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What My Fears Are Now I Am Approaching My First Solo Trip

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

One of the not-so-fun perks of not having many friends on study abroad is solo travelling but I cannot be too negative because I have not yet done a solo trip. However, next week I am travelling to Copenhagen on my first solo trip, and I am extremely anxious and fearful about this. I see myself as a strong, independent woman but I equally dislike the idea of being in an unfamiliar country with nobody I know close by. For anyone with similar worries here are the main concerns and how I will hypothetically approach them.

Firstly, I maintain the same female concerns as usual when being anywhere alone. Being a woman is very scary today and we have a lot of valid fears and concerns but like anything else life must go on – of course, we must continue to fight against this also but in the meantime, we have to carry on as usual. I refuse to let these fears stop me from living. Luckily, my first trip was to a city named one of the safest cities in the world. However, I will do some things to make me feel safer. To begin with I will come back to my hotel before or just after it gets dark because everything is scarier at night, as we know. I have ‘find my friends’ on for all my family members and my boyfriend, so they can track me wherever I am in case they do not hear from me. In addition, I will let my Mum and boyfriend know where I am and what exactly I am doing so they get regular updates and hear from me frequently.

Secondly, I have money concerns. Denmark is one of the most expensive cities in the world. I don’t find budgeting the easiest thing in the world. I am about halfway through my semester now which is terrifying, especially monetarily, the money is running low. Therefore, I am going to research the average costs of meals and budget for the different things I would like to do and make sure not to exceed this amount.

Another fear I have is eating alone in restaurants. I believe this is scary for most people. We fear the looks and judgements from others and whether the restaurants we want to eat at accept parties of one. For all these reasons I am not looking forward to the whole eating situation. I have made an oath to myself to make sure that at least half of the time I eat in the restaurant I cannot always get takeaway. I am hoping that this challenge also helps me in the future to just grab lunch or dinner solo anyway not always when I travel.

Finally, the journey in general. I dislike public transport, especially planes. I have OCD, particularly around health and germs, as well as anxiety in general. This makes me overthink and come up with crazy scenarios of what might happen. I will not let this stop me from travelling. It is also a good test of the coping techniques I have learnt. I am determined to cope well. I believe that because I travelled via plane recently my anxiety will be less intense, but I know it will still be present. To cope with this, I will carry things which will help me feel safer when travelling as well as allow plenty of time to travel. I will also keep in touch with my Mum and boyfriend share my concerns and reach for their guidance and reassurance to help me through.

I hope this helps some of you who might be sharing some of the same worries and I feel that by sharing these concerns and the ways I will approach them has already helped and maybe you can do similar. I will reflect on my first solo travel experience when I get home and share my pros and cons and whether these fears were overcome or not. Wish me luck and I will be back shortly to report my findings!

BA Politics and Study Abroad student at the University of Exeter. I have a passion for journalism and wild swimming!