put into the basket of my bicycle, where it later provided lunch for myself and a trinket shop clerk while we visited during her slow afternoon. Just do it!

    P.S. If there are any websites for “seasoned” women traveling solo, I’d love to know about them….

    • Earl July 23, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Hey Christine – Here are a few sites to check out….

      And if you want some more, just send me an email and I’ll give you a more comprehensive list…

  215. […] that the perfect place for my friend and I to stay during this vacation (I don’t always travel alone!) would suddenly pop up onto my screen.And that’s basically what happened…At one point, […]

  216. Dan July 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Earl, you are a hero! Booked my flights for september for a 9 month solo trip starting in Thailand and was starting to a get a little nervous when I stumbled upon this. After reading this i’m feeling much more comfortable with being by myself for so long and you have actually manage to turn my nervousness into excitment! Cheers :]

    • Earl July 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      Hey Dan – You have nothing to worry about…within days after arriving in Bangkok you’ll discover that being on your own really isn’t a big deal at all! You should definitely be excited!

  217. Zurin June 28, 2012 at 6:00 am - Reply

    hey Earl!

    Stumble upon your website while looking for info on travel for life. I did my solo traveling for 2 months back in 2007 for Europe and I am glad that I took that step. I even got robbed during my journey but it doesn’t scare me :). It was the most amazing thing that I did in my life and now I am planning to do it again for longer period. I love having the title nomad/traveler/backpacker rather than Account Manager or Director of Marketing hehehe….

    • Earl June 30, 2012 at 5:27 am - Reply

      Hey Zurin – I’m with you…I’ll take Nomad over any office title any day 🙂

  218. JOHNNY June 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Earl, I’m scared to travel because I have a worldwind of stuff that I am “worrying” about. Like, I have school going on, I have a job right now that I’m “tied” to. I have, debts to be paid I feel stuck. I don’t want to see roads and streetlights and houses forever. I am from a city in MA, and it’s monotonous and bland! I went to California and it opened up my eyes to what is possible in life and new things stimulate and encourage. I really want to go to Ireland, Asia, Africa, I want to go everywhere! I fear I don’t have enough money or I don’t know how I will survive because I’m so used to it here. I need help. I don’t want to die without seeing the WORLD. Oh P.S. I’m from an asian background and I have obligations to the family, helping with rent and other stuff, How do I let go? I want to let go, I want to grow outside of my little box in this country let alone this state. I am seeking answers because I had an epiphany last night. Listening or rather reading these stories has given me a push. One love one world!

    • Earl June 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Hey Johnny – I can certainly understand your situation and the best advice I can give is to do whatever it takes to make that first step towards the life you want. Nobody else can force you to do it and everyone has their own unique situation. But in the end, if you want to go everywhere, you just need to start with one small step and go from there. Of course it’s challenging to make such a change but when the alternative is living a life that doesn’t interest you at all, the challenges you’ll face are well worth it.

  219. jake June 2, 2012 at 3:07 am - Reply


  220. jake June 2, 2012 at 3:05 am - Reply

    hey earl. for sure the idea of travelling alone is pretty daunting. i can definitely agree with you about that first plane flight. i remember my first solo trip. when plane landed into aucklang my heart was pounding one mile a minute. then ended up meeting loads of other travellers thru hitchiking- of course this is not safe practice in many countries but pretty easy to do down in kiwi land. ended up having great experiences and great times.
    too bad it took me another two years before i would do it again.

    • Earl June 2, 2012 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Hey Jake – Well, two years is better than 10 years and it’s certainly much better than never doing it again, which is much more common unfortunately. And that’s the thing, usually all of that initial fear disappears quite quickly…it often only takes one interaction or meeting one new person for us to suddenly realize that there’s nothing at all to worry about.

  221. Megan June 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Loved this post – I also StumbledUpon this and seriously, this post was meant for me to read. I recently quit my job in the corporate world and am looking for a drastic change.. I have a two month trip to SE Asia planned but am considering pushing back (or canceling..) my return flight. I think you just gave me the confidence to take the plunge and do it! I leave in about a month and couldn’t be more thrilled!

    …I think my mother might have a heart attack though.

    • Earl June 2, 2012 at 8:56 am - Reply

      Hey Megan – That’s alright, most mother’s do freak out a little 🙂 But usually, once you prove that you can turn travel into a lifestyle, they come around in the end. So, just head to Asia, see what happens and go from there. You have no idea where you’ll end up and I’m sure that no matter what, it’s going to be one amazing adventure!

  222. Thomas k June 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    I have been on my first solo travel for a month now. I’m an Australian travelling through Europe. I think so far I have found it hard at times but I definitely think its in your decision as to whether you are lonely. Eg I have stayed couch surfing but the people work full time so I don’t really see them and I feel like I’m put of the scene !! But when I’ve been in hostels I’ve found it very easy to meet people and the whole experience a lot more fun. It’s just such a foreign feeling to literally know no-one in a city and I think it can take a bit to get over the initial hump. So far in france I have found it a bit harder but again I know it’s partially because I’m not getting myself involved enough! I have learnt so much in so little time so even though it’s a bit roller coaster I still wouldn’t change it. I think everyone is different and if u have an open mind and actually involve yourself that’s all u need! I think u have to kind of invest yourself in a place as when u r with a companion or a group you are seeing something but not necessarily interacting or craving that interaction as much as when you are solo. Good luck everyone:)

    • Earl June 2, 2012 at 8:54 am - Reply

      Hey Thomas – Thanks for the insight into your own travels and you’re right, it can be difficult at first. And for many people, myself included, it takes time to find the confidence needed to ignore the fact that we’re foreigners and just dive straight into the culture. Having a connection with a local obviously helps and makes it easier and if we don’t have that in a particular place, it’s often hard to get involved. But I think that it will become easier and easier over time for you as the more experiences you have, the more comfortable you’ll be trying to interact with new people.

      Enjoy your travels and if you ever make it to Romania, where I’m now based for a few months, do let me know!

  223. James Priiken May 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    traveling alone is a adventure! go for it. youll meet some amazing people along the way and some dull ones! i can’t ever forget my experience in asia in january. and im already making plans for another trip in december again. all of my friends and my girlfriend have said no here. iether you go with a big group or you go solo. since my friends don’t believe how good my trip actually was there is no point trying to convince them anymore.

