1. I hate to travel alone. This is certainly the most common complaint, since I don’t know anyone with the same schedule or bucket list. How to defeat – book a tour or learn to love the solo. Don’t let obnoxious wanderlusters bully you into going along or going somewhere dangerous, believe me they will try. If it is safety and loneliness you worry about then using a tour is a sure fire way to make new friends. I’ve been on lots of tours and only once did I not make friends. In fact lately my tours have consisted almost entirely of solo travelers. If you think you will get bored on your own and really don’t want a tour then do a dry run. Take a day trip solo and see what you do. If you have more fun with your bestie pushing you to let your hair down than choose your trips wisely. If you’re waiting on others pick five years from now and make a definite plan. Have them request off from work, book hotels to put a so-called down payment on the trip so they won’t back out. You’re bestie/partner hate to travel? Find a new companion! Old roommates, childhood pals, cousins that moved away, travel is a great connector.
2. It is dangerous. Is it more dangerous to travel alone? Yes. Especially if you’re a woman (and I mean multiply that by a billion). Is travel intrinsically dangerous. Depends on where you go and what you do. A lot of people don’t plan properly (vaccines) or they push themselves too far (expert hikes when they are a beginner) and they get hurt. You are just as likely to die base jumping in Jordan as you are in the US. If you never forget that you’ll be fine. How to defeat the worry – track down its source. Is France dangerous? People wonder that because they saw that movie once, their family is worried, or they are just downright scared because they are being ripped from their element but don’t realize why they’re so stressed. France is not dangerous on a global scale. This is evident from a quick search of recent news and US travel warnings. I would give this a 1 on the danger scale. Is Egypt dangerous. Yes. The US has a travel warning against Egypt and the news from both journalists and travelers has been harrowing. I’m not going there any time soon and although it is a dream I have other dreams. Egypt is a 9 on my danger scale. (I should mention 0 is Pleasantville and 10 is Dante’s Inferno). My how to defeat here is plan parellels! Vatican City, London, and NYC all have amazing Egypt collections and are great destinations in themselves. Places such as Cambodia (4), Mexico (7), Peru (1) and Turkey (3) all have amazing ruins that are just as awe inspiring as Egypt. Ok maybe not quite as amazing, I mean, Luxor! But you get the idea.
3. I don’t have the money. That sucks. If you don’t you don’t but are you sure? A really incredible trip to Europe or South America from the US will be under 3 grand. If you are very young, unemployed, or have kids you probably really don’t have the money. (see part 2) Most people I know complain they can’t afford it, then take a boring summer trip to RI and spend $600, they go to every new movie, and have an enviable wardrobe. If this is you, you can afford to travel just not do it all. If you save $100 a month you can take a trip every 2.5 years. This is sacrifice and in the end may take longer but think where you were 2.5 years ago! You could be in Belize right now. (with Groupon you could be in Peru and Ireland, seriously)
Part 2 You don’t have the money but maybe you have the means. If you’re unemployed like me you’re a little screwed all I can say is cat sitting pays buckets. If you’re still in school find scholarships that apply to study abroads. Once you’re over there you can visit all the neighbors pretty cheap. If you’re a parent, you may not have the money but maybe you have the means. How much money would you get for subletting your house for a summer? Does your company have a foreign office? It is only crazy if your family will hate you for it.
4. I don’t have the time. Again parents, you’re grounded for life unless you can bring the tots along or have amazing in-laws. Actually I can think of a lot of people who don’t have the time because they need to bring in those unholy dollar bills. This is where solid planning comes in. How to defeat – if work is the issue pick your vacation time far in advance and let co-workers and your boss know what’s up. If telling your boss you are leaving on vacation is akin to shooting yourself in the foot wait until you get promoted out of you entry level hell. We can’t all travel all the time but we can’t stop trying! Do your finances save extra money so you can make up your loss of income while your away. Ignore professional travelers. This is the exception not the rule. For us mortal folk we need to get in and out and do it cheap. Find your tourist musts, art and food desires, cultural exploits and figure out what is close to what. If you want to have time to wander Rome the streets around the Trevi are wonderful, the streets around the Vatican not so much. I’m sorry if that isn’t as spontaneous as you’d like but you can lollygag when you’re rich. I always visit a city assuming I won’t make it back. (one trip a year, if I live until I’m 95, I started as an adult, I got maybe 50 countries left in me? See thinking ahead is crazy good – and crazy I’ve just planned my death around travel.)
5. I don’t like to leave home and comforts. If you’re from the US, Europe will still be pretty homey. I’d stay away from anywhere that requires a vaccine. Traveling is being uncomfortable and you can’t make yourself like that. You can still visit museums and culture fairs and Tavel photography exhibits without leaving your state. There are lots of ways to travel even if your body stays still and your mind does the wandering.