How I Overcame my Fear of Traveling Alone
The clarity that often presents itself about past happenings is sometimes comical. I can look back on an event or circumstance and see so vividly how it changed the pace for the rest of my life yet, while it was happening, I had absolutely no idea.
Me, in a foreign country, alone, in a hostel bathroom, too scared to go outside.
No, I wasn’t scared for my life. Truth is, I was scared for life.
I ended up in this foreign country, Fiji, on a work trip to do underwater shooting with a photographer from Australia. Long story short, I had finished the “work” part early and instead of the photographer switching my flight to head home early, he offered to give me the money it would have cost in change fees to use as pocket money the last few days I had in the country. Of course, I accepted this offer. More time in Fiji? Yes!
After the high of the idea of extended travel wore off, it really dawned on me that I would be alone. I had been traveling with the photographer for work, with purpose, and accompanied by a guide, but now, I thought, I am being left alone? Cue, fear.
I sat in that hostel bathroom because I was scared. I was scared to go out and meet people. I was scared of what people would think of me. I was scared of the uncertainty of it all. I felt like a child on the first day of grade school! I had never stayed at a hostel before and was so uncomfortable and nervous. I took a few deep breaths and told myself this is where I wanted to be. I mean, I was in Fiji for god’s sake!
This is where the thought popped into my head, “every little thing is gonna be all right”.
I stood there humming Bob Marley’s song to myself, tracing those words into the bathroom wall,
“E – v – e – r – y L – i – t – t – l – e T – h – i – n – g
I – s G – o – n – n – a B – e A – l – l R – i – g – h – t”
I felt more and more calm with each word, with each breath.
This moment is often a time I recall as a pivotal point in my life’s path. If I hadn’t challenged myself, if I had gone home instead of spending those days traveling alone, I would have never overcome that fear.
Now, two years later, with a full passport and a 10-month solo trip around the globe under my belt, I can say with clarity that this moment provided me with the courage to chase my dreams and travel the world.