    • Earl May 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      Hey James – Thanks so much for adding your thoughts and I’m glad you’re in agreement! I’m sure you’ll have another amazing trip in December!

  224. […] my Eastern Europian trip |Please Don’t Be Afraid To Travel On Your Own- Wandering Earl| ( AS: And I got this from my friend. |Date A Girl Who Travels| […]

  225. Laura May 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’ve desperately wanted to travel since I was a kid, after finally getting a job and saving up I had planned to go to Thailand next year on my own for 6 weeks, nobody I know has enough money to go with me or they have other commitments.
    However, my friends and whole family are against me going, I’m 25, small and look quite young for my age everyone says I’m just asking for trouble by going alone that I will be easy pry etc.
    I am aware of the dangers, I’ve told them that, I’m not going to go wandering around deserted beaches and streets alone in the dark, trust strangers and get drunk. I’m a sensible person with common sense.
    I’m desperate to go, I don’t want to end up sitting in my 60s looking back and regretting that I never took the opportunity. The whole situation has gotten me depressed, just need some advice I suppose, I haven’t come across a single person who has said “great you’ll have a really good time, just be careful and keep you’re wits about you.” But then again I don’t know anyone who has gone backpacking, they all go on 2/3 week holidays to Europe.
    What should I do? My family is dead set against me going so much so that I had to tell them I wouldn’t (although I am still saving anyway).
    Really need help with this, what would you do if you’re daughter or sister was planning a 6 week trip to Thailand alone?

    • Earl May 8, 2012 at 4:05 am - Reply

      Hey Laura – The simple answer is “Just go!”. Not only will you be perfectly safe, there have been thousands of solo female travelers who have gone to Thailand before you, there will be thousands while you are there and thousands more will go after you. You will have an absolute blast over there!

      All you need to do in order to ensure your safety is to use the very same common sense that you would use at home. The world is not as dangerous as we think and in fact, most of the world is a lot safer than our own home countries. And besides, Thailand certainly wouldn’t be such a popular traveler destination if every solo traveler who went encountered danger. Instead, you’ll end up encountering a fascinating culture, warm people and an entire range of new experiences that just might change your life.

      So there you go…I say go for it!

    • Victor May 8, 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

      Travelling alone does not means that you gonna be alone in the trip, you will meet and find people and you can be friends with them and travel together!
      Go live up your dream!

      I got inspired by Derek to travel to Argentina all by my own! So yea, you should really go and explore and see the world, keep in mind that everywhere is dangerous, as long as you are wise and alert with your surroundings, you will be FINE! 🙂

      • Earl May 9, 2012 at 3:02 am - Reply

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts Victor! And of course, you know how happy I am that you went to Argentina by yourself and that it all turned out so well. Looking forward to hearing about more of your experiences in the future!

  226. Ava Apollo April 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    I found this several months ago, but I still find myself thinking about it and the impact it made. The prospect of traveling alone is terrifying to me, and I was looking for resources to help make it seem less scary. The title alone made me feel better! Love this post

    • Earl May 1, 2012 at 6:23 am - Reply

      Hey Ava – Don’t worry, the prospect of solo travel is terrifying to everyone at first! But when you hear so many people say that there is nothing to worry about in the end, hopefully that will give you the confidence to take that step yourself. Glad the post has made you feel a little better 🙂

  227. […] of my favorite travel bloggers, Wandering Earl, wrote this article about traveling alone. Earl basically says that even if you travel somewhere on your own, […]

  228. […] civil rights protest in front of armed soldiers is brave.  Travelling on your own is not.  I love this post by Earl on why you shouldn’t let fear of going alone stop you from […]

  229. Kristen February 16, 2012 at 5:33 am - Reply

    I’m currently traveling solo around South East Asia, and believe me, the flight has been the scariest part of the trip so far. The great thing about traveling solo is that you can do whatever you want, on YOUR schedule, and wait for no one. If I want to meet people, I stay in a dorm room in a well-reviewed hostel, and get instant travel buddies. If I want some alone time (which as a very introverted person, I often do), I book a private room and simply reflect for a few days. Don’t get me wrong, when I get off a 12-hour bus ride at 9p.m. with nowhere to stay, I do wish I had a partner in crime. But it always works out, and I feel more empowered (especially as a chick) as a result of my resourcefulness. Two words: Do It.

    • Earl February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Kristen – Those are two good words indeed! And you showed exactly how it tends to play out when we travel on our own. Once the flight is over…things get much easier than most would believe.

  230. Claire February 14, 2012 at 11:12 am - Reply

    After reading this it totally makes me want to take that solo trip to Thailand that I’ve been desperate to do. I did have qualms about being a girl and travelling alone, but after reading the above comments and seeing how many females have had amazing trips solo, I can put those insecurities to rest. When I lived abroad I did travel alone, but only a few hours or so away (when you’re in Europe that’s a whole new country!) so taking a 14 hour+ plane ride to visit a country half way around the world, will definitely be a new adventure to look forward to.
    Thanks Earl!

    • Earl February 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Hey Claire – That’s so wonderful to hear and I think you’re making the right decision! Soon enough you’ll be leaving the exact same comments as the other solo female travelers did on this post whenever you meet others who are nervous about traveling on their own 🙂

    • Kristen February 16, 2012 at 5:36 am - Reply

      Definitely do it, Claire! I’m traveling Thailand/Cambodia/Laos as a single female at the moment, and it’s probably one of the best places to do so. Stay in dorms to meet instant travel buddies (especially if they’re well-reviewed online).

  231. skema February 8, 2012 at 2:54 am - Reply

    hey im grateful forever for stumbleupon that make me found u!! ive been thinking hard about all this travel alone thing..and my biggest problem is approval from my 22 years old female and been living far from family for my study (and come home twice a month) and it wont be a problem for me to adapt anywhere but my family just dont have enough trust in u have any opinion/suggestion in this matter? 🙂

    • Earl February 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Hey Skema – In such a situation, the only thing to do is determine what is best for you. If you feel that you can handle traveling alone, then you owe it to yourself to give it a try. If you trust in yourself, then you’ll be all set. And while it might be difficult to go against what your family thinks, I really don’t think it will take too long for them to realize that you are perfectly capable of handling yourself out there in the world. Besides, as mentioned in the post, you’ll never really be alone 🙂

  232. Diana February 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    I love how you said, “You may be on your own when you board that flight to Bangkok or Mexico City, but believe me, once you arrive, you’ll NEVER actually be alone.” That is so true! While none of my friends back at home could ever understand why I’d travel alone, I’ve met some new friends when I travel solo and it’s always led to some fun stories/adventures. Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself. 🙂

    • Earl February 4, 2012 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Hey Diana – It’s probably one of the most proven truths of travel!

