I just loveee solo trips. Doing whatever I want to do, no rules, no having to follow someone else’s schedule. Nada.
But before I set off for my solo trip to Europe a few months ago, I was quite apprehensive.
In fact, my fears were the reason why I’ve been planning such trips in my head for years but have never taken the steps to go on one.
But I’m happy to say that the trip gave me plenty of opportunities to confront my beliefs and learn from them.
What were these self-limiting beliefs then?
Read on to find out!
#1: That I’d be late to everything
I’m pretty sure some of my friends hate me, cause back home I am perpetually late for everything (oops). I’m just never early.
But at least back home, I had people sending me texts to remind me and stuff. I wasn’t gonna have anyone to remind me of anything on this trip.
So I feared. I feared being late for everything, particularly on the days I had to wake up early to catch a flight or train.
But guess what? I was on time for every single thing. Save for the time I thought I almost missed my flight out of Edinburgh (why is EasyJet so weird about the gate closing thing?), I was on time and very early for everything!
I woke up on time no matter how little I slept.
Surprisingly, showering and dressing up – activities which took me at least an hour at home, took me just 20 minutes.
The difference I realised was that on this trip, my mental self-talk was different.
I told myself that I’d definitely wake up on time, that I’d not be late and that no matter what I’d be at my destination on time.
I also made preparations that reduced time. I.E. setting out my clothes earlier instead of having to go through my luggage at the last minute, setting out similar items together so I didn’t have to go around the room hunting for things.
All these made such a huge difference!
Now that I’m back home, I know that I can be early if I want to. It’s all in my head.
#2: I’d get lost and never find my way
Getting lost overseas is my greatest fear. On prior trips overseas, I had instances of never ever finding the restaurant/street/etc that I wanted to go to.
Google maps just ain’t my friend and I usually couldn’t figure out if I was going in the right direction.
In the UK, I was terrified that I’d hop on the wrong train (rail). In Spain, it was a general fear of getting lost and dying in the heat, lol.
But this time round, I was actually kind of surprised at how easily I could follow directions. And how if I veered slightly off the path I was supposed to be on, I simply used another route and still got to my destination.
Whenever I found myself in an unfamiliar area, I decided to just explore what was before me – shops, people, scenery.
And I trusted and listened to my gut a lot. Whenever I felt suddenly fearful for no reason, I stopped walking and got the heck out of there.
#3: I’d feel like a fish out of water
I dislike sticking out in my environment. And I was afraid I’d be super conspicuous and feel uncomfortable as a result.
I was also visiting a country where I wasn’t very fluent in the language.
Travelling alone also meant that I’d be alone in any restaurant I went to. This actually made me stay away from Tapas Bars in Spain though I was dying to eat at one.
I just didn’t know how I’d manage with all the jostling and yelling.
I can be pretty awkward when I’m uncomfortable with my surroundings so I was afraid my awkwardness would show as well.
Anyway, as the trip wore on, I got tired of always been so wary of my own behaviour and surroundings and just relaxed.
And guess what, it worked!
I felt different, like a whole new person. Confident and comfortable in my own skin. I liked the new me a lot!
#4: I’d end up losing my valuables
The other downside about being conspicuous was that I was afraid I’d attract the wrong type of attention.
I constantly worried about my money and cards, clung tightly to my bag. All that paranoid behaviour.
I kept hearing stories about about how pickpocketing is rife in Spain and people buying special pouches for valuables and what not.
(This was one reason I used a sling bag and slung it in front of me instead of a backpack, but more on that in another post).
I am also rather forgetful and unaware in a sense, so was always worried I’d lose something without even realising.
The good thing that came out of this is that I got so used to checking my bags and the area as I was leaving, so I didn’t miss anything.
And thankfully, I didn’t lose anything on this trip!
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#5: I might get into trouble
Like, “walking into the wrong neighbourhood and attracting the wrong attention” sort of trouble.
Being from a small, extremely safe country, this was one of my biggest worries.
As I’m not a local, I wouldn’t know which places are safe and which to avoid.
I dealt with that by googling infor about the area I’d be in, in advance, asking the locals if it’d be safe (probably came off sounding like a weirdo but I didn’t care), and just trusting my gut.
Also, the usual ‘rules’ apply – if a place looked quiet, eerie, dark and didn’t have that many people around, I avoided it.
If there were ‘shady’ looking people loitering around and staring abit too long at you, it might be best to get out of there asap.
What about you? What limiting beliefs did your personal travels helped you overcome?
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