The last few trips abroad I have taken alone and I’ve been asked a few times “ how do you do it? don’t you get anxious or afraid?”
Yes. If I’m going to a new country, anxiety levels are quite high and even in a city I’ve been to before, I’m still a tad anxious. This is because I feel like other cities that are not your own have a dynamic that you’re not familiar with and are unaware of and this brings uncertainty and anxiety. That’s not to say, I know my own city inside out and back to front but you know your trains lines, which streets/suburbs to avoid and the general geography of your own city.
I think the bottom line of traveling alone is being comfortable with yourself and trusting yourself and your own instincts.
It’s time out from your busy life, time to enjoy how your brain works (sorry, brain reference) and pushes your comfort zone on how comfortable you are about being with yourself. Watching a movie, eating at a cafe/restaurant or going to a bar alone are things that are usually associated activities you do with other people but if you want to see a movie or need to eat, you kind of just have to go at it alone don’t you? We’re all human.
Trust yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else. Your ability to quickly adapt to your new surroundings or your inner homing pigeon that gives you that feeling that maybe you’re on the metro heading the wrong way will surprise you. You just have to let yourself experience it, make mistakes and then get on the right metro again. No limbs lost, the world is still spinning.
People are also mostly genuinely nice. You’ve seen some shifty people around and can identify them. Scammers are out there just be aware. Most people will want to help you, let them. Ask for help when you need it. Trust your own judgement about the people you come across (and you will come across many people).
Being afraid and anxious is normal. The only way I’ve come to deal with this is to trust that I will survive and to just go with the flow.