Overcoming roadblocks

“Man (Woman) cannot discover new oceans unless he (she) has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

Solo travel is one of the best things that you will ever do but you may have some roadblocks to overcome before you travel. If any of these sounds like you, read on…

“Solo travel sounds great but it’s really not the right time”

Really, why not? Believe it or not, there is probably never going to be a perfect time to go; there will always be something to stop you if you let it. Do you know how many people decide to do it then change their mind because something “comes up?” Don’t let that be you. Of course, there may be real legitimate reasons but for every one of them, there’s a solution.

This is going to be one of the best things (if not THE best thing) that you will ever do, so whatever excuse you think you have, it’s time to overcome those roadblocks and clear the path to your dream trip. Are any of these stopping you?

“I don’t have enough money”

This has got to be the biggest hurdle but not all travel has to be expensive. Consider countries that are cheaper such as South East Asia, Bolivia, or the Baltics in Europe. Spending a week in these countries can work out even cheaper than spending a week in your home country.

Your biggest cost is going to be airfare so the more flexible you are with dates the better. Travelling short-haul will help keep your budget lower but look at other options such as travelling overland or cargo boats instead.

“Shouldn’t I be studying instead?”

Choosing to travel before you enter the job market is no longer frowned upon by future employers and can actually be beneficial for your CV. Where else can you get an education of life experiences, cultures, and learn invaluable skills such as budgeting, than by travelling by yourself? Travelling solo will not only prepare you to enter the job market but it will give you a life perspective that other students may not have.

Not only will you encounter so many others on their gap years, but you may even come back with the desire to do something completely different. If you’re thinking of taking a career break before going back into education at a later age, travelling will give you a break from life and the clarity that you’re on the right path.

“What about my job?”

Travelling by yourself doesn’t have to mean leaving everything behind for months. Even a trip for a week, or a fortnight, is enough to give you a taste of travelling and re-energise you so that you’re ready to throw yourself back into home life again. If you want to go for longer, then see if you can take an extended break or unpaid leave from your job. You never know, they may even hold it open for you.

You may be worried about the ease of finding another job when you return home but is there really any job security nowadays? Just because you stay in your job doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed for the next few years.

Leaving a job isn’t for everyone but going away will give you the time and space to really think about what you want to do. You could even come back with a complete change of heart, wanting to start your own business, or just eager to start saving to do it all over again.

“What about my apartment?”

If you are planning a six-month trip or longer, consider renting your apartment through an agent or check with friends who may need a place to rent temporarily. Many people feel tied because of property commitments but getting the mortgage payments covered can be easy if you rent it out. You may even have some left over towards your trip each month. That way you know you have somewhere to come back to when (or if), you decide to come back home.

“I’m going through a hard time”

If you are going through a hard time in your life, making plans to travel can help guide you through a bleak period. Maybe you’re suffering from stress, a breakup or bereavement. No matter what life event is happening in your life right now, a change can be the best thing to get you back on the road to recovery and give you a new perspective on life.

Don’t allow others or society to pass their judgement onto you about what you should be doing at this point in your life. No one knows what’s around the corner so giving yourself a change of scenery can only improve your happiness factor and prepare you for a new phase of your life. Who knows, you may even fall in love on the road and decide to take a new path in your life.

“I can’t speak any languages”

Unless you’re travelling to Latin America, you really don’t have to be fluent in another language as English is spoken in so many places. Don’t take this as an excuse to not learn some of the languages for your chosen country, but if you’re travelling through five different countries there’s no way you can learn every single language.

But just knowing the key phrases can really help you to get by. Not only will the locals appreciate it and be more helpful towards you, it will also increase your confidence and reduce your chances of getting charged tourist prices.

“I don’t know if I can do it alone”

You can, but if you’re really not sure then test drive your solo trip by going away by yourself for a weekend first. It could be something as simple as a camping trip or just book yourself into a hostel or hotel in your home town. You’ll soon get the confidence to want to do it for longer.

If the thought of travelling solo really is too much then why not consider a group tour for the first part of your trip. Not only will this help you get your bearings in a country (especially if you’ve not travelled before), but it will give you that little nudge of confidence to want to go it alone afterwards.

It’s not cheating as a solo, especially if you want to go to countries that you may feel nervous about travelling to alone.

“I don’t know where to go”

That’s why you’ve come to this site! With so many countries in the world to choose from, it can be overwhelming deciding where to go. Do you fancy the sensory overload of India, the culinary flair of Italy or the deserts of the Middle East?

You can even combine your bucket list of places with a round-the-world ticket to get more out of your trip and save the other countries for a later date. By the end of this book, you’ll know exactly where you want to go and why.

See, there really are no obstacles that you can’t get past. Each one is there to test your desire and determination to travel. Don’t be one of those people who keep dreaming about it. Take some action on your roadblocks today and blast them to smithereens…