  233. Cherina | Quiet Wanderings February 3, 2012 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Travelling alone is so great but you are right about the fact that you are never really alone. In fact, I find that I meet more people when I am travelling on my own than I do when I’m with a friend. Getting on that plane can be a little daunting I guess but anyone with any qualms about going it alone should read this and at least try solo travel once. They will be hooked I’m sure!

    • Earl February 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Hey Cherina – I’m willing to bet that just about everyone gets hooked as you said. It’s quite rare to hear of someone who traveled on their own and did not enjoy it in the end!

  234. James Pleski February 1, 2012 at 4:11 am - Reply

    Hi. I did Stumbleupon this post, ironically. I often travel alone, and will often pick up a travel bargain, or make a whimsical decision, and be off the next day, by myself of course. Friends (particularly female) often wonder how I can do it, but I really think it’s easier to go alone, less planning, less stress.

    Some countries are a little harder to meet people than in others. High tourism countries are easy. Most of Asia is easy, you can pick travellers or ex-pats easily, and they all mostly enjoy a chat.

    My trick is if I get a bit lonely, to book a group tour (scuba diving is particularly good for me). But often I just enjoy wandering around, getting to know coffee shop owners and talking to other travellers about their trip, so I don’t get so lonely.

    • Earl February 1, 2012 at 4:24 am - Reply

      Hey James – That’s a great trick as even booking a short, inexpensive day trip or half-day trip wherever you may be will help you instantly meet some new people. And in my experience, any time I’ve been on such a trip, the group or at least some of the group ends up hanging out together once the trip is over!

  235. Ali January 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I love reading posts like this! I took my first solo trip about 4 years ago because I hadn’t been out of the country in years, and I finally decided it was time to stop waiting around for someone else to come with me. It was a great decision and a great trip, and it has intensified my addiction to travel. Now I try to convince people whenever possible that solo travel is great, at least to try once or twice, and how much fun it is meeting new people.

    • Earl February 1, 2012 at 4:22 am - Reply

      Hey Ali – It’s good to hear that you decided to stop waiting around as many people never find the confidence to make that decision! And your story is just further proof that solo travel ends up being the preferred travel style of most people despite how nervous they are before they begin…

      • adrian a chaconne June 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

        Thank you for this blog! It has give me the courage to travel alone when my friend don’t ! ill pass this blog to the next traveler!

        • Earl June 19, 2012 at 8:00 am - Reply

          Thanks Adrian and I’m sure once you get out there on your own, you’ll feel that it was all worth it!

  236. Sabina January 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    …”so much more open to meeting people than I would be if NOT traveling alone,” the above comment should say. Sorry!

  237. Sabina January 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Earl, I am a firm believer in traveling alone. While wandering around by myself I am – and appear accurrately to others to be – so much more open to meeting people than I would be if traveling alone. I find myself, interestingly, not meeting so much other travelers as meeting and becoming friends with locals. The insight they give me into their lives, attitudes and beliefs is just utterly invaluable. I think even if you can find a friend or friends to travel the world with, you should do part of it on your own and be open to local influences. They can change your life forever for the better.

    • Earl January 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Hey Sabina – I’ve also found that locals are more apt to help out a lonely traveler than they would be two travelers or a group of travelers. A solo person is so much more approachable and just a simple hello can lead to some of the best local experiences, as you’ve had yourself. And I think that’s a great point about spending time on your own, even if you are traveling with others. There’s no reason why two people can’t split up and spend part of the day on their own in order to have such experiences!

  238. Travel Plans 2012 – India & Beyond January 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    […] Australia for more than 6 consecutive weeks. After a few years of envy directed towards the like of Earl Baron2, Matt Kepnes and the serial customs declarer Chris Guillebeau3, I get to dust of the old passport […]

  239. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures January 21, 2012 at 10:40 am - Reply

    It’s like learning to ride a bike. It’s scary as hell, but the second you learn how to do it the feeling of freedom and excitement is infectious and you want to ride a bike for the rest of your life.

    • Earl January 22, 2012 at 5:28 am - Reply

      Hey Andi – That’s the perfect way to put it!

  240. […] Please Don’t Be Afraid to Travel Alone […]

  241. Kiten January 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl!

    I’ve chanced upon your blog just last week and I didn’t know what I was missing! Reading your entry on how you were kidnapped and how you had a friend run off on you with you car made me remember why my folks are so scared for me to travel alone. I’ve been to several countries already (some I have yet to write about since I’m still looking for our photos from the ’90’s) and the world is just so beautiful to not see.

    But guess what? I am leaving for a solo trip to the land down under in a few months and I cannot wait! Will be meeting good friends there, so I won’t be alone the half of the time. Will be visiting 3 states, so that should be exciting.

    Continue to inspire other people and I’m glad that you have the world as your learning ground! 🙂

    • Earl January 18, 2012 at 4:09 am - Reply

      Hey Kiten – Thanks for the comment and congrats on your upcoming trip to Oz! Having so many people leave comments about traveling solo is hopefully convincing more and more people to do the same 🙂

      And even with those experiences of mine, I still believe the world is a much, much safer place than most of us imagine!

  242. Phil January 17, 2012 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Couldn’t agree more with this post. Will definitely point people this way whenever I am asked about solo travel. There are a lot of people that could benefit from reading this!

    • Earl January 17, 2012 at 10:23 am - Reply

      Thanks Phil! This is definitely something that stops a lot of people from traveling, so hopefully this post will change some minds!

  243. Tima January 17, 2012 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Hey, before wife and kids I traveled alone all over (even saw the World Cup in ’02). But now with a family of six, getting out the local park is an ordeal! Though, my wife and I so badly want to travel. She traveled too before we met, and we did a last trip to South America before we got married…that was almost 10 years ago. I read your website, thinking, is it possible with children? I keep telling my wife we should pitch a travel show about traveling with small children. I dunno. Good luck on your travels.

