I'll reinforce what others have said about partaking in social activities with fellow travellers. Pub crawls and nights out at the bars will definitely do the trick if you're having a really hard time meeting people. Most of the popular hostels in Western Europe will have advertisements and even set up such events themselves. Depending on how long your trip is, you're bound to open up. On a 10 day trip, I can understand that some travellers may not talk much at all. But the longer it is, the more you'll want to end your isolation thus inclining you to open up more. When I find myself on a lonely streak I tend to become too outgoing, sort of like a desperation haha but it's always worked for me. If you're lonely, don't let small talk become just that. Extend the conversation, ask them what they're doing tomorrow or what they've done today, you know stuff like that.
I've finally come to a decision..and unfortunately it's left me feeling like I'm not facing my fears and believing in myself; letting my insecurities hold back my ultimate life experience. But the truth is that I had a kind of epiphany today while chilling in my garden and that's just that I believe I'm ready to face these insecurities, but I'm not ready to face them and feel content or enjoy it to the extent I could do when I feel ready.
I'm usually not very good at doing this but I believe I've actually been able to think this through and past my love for adventure to realise that I do need companions to enjoy this sort of thing for now and adventure will have to be sought with my friends in the UK.
Thankyou all so much for your advice and I hope I haven't disappointed or let anyone down with my decision. And anyone reading this and not sure whether to travel don't take what I've written as good advice or even advice. This is just my thought process and it's probably wrong. If anyone can give me their opinion on whether they think this was a good idea or not let me know.
John - all the advice of others is just that. Their comments have given you "material" to work with in making your own decision about your own abilities, wants and needs. Using what they have said and what you feel in your heart - you've come to a conclusion - you need traveling companionship. There's nothing wrong with that for not everyone is a "lone" traveler. As for "letting anyone down" or "disappointing" them, it's doubtful. I think you'll find TP members supportive no matter what your decision. After all, it was yours alone to make and you have, at least for now. I'm sure, down the road at some other time, you'll re-examine these questions again. Maybe the answers will be the same, maybe not. Life is the real adventure - enjoy as you will!
I know this is a bit late but I understand where you are coming from and the stuff I usually do is take weekend trips out to cities and just hang out at hostels and local pubs...oft times people dont usually talk but you can bet that if you offer a guy a game of pool you can start up a dialogue...
Usually I find that when I am shy about coming forward then usually others are too, it is when you get a forceful person coming along being really extroverted that you can tell it is 99% of the time because he is petrified, so tries covering it with exuberance lol
Just be yourself and if you feel like talking that is great, but if you like looking out the window and the passing scenery you should not be expected to change and become a chatterer.
I prefer being on my own much of the time, but I can also pop my head up and say hello to others on occasion, you just need to find the right balance for you.
I did australia alone for 4 months. after about a week, I met a girl in the blue mountains, then bumped into her everywhere up the east coast before we finally just decided to travel together, in the process the two of us made tons of friends going up the coast because everyone goes the same way. I ended up travelling with her for about 8 weeks out of the trip.
After the first week I was never alone. It actually got a little frustrating at times because there were times when I just wanted to relax and have some time to myself, but I just couldn't. By the time I made it to Airlie beach I was with a group of at least 15 people. Then I went south to work for a few weeks and when I passed through airlie it happened all over again with completely different people.
Now I'm in Auckland. I've been here about 2 and a half weeks and will be here for most of the next year. But I've already met about 4 people that will be here in auckland for the next 9 months or so.
I think you just gotta get out there and talk to people