I'm Adam and im 18 in March. This Septemeber i plan on going to travel on my own accross Asia. My parents do not want me to do it though, they dont think i will be able to cope, i feel a bit scared myself but i know its what i want to do. I will be travelling on my own also.
Do you have any advice for me for first time travellers? I know i should listen to my parents but i also have to make up my own mind.
Hey Adam -
I know how you feel. My mom keeps worrying over the fact that I'll be travelling alone for a year, (Granted I'm 26 and am perfectly capable of taking care of myself) but your parents are just being parents. Being nervous or scared is perfectly normal. I probably will have an anxiety attack next week when I leave.
Just GO FOR IT! Your parents will get over it. I'm sure you will have an unbelievable time.
When I was your age I travel by myself at least twice a year from Vientiane, Laos to Bangkok, Thailand; spent the night there. The next morning caught another plane from Bangkok to Manila, Philippines, took taxi to the bus station, rode 7 hours to Baguio city, where my highschool was. I did that during Christmas and Summer vacation. My parents trusted me, because I have travel with them two times around the world, and back and forth from the US to Asia. Now as a parent of two kids 16,17. I think I know how your parents feel. My 17 year old kid want to go to England and perhaps, other part of Europe, by himself. I think, I will let him do it this summer, when he graduates from high school. However, unlike you, he has been around the world, 2 times to England, Paris, with me. If he had never been out of our country (US) I might say "yes", if he just go to one country. I would say "no" if he traveled through out Europe.
I think you should travel to just one or two countries first, before tackling a whole bunch of countries in Asia alone. I would feel much better, if my son travel with a friend. There are many nice people who you will meet in Asia; but there are some people who see you as some one whom they can beatup and take every you have. If you met those people, you would be lucky if you get out in one piece. How I know, because I came from that part of the world. Because I was a victim once - Going snorkeling at secluded beach. When I got back, all of my belonging was gone, except my clothes, and I didn't see a person in sight - stolen by a ghost, hah. I hope I am scaring you. Most of the time, if you stay in the big cities, then it's ok. But if you wandering around in small towns or villages, you could easily get into trouble.
By the way, what countries are you planning to visit? Maybe, someone in this forum might be there during the time you are there. Maybe, they can at least be your guide or travelling buddy. It's safer that way.
If you decided to travel, do contact your parents regularly, and update them with your plan. Internet cafes are plenty these days. Goodluck!
hey, thx for that reply.
I plan on going accross Asia in September 2004 till July 2005. I think the first place i will visit is Japan because i can stay with my relatives in Tokyo. I am looking for a travel companion though as i know it would help me a great deal. I will probably spend more time going overland than using the airport if i can help it. I know it will be hard and my parents say the same thing about who i might meet along the way but i suppose it can happen anywhere in the world. I will just have to be as safe as possible really.
Thanks for the reply though it certainly helped!
Sorry, I called you Sam! Must be late at night and sleepy, hah!
Anyhow, your first leg is Tokyo is a good choice. I live there for 7 years, and feel that it is one of the safest places on earth, quite expensive, though. Around september, I think you can still climb (actually walk) up Mt. Fuji. I believe any tourist coming to Japan ought to climb Mt. Fuji at least once. If you need more help, just post your ???, if I know, will response,
Don't be scared - things mentioned such as getting attacked etc. can happen anywhere they have happened to me once but that wasn't away - this was at home in Britain. I find it is safer away believe it or not - I went to Greece alone - safest place I've ever visited (and beautiful may I add). Boats and yachts lying round the harbour untied - you wouldn't find that in britain - something would have been stolen once every now and again in Britain I'd say - but as for Greece - nope - people are laid back, friendly and trustworthy!! I was a lone female wandering desolite roads in the day (quite far from the resort town (bout two hours walk)) - I got the odd stare from groups of men - one of them offered me a lift to which I politely declined (just incase) but apart from that I made it safe there and back. You will meet peeps in hostels - I am sure - arrange to do stuff with them - don't go wandering the streets at night etc. (the usual stuff) - go with your instincts if you are feeling a little uncomfy or out of bounds walking places - turn back. Every now and again - telephone your parents to let them know your ok etc. You should be fine - 'The worlds your oyster' - go for it and good luck!!!
Yes, if's it what you really want to do, go for it. Guarenteed, you will not regret it. A couple of things I would suggest - if you've never travelled alone (either in your own country or abroad) before try not to be overly ambitious from the start. let yourself in gradually to start with to pick up confidence and realise how different it is. If your going to stay in Tokyo for abit, use that as a base. Travel around Japan for a couple of weeks alone - you will gain confidence in somewhere that is safe, fascinating and that you have relatives/somewhere specific that you head back later to.
It's natural to be scared, and even when you get over that (probably after about the first 20mins) always be wary. As soon as you think you've got everything sussed, you will get cocky and overly confident and something will go wrong - It always does. Just stay wary and you'll be fine.
Even if you do get a companion, chances are you will split at some point, even if just for a few days. It really isn't hard to meet people when travelling alone, so your unlikely to go long completely alone anyway. To me, that is at least 50% of the fun of travelling - you always meet new and interesting people. Some who will change your life, become serious friends, others just a footnote you meet in passing. And because it isn't planned, it's never hard to break away from them as & when you want to.
And obviously as Rach-a says, be in touch with your family etc from time time. Little things, like a postcard from each new country, quick email notes (or even SMS) and occassional short phone calls will reassure them and keep you in touch. Any more questions, etc, just post it for us.
have a fantasic trip