    • Earl January 17, 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Hey Tima – Thanks for the comment and it’s definitely possible with children! There are plenty of sites out there about family travel – comes to mind first. It might be a challenge but it can be done…

      And I like the idea of your travel show, I’d work on that if I were you 🙂

  244. Abigail January 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,

    I have really enjoyed looking through out your site and seeing what you have been up to. I like to think I am an avid traveler, until I see your list of countries visited. I just recently returned from a couple of months in Zimbabwe, and you seriously need to go there it is amazing, the hospitality, landscape, and culture is just like nothing I have experienced. That was my first trip going alone, though I knew people on the other side, it was quite the experience. I too tried to get people to come with me but going alone was the best thing that ever could have happened for me! Good luck in the rest of your journeys, and maybe someday I will bump into you in travels!

    – Abigail

    • Earl January 17, 2012 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Hey Abigail – Thanks for the recommendation and Zimbabwe is one country that I absolutely want to visit, so I know I’ll get there. And if you can travel there on your own, then you can travel anywhere! Seems like everything worked out quite well for you on that adventure…

  245. Someday I'll Be there - Mina January 16, 2012 at 9:02 am - Reply

    I would have to agree on all you have said in that post! I was shitting my pants on the plane, thinking I must be stupid for doing this, specially that the 2 friends I was going with cancelled kind of last minute but told me that they would be able to travel next summer, so I was thinking “couldn’t you have just waited one more year and go with friends? you had to be so stubborn?”

    but yet it proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made! I loved traveling solo and meeting people from many nationalities and back grounds. and now i know that traveling with friends leaves you with little chances of meeting people, and actually diminishes your chances of feeling the adrenaline and the adventure!

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:30 am - Reply

      Hey Mina – I’m certain that’s a thought that many travelers have about ‘why couldn’t I have just waited?’. But chances are, those same friends would have canceled the next year as well and then that would have been a waste. So, as you discovered, the best possible thing to do is just say ‘screw it’ and get out there on your own! And that way, you will meet plenty of new friends as well that you certainly would not have meet if you were traveling with other people from the start…

  246. Steven January 16, 2012 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Great post, I too asked all my friends and while I’ve always had somebody on my several trips to the greater european area, I couldnt find anyone for this trip to Asia. The thing i love about hostels and travelling is how easy it is to relate to people! Ive had some of the best conversations with Chileans/Scotts/and Aussies alike. Theres so many things in common with travellers, and the fact that you won’t see most of them again (except on FB) helps break down alot of the barriers! SO i booked my trip, one way ticket starting in India and then ill be moving eastward for 4+ months on my first solo (depends how far 9k will go). this post helped put some confidence back into my sails because as the date gets closer im getting a little nervous =) But whats the worst that could happen?! =D

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Hey Steven – That’s perfect that you’ve booked the flight and are heading off on a new adventure! Like I mentioned, being nervous is natural (I still get nervous myself) but if you thought that things won’t work out, you would never have booked that flight. You know you’re going to meet new people, you know you’re going to have another incredible journey and you know that you have nothing to really fear in the end.

      All that’s left to do is experience India and beyond!

  247. Carmen January 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    What are your tips for females travelling alone?

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:06 am - Reply

      Hey Carmen – As several of the female commenters have said, what I’ve mentioned in this post pertains to solo female travelers as well. Of course, there are certain parts of the world that may not be as female-friendly or that may present some extra challenges (some male-dominated cultures), but in general, you need to use the same common sense you use at home to avoid negative situations. Be cautious when you think you need to be, research ahead of time any particular local customs that you should follow (as should male travelers) and as they say, don’t walk down dark alleys at night.

      Also, the more you travel, the more ‘street smarts’ you’ll gain and so soon enough you’ll be able to detect which situations are fine and which are potentially something to avoid. But with all of that said, as other females can attest to, the chance is much, much higher that your travels will be filled with incredible experiences, not negative incidents!

  248. Jackie January 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    I was so scared to go it alone but i 100% agree with this blog. I arrived in Buenos Aires and had to kill baout 5 hours untill i took a bus to Iguazu Falls so walked about and saw some sites and it felt fairly normal besides the language barrier. I managed to eat and see some sites and find the bus station with out any freak outs and then as soon as i git on the bus, i lovely couple from Canada started talking to me and we became friends and really enjoyed the next few days together. I was basically never alone from then on. Everyone wants to meet new people and make friends. Even people travelling with someone as they get a bit sick of one another and fresh faces releaves tentions of being stuck with the same person for 6 – 12 months. As long as you are a friendly person who isn’t looking to smooze of others, you will be a valued traveller by many. You quicjkly learn who and eho not to make a travel companion and you loose the desperation for someone to talk to pretty quick as you realise, they are all in the same position as you are.

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:12 am - Reply

      Hey Jackie – That last line is something is great to realize. Every traveler is in the same situation! So of course we all would love an opportunity to meet and spend time with new people, it just makes sense. Thank you for sharing your Argentina tale as, despite how crazy it sounds that you met such nice people so quickly, it is important for those who are hesitating to travel on their own to know that this is actually quite normal!

  249. Ben West January 15, 2012 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Earl, you have just written the blog I wanted to, after facing down south america solo (which ended with about three nights without friends) I wanted to tell my friends how it can be done, thanks for saving me the trouble of writing this blog! Trust you don’t mind me sharing. Love the blog and page, keep it up bro

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Hey Ben – Haha…sorry to steal the idea but glad to have saved you some time 🙂 Please feel free to share the post, that’s no problem at all. The more people we can convince to travel solo, the better!

  250. Kristin M January 15, 2012 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Great article. Definitely something I needed to hear today.

    I have so many plans for mini-trips this year running through my head (saving for bigger trips in the near future!), and will more than likely be going solo for a few of them. Definitely excited about solo travel, just have to keep the nerves in check!

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:16 am - Reply

      Hey Kristin – Well, it’s time to turn those plans into reality! And don’t worry, we’re all still nervous up until the last minute but it takes just a minute or two after arrival at your first destination for that to all disappear…

  251. Andrew January 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    And just like that you’ve completed most of my queries..

    *Think of travelling to India* -> Search your site for India blogs
    *Still got questions* -> You answered them all via email!
    *Shitting bricks about travelling solo* -> You wrote this post!

    Brilliant Earl, thank you mate.

