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Fear of Traveling Alone

October 19th, 2017

Several of my peers are afraid to travel, because they do not feel comfortable traveling alone. If a friend were free and could afford to travel with them, they would gladly pack their bags.

Even the suggestion of joining a tour group where everything is organized and planned scares them. They still fear traveling alone.

One of my friends even backed out of a special invitation to Rome just because she was afraid she would not feel comfortable. (Rome is less than a three hour train ride from where she lives, and she is fluent in Italian!)

These same friends are always eager to hear about my travels and to praise me on how courageous I am to travel alone.

Another friend who lost her husband two years ago, travels alone to foreign countries to places she knows, and joins a tour group for the more exotic places that are new to her. As she says, “If the group is boring or not interested in including me in conversations, I always carry a good book to read during any free time or I strike out to visit something not on the tour.”

Not everyone wants to travel or can afford to travel. That is fine. What is disappointing is to see people give up part of the life they wish to live due to fear.

Are you among those who wish to travel but are afraid to go alone? The first step to doing anything new is to take that first step!

  • Travel with an organization that specializes in destinations for older people. For example, Road Scholars (formerly Elder Hostel) has destinations where you are involved working together to help people within the country or have classes so you could easily get to know the others in the group, many of whom are also on their own.
  • Take language classes to learn the language and culture of the country you wish to visit. It will give you confidence.
  • Organize a trip with friends to a country that speaks your own language or join a tour to that country. It will be less foreign even though very different.
  • You can prepare yourself to visit the country of your dreams by renting videos, researching on the internet, attending conferences and travel lectures.

You may also find that the first step is to plan a trip near home in your own country. Whatever you decide, the first step is all you need to get started.

Flaunt your age-esteem and take that first step!

Bonnie Fatio


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