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Hey Andrew – I’m glad I’ve been able to help and hopefully this was the last piece of the puzzle to get you out there! But now it’s my turn…I expect to learn of some new places from you that I should visit on my next trip to India 🙂

  252. Red January 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Great post. I think the thing with travelling alone is that it makes you more approachable to others, not just fellow travellers but also the locals. I’ve had locals coming up to me for a chat, buying me a streetside stall dinner, or even spending half a day exchanging stories before making sure I get on the correct train.

    Plus I just like the spontaneity of travelling alone! 🙂

    • Earl January 16, 2012 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Hey Red – That does make sense. Locals do tend to approach travelers who are on their own as we tend to look a lot more confused and lost 🙂 But that’s great because you never know where those conversations will lead and as you pointed out, it often leads to some interesting experiences!

  253. Fiona January 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Just less than a month before I leave for India on what will be my first ever solo journey this post is exactly what I needed to read! Thanks for sharing, you have gifted me much needed confidence!
    Best Wishes.

    • Earl January 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      Hey Fiona – I’m super happy to hear that and I wish you the best of experiences on your Indian adventure! India will always remain my favorite country on the planet and I’m confident that after the initial adjustment period, you’ll love it as well 🙂

  254. […] I came across a post by Wandering Earl which fits in quite nicely with this. He talks about the fear of travelling on your own so go and have a look around there for some more […]

  255. Gemma January 14, 2012 at 7:05 am - Reply

    This is a brilliant point to make. Having never travelled alone for me the idea of travelling to a foreign country is quite daunting but I guess there isn’t really much need to be scared.

    Your post is actually quite closely related to my latest post so when it goes up I’ll send a link through here.

    Thanks for the insight 🙂

    • Earl January 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Hey Gemma – I look forward to reading your post as well!

  256. Nico January 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl!

    Great post, dude! It’s really funny reading the beginning sentence where you mention both Thailand and Mexico, as the two were the options for my first working nomad experience. I finally chose Mexico, especifically Playa del Carmen!

    I gotta say that your blog in particular has been really helpful, as there are so many posts about the destination I chose before knowing you’d lived there. I am taking off Feb 12 (I’m from Argentina) and can’t really wait to confirm all the good things I’ve read about the Mayan Riviera and Mexico itself.

    Initially, I am staying up there for around 3 months – do you think it’ll be enough or will I end up extending my stay?:D

    I love your blog!

    Best regards from Argentina!

    • Earl January 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Gracias Nico! And I’m jealous you’re heading up to Playa del Carmen. I think 3 months might be sufficient if you don’t become addicted to the white sand beaches 🙂 But the thing with Mexico is that every state is quite different from each other so I’m going to guess that after 3 months you might want to visit other parts of the country…which you should, because there are incredible destinations all over the place.

      But hey, if you end up extending your stay in Playa, I will understand perfectly well…after all, I ended up getting ‘stuck’ there for 2 years!

  257. rose January 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    My first solo travel was to India. I actually flew there with a friend who really wanted a travel companion, but I made it clear that I wanted to go my own way once we got there. I spent my first week “solo” with you, over 10 years ago now, so I guess that was a good idea 🙂

    • Earl January 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm - Reply

      Hey Rose – Of course, I had you in mind with this post. A great friendship has formed and it’s all because each of us wanted to travel ‘solo’!

  258. Natalie January 13, 2012 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Great post! My first trip alone, like you, was to Bangkok. I had all kinds of silly worries running through my head on the plane about spending months on end by myself, or how miserable it would be to eat dinner alone every night. Of course the reality was nothing like that. In fact there were several times during my trip where I had to rent a motorbike, book myself out of a hostel and into a guest house and just spend a few days going off on my on adventures, because I literally had NO time to myself! Right from the very first few minutes of arriving in the airport I was surrounded by other travelers who were as keen to chat and meet new people as I was. When I tried to explain this to my friends back home they shook their heads in disbelief and told me “Yeah but you are confident, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” but that just simply isn’t true. As you point out, it is so easy to make a connection with a fellow traveler. And since everyone is usually packing their days with elephant treks, jungle explorations, and all kinds of other random adventures, the small talk of getting to know someone tends to be a lot more interesting than it would back home!

    I really hope that there are people out there reading your post and making the decision to travel solo, because traveling alone is a wonderful thing. It teaches you to believe in yourself, and it opens you up completely to new experience. These days I honestly don’t think I could travel any other way.

    • Earl January 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Hey Natalie – I’m glad you mentioned how things change as soon as you arrive at the airport because I can’t even count the number of times I’ve met other travelers after getting off a plane and ended up sharing a taxi into the city center, staying at the same hostel and then hanging out for a few days or more. And I also agree that being confident has little to do with it as I was extremely shy and self-conscious when I first started traveling. It really does take a few seconds of small talk to meet good people…and then, just like that, you discover you both want to go to the same market, the same temple or the same restaurant and off you go…having just met but already feeling like friends!

  259. Kim January 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Such fantastic advice, I think so many people need to hear this. Just like any big dream, it’s not always easy (usually impossible) to drag others there with you. You have to step through the dark doorway alone and on the other side are all those people who love the same things you do.

    • Earl January 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Hey Kim – I like that about stepping through the dark doorway. That’s exactly how it feels. Of course, as soon as you pass through, the darkness vanishes but it’s still hard to convince ourselves to take that step!

  260. Kirsten Lodge January 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl

    I *definitely* had that fear! I went to South America as a solo traveler in 2004 for three months. It was my first time traveling alone. I was shaking in my boots! As soon as I arrived in Peru I met a guy and we ended up traveling for two out of those three together. We are still really great mates. I also traveled with a boyfriend for nine months again in South America. As much as I liked traveling with a partner, the freedom I had traveling alone felt amazing. I’ll be traveling solo again towards the end of the year in Central America. I’m sure I’ll have the same nerves but the excitement of boarding the plane will override that I’m sure.

    Great post, Earl!

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Hey Kirsten – Well, the freedom of traveling alone must have felt good if you’re planning to do it again this year! And I had to laugh when you wrote about making a friend as soon as you arrived in Peru and ended up traveling with him for so long. It seems so crazy in normal life for complete strangers to create such a bond in a matter of minutes but it’s just so normal while traveling!

  261. Victoria @ My Daily Cuppa January 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    It is so nice to see some women commenting about travelling alone and successfully. I hope to achieve that some time this year by going to Cuba. I believe that it is a lot easier to meet other people when you are on your own because you more approachable.

    Thanks for this great post.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      Hey Victoria – It is great to have solo female travelers adding their comments and proving that life on the road is not as scary as it may seem! That will be excellent if you make it to Cuba and have a chance to experience it all for yourself as well 🙂

  262. Joseph January 13, 2012 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Back in 2003 I was taking my very first super long trip abroad, not to mention it was my first flight. The destination – USA to be part of a work and travel student program. I was really excited. I was supposed to go with a good friend of mine, but at the last minute she couldn’t find a seat on the same flight as mine so she arrived a couple of days later. I was going alone. I was terrified and excited at the same time. I did manage to get the hang of it, not get lost, and most importantly NOT PANIC when I couldn’t find a place to stay for the night. But in the end it was all good. Since then I’ve learned to rely on my own skills, not to be afraid to ask questions, and to develop a taste for solo traveling. Most of my trips were done alone, and yes, being with someone is great, you get to share the experience, but traveling by yourself is just as great, gives you freedom and “forces” you to meet other people. When I will plan my RTW trip, most likely I will be doing it alone and try to meet as many travelers as possible! That’s one of the beauties of traveling 🙂

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Hey Joseph – As I read the words “not panic” I was definitely nodding in agreement. That’s a huge part of it as things tend to work out much better when we are able to calmly assess the situation and realize that we do have the skills necessary to survive in a strange land. And usually, as was your case, the result is an increased fondness of solo travel. It can become addicting once you realize that you are able to tackle the world on your own!

      And I shall look forward to hearing about your RTW trip!!

  263. Matthew Cheyne January 13, 2012 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Your article helped boost my courage in planning for my grand “I’m going to do this one day” South American trip 100%. Do you have any advice for people like me who suffer from chronic health conditions in relation to solo traveling. I suffer from Fibromyalgia, a musculo-skeletal condition that causes pain and inflammation throughout the body. It limits what I can do on any given day but I would still love to go out and travel solo through South America for a couple of months regardless sometime in the future.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Hey Matthew – I’m glad this post gave you a courage boost! As for traveling with your condition, as long as you are able to move from place to place in general, my advice would simply be to travel slowly. Don’t try and stick to a strict schedule, leave your travel plans relatively open in order to accommodate any days in which you might not feel well enough to travel. Luckily, in places such as South America, you don’t need to plan much in advance. You can book transportation and accommodation last minute without any issues, allowing you to really make last-minute decisions based upon how you’re feeling.

      So I definitely think it is doable! And taking your time is actually a great way to travel anyway. It gives you a much better feel for a place than if you were to rush through a country, spending one or two nights in every town you visit!

  264. Autumn January 13, 2012 at 9:51 am - Reply

    P.S. How young is too young to start traveling?

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      That’s a tough question…I’d say that you’re old enough to travel if you feel ready. Realistically, it will probably be more challenging for someone under 18 but there is no set age 🙂

  265. Autumn January 13, 2012 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Earl, this post was wonderful and gave me hope for my travel dreams to come true! I’ve tried doing many trips with friends to places within our state, and for some reason or another the plans never work out. I’m sick of it! I want to see the world, and nothing’s going to hold me back anymore! Besides, half the fun of traveling is all of the different people you meet along the way. I do ask you this though, how do you go about knowing who to talk and who to keep your distance from? I know a lot of it is instinct, if you meet someone and something feels off, stay away. But I don’t want to be totally guarded either or I won’t meet anyone. I guess I’m just wondering how cautious I should be while traveling and socializing with the natives, as well as fellow travelers.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Hey Autumn – I appreciate the comment! To be honest, if you use the exact same common sense that you would use at home when meeting people, you’ll be fine when you are meeting people overseas. And even if you decide to be cautious, it doesn’t mean that you can’t engage in conversation. Of course, if a stranger walks up to you, asks you a couple of questions and then invites you into his car, I would avoid that situation. But in general, if you meet people during the normal course of your day, in crowded places, you’ll be safe.

      You definitely don’t want to walk around as if you suspect every person around you is out to get you. Like you said, this won’t lead to much interaction at all. So remain open to meeting people, be slightly cautious until you feel comfortable and just don’t do anything that seems like it might be a bad idea.

      Other than that, get out there and enjoy this world of ours!!

  266. Sarah January 13, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Lovely post, Earl 🙂

  267. Christine January 13, 2012 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I have some trips where I meet heaps of people (and create some lifelong friends and travel partners–people who I meet traveling always seem more keen to meet up again in some new place in the world!) or when I’m just on my own, and I like it that way. Sometimes, traveling alone is the best way to get to know yourself, whether you want to or not.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      Hey Christine – Traveling and actually being on your own certainly does have its benefits. And I think that once we begin our travels, we start to realize that being on our own really isn’t such a bad thing, and then we can decide if we feel like spending time with others or just wandering around solo.

  268. Bert Brandon III January 13, 2012 at 7:18 am - Reply

    Great post. Something I have found is when you make friends while traveling, it is like your relationship is put into a time machine. Someone you spend 4 days with in Thailand feels like a friend you have had back home for years. I found that very interesting and strange. We are all in it together and meet like minded people so things work out. Keep it up.


    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Bert – I know exactly what you’re talking about. When you share such unique, often life-changing experiences while traveling, even if it is with someone you just met, it seems to create a much stronger bond. I have a couple of really close friends now who I met over 10 years ago while traveling and I only spent a few days with each of them!

  269. Stephanie - The Travel Chica January 13, 2012 at 6:54 am - Reply

    I’ve been traveling solo in Latin America for over 14 months. I enjoy doing things on my own and not having to compromise on what I want to do or where I want to go. But I have found that when I do want to be around others, I can always find some great travel buddies.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      Hey Stephanie – You’re definitely another great example of how traveling solo is not as scary as it may sound, for females as well. I think a lot of people would think twice about traveling through Latin America on their own (both males and females), but this part of the world is just like all the others in terms of how easy it is to meet other people. And traveling solo does give you that perfect balance between being around others and enjoying your own company!

  270. Meghan January 13, 2012 at 5:02 am - Reply

    Earl thanks for being such an inspiration! Your blogs bring such joy that at times Im reading with tears in my eyes…

    Tell me Earl, when you travel do you plan the places you are going to? As in the cities or do you just go with the flow? When I travel I would want to be organized but adventures and randomness are so fun! I just need a ‘little’ advice!

    Thanks for being amazing! Best wishes!

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks for that comment Meghan, I’m not sure what to say really 🙂 As for your questions, usually, I don’t plan much beyond the city I’m arriving in. I personally prefer to leave everything open so that I can make decisions based upon how I feel, new places I learn about, random recommendations, etc. Like you said, such randomness is certainly fun, and quite addicting as well!

      Of course, it may pay to have a list of the places you would ideally like to visit in a particular country without actually booking rooms or making any definite plans. This way, you can start off by following the list you made and then, if randomness strikes, you have nothing stopping you from heading somewhere new. But then you can always return to your list of places in order to have some basic structure with your travels and not feel as if you are completely winging it!

  271. Ellen January 13, 2012 at 2:58 am - Reply

    Exactly. Traveling is an easy way to meet people, and people are even friendlier to you when you travel alone (especially if you’re female, and sometimes we do have to be careful with the overly friendly).

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      Hey Ellen – Absolutely, it does pay to be a bit cautious at times. But even with that, there is no shortage of good people to meet out there!

  272. Jac January 13, 2012 at 1:26 am - Reply

    It took me a long time to muster up that courage/drive to travel on my own, and I’m really quite glad that I did, and it’s exactly like you described in your article. I’m a lot friendlier and more willing to talk to others when on my own =) It is nice having your own time too though!

    @Simone it’s not really that different for girls! if you’re a little paranoid, pick an ‘easier’ country to start off with, but once you do it, it’s hard to imagine why it took you so long to get around to it

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      Hey Jac – It’s great to have another example of someone who found the courage to leave on their own and was then happy with the results! And yes, being able to sneak away and enjoy some ‘on your own’ time, without having to worry about a travel partner, is definitely another bonus of traveling solo 🙂

  273. Steve C January 13, 2012 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Way to go Earl, you’re in your element, doing what you do best, convincing people to travel. With every blog, you are gaining more followers. And with this one, you should get a lot of feed back. Great topic and question!

    My first big trip (and solo trip) was backpacking around Europe for 4 months. Several of my friends and I worked the crush season in a small California winery. We worked 16 hour days and just saved all our money ‘cuz there wasn’t any time to do much else. Four of us had the plan to all go to Europe after the last grapes were changed to juice and safely in their tanks learning to be wine. However, one by one, each of the other three found some reason that they couldn’t go. So, that left me alone to make the trip by myself. And I did!

    As I was 25 and had a year in Vietnam under my belt, I felt there was nothing I couldn’t do. I don’t remember being scared but rather think that I was out to show up my buddies that I could do something that they couldn’t. And I did!
    Although I traveled alone, I was never really alone, only when I wanted to be. Those 4 months were very “confidence building”. I met several other travelers who I traveled with for weeks at a time. The stories I returned with would fill a book. But, that’s another story.

    Earl, when we finally meet up sometime, somewhere, it’s story/ beer time.
    Meanwhile, keep up the blog and continue the message with your stories. I hope it won’t get old for you encouraging others to travel, solo or not. You’re kinda like a musician playing the same song over and over again but to a new audience every night. Think of it this way: How many times have the Stones sung “can’t get no Satisfaction”? And it never gets old. Keep on Truck’n!

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      Hey Steve – That’s another reason to get out there and travel on your own, to prove to those around you that you can survive out there in this world and that you’re not as crazy as they think you are 🙂

      And believe me, I won’t get tired of trying to convince others to achieve their travel goals. Every time I read a comment or an email from someone who has made the decision to start traveling, I’m even more motivated to continue with the blog than ever before!

      Now you have me curious about your stories, so I guess we need to make sure we do get a chance to meet up at some point this year! Looking forward to it of course…

  274. Devon Mills January 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I leave for my first solo RTW trip on Feb. 5, and this is exactly what I needed to read to ease my fears about traveling alone and feeling lonely! I will probably still feel lonely at times since I’ll be away from family and friends, but it’s nice to be reminded that new friends are always just around the corner.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      Hey Devon – Not too far away now at all! And you are correct, there will still be moments of loneliness (I still have those even after 12 years!) but there will also be endless moments of meeting new and interesting people who you will connect with. And that makes it all worthwhile!

  275. Natalie January 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I ended up going solo on my last tour of the south west coast of Turkey. Friends said I was crazy and hubby was getting into a panic. Thing is though, I think I enjoyed it more because I was on my own. Sure there was the moments when I wished my photos, actually had people I knew in them however the freedom of just going where and when I wanted to go was amazing. I don’t think I could have done it when I was younger but as I am getting older, I find myself more comfortable with my own presence.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Hey Natalie – That freedom is something special, especially when the result is such rewarding experiences. But we do have to be comfortable with just hanging out with ourselves in order to summon the courage to begin a solo trip…but usually, once we pass that first step, the feeling is, as you said, amazing!

  276. Justin January 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    This is so true! Travelers are drawn to each other around the world. So many times I started out traveling or my own or with my wife and ended up with an entourage. It’s quite something how it just happens. You meet people in a way you might never meet them at home.

    And you make your own choices. Total freedom. It’s nice. You can’t wait on people forever.

    Nice post!

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      Hey Justin – Thanks for commenting! And I always try and think what my life would be like if I hadn’t met the people I’ve met over the years while on the road. It does just happen and it really is amazing how little we actually have to worry about making new friends even in the most foreign of places.

  277. annie mac January 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you my darling boy! I’ve been traveling alone for quite some time now. When I hit home base and try to “bloom where I am planted” I find I have nothing in common with my peer age group who have been married for decades and simply cannot fathom traveling without a partner. You are a great comfort to this old broad.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      Hey Annie – Your comment put a big smile on my face 🙂 I know the feeling of not fitting in back at home and I can’t even imagine what would happen if I was afraid to travel on my own. So a big cheers to you for getting out there anyway as well!

  278. Jaime January 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I love everything about this post. It’s 100%. I remember planning for my epic RTW trip and asking all my friends. Of course like you mentioned they all turned me down for one reason or another. It discouraged me a bit, because I was scared… it would be traveling alone for the 1st time in my life. What got me through it was reading your blog and many others. I planned away and well look at me now… about to be on the road for a year already. I will never forget saying bye to my friends as they dropped me off at the airport and feeling alone. After that moment… I was never really alone. You really do meet so many amazing people on the road & it’s so easy. When people ask me at home… if it’s scary to be alone. I let them know of the whole trip I have maybe… MAYBE been alone 10-20 days of the trip and majority of those are by choice where I don’t want to be bothered.

    I love your answer “I may be a solo traveler but I’m never really on my own.”.

    OH & the other awesome thing is you even meet up with other travel bloggers at time and travel together with them. On this trip I have met over 15 and it’s just been amazing. I remember meeting you in Playa. Ahh won’t forget that. Thanks for inspiring me & others to explore the world.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm - Reply

      Hey Jaime – Has it been a year already?? That’s unreal, and a big congratulations to you!! I think it’s been quite obvious that you’ve been having a good time out there in the world 🙂

      Like you said, it is indeed scary to start off on your own, but rarely will you meet someone who tells you that the fear lasted very long after their flight took off. That’s just how it works and there is more than enough evidence to back that theory up.

      I hope to meet up with you again at some point on your adventure, ideally in India!

  279. Erik January 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    I love traveling on my own, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I do think it’s unforutnate when fear keeps people from traveling, but I also think you have to be the right kind of person to be able to do the solo travel thing. People who are uncomfortable by themselves might thrive on a tour group. It’s most important that you know yourself.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Hey Erik – That is also true, some people simply have no desire to travel on their own. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. If someone feels more comfortable with a group, then by all means, they should travel with a group tour. Either way works, as long as the person gets out there and tries to achieve their travel goals!

  280. tunimaal January 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    It’s hard to find a person to travel with. And also it’s hard to find the good match as a travel partner. So travelling solo can be a great deal I think. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Also being solo force you to go and talk to people, to make new friends and a new social life in the countries where you go. I am in m world tour since november 2009 and I am doing it solo since April 2010 (at first I was with a friend) and Yes I love it

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      Hey Tunimaal – You brought up some excellent points and it’s great to hear that you’re currently out there exploring the world! I too love the freedom associated with traveling on your own, being able to wake up and create your day based upon what you want to do…and yes, being forced to talk to others is a good thing as you never know who you’ll meet…could be a new friend!

  281. Soph January 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Really great post! It is exactly how things are happening. Even as a woman I love to travel alone. One of the main points in traveling for me is actually meeting other travelers, having interesting conversation with them. And as I firstly was afraid, there is nothing to be afraid even if you are a woman. There is a lot of single girls/women who are traveling alone and they also love to have company. So grab bag and just go, there is nothing to be afraid of.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Hey Soph – It’s great to hear a woman’s perspective on this and to see that you feel the same way. In the end, there’s no difference between a solo male or solo female traveler in terms of their ability to meet other travelers and people in general. So either way, you just strike up a conversation and you’re bound to have some new friends/travel companions before you know it…

  282. Forest January 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl, I have not travelled alone as such yet but I have spent a lot of time on my travels alone as my partner has always been studying (she finally finished this week ;)). Meeting people is easy if you just be outgoing and genuine. It seems the less you try the more people you meet too!

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Hey Forest – That’s a great line about the less you try, the more people you meet. It does seem to be that way. And it is all about being genuine, smiling and just shaking people’s hands…interact with others and they will interact with you…and who knows where it will lead?!

      And a big congratulations to your partner for finishing her studies!!

  283. Maureen January 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Great post Earl! On my first trip I was all alone on a flight bound for Calcutta. I was so scared. While waiting in the Seattle airport I struck up a conversation with a nice Indian woman. Later I boarded the plane and she was seated directly behind me! She eased my fears and saw to it I got to my destination. It was a defining moment for me. The lesson was if I followed my heart it would all work out and it did and continues to be so.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      Hey Maureen – That takes some guts to fly to Calcutta on your first trip! But then again, your story about the woman you met is a perfect example of how things do tend to fall into place and how quickly our fears do disappear. Thanks for sharing!

  284. Simone January 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    That is exactly what I’ve been doing the last year, postponing.
    However, don’t you think it is different for women?

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Hey Simone – I honestly don’t think it’s that different for women…I’ve met an infinite number of solo female travelers as well, in every country I’ve been in, including places such as India, Pakistan, Syria, Nicaragua and more. If you were to show up at a hostel or guesthouse, you would meet other travelers just as I would. And I’ve traveled with new female friends that I met while traveling numerous times.

      Sure, I wouldn’t fly to Delhi as a solo female traveler if you’ve never traveled before, but if you fly to more common destinations I think you’ll be quite surprised at how little you actually have to worry about 🙂

  285. crazy sexy fun traveler January 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    This is exactly what I answer to all the people who ask me how I can travel solo … If I waited for someone to join me, I would never go anywhere! But then, I never spend more than a week alone out of 3 months.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      @CrazySexyFunTraveler – Exactly…and I can only imagine how many people give up on their travel goals simply because they can’t find someone to join them!

  286. Victor Druce January 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Good one Derek, and it really motivates those who want to travel on solo. Like you say ” “I may be a solo traveler but I’m never really on my own.”
    This is the similar things happen to me too. When a person travel, you get to learn the country’s culture, people and language and the experiences you gain will be tremendous! Next Destination for me end of this year on my own :SPAIN!

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      Hola Victor! So you’re already planning your next adventure? That’s so good to hear and obviously, you don’t seem to mind if you end up traveling to Spain on your own 🙂

      • Victor Druce January 21, 2012 at 10:49 am - Reply

        Hola Derek,

        Yes, in fact I am learning Spanish again and again this time. I am planning to come to Bangkok @ Yangon this June 2012. Hope all goes well, keep reading your blog on Bangkok 🙂
        I bet it gonna be a good trip as well Derek! 🙂
        Gonna buzz you on Bangkok if I have some questions mate!
        Till then, take care amigo!

        • Earl January 22, 2012 at 5:30 am - Reply

          Hey Victor – That’s all good news and of course you can let me know if you need any Bangkok advice…looking forward to hearing more about your trip!

  287. Catia January 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    It’s fun to travel with a friend, and it’s a different experience going solo. Both good! I’ve met people all over that I now visit or plan other trips with — I would have missed out on some unique friendships had I always insisted on starting with a travel buddy.

    For times when I’m on the road and really would like a connection, CouchSurfing is a great resource. Even if you’re not looking for a place to stay, there’s always someone willing to meet with you or an event for local CSers.

    • Earl January 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Hey Catia – That’s so true as sometimes we don’t even try to connect with other people around us when we are traveling with friends from the start. And I often think about all of the incredible friendships that I would have missed out had I not traveled on my own most of the time as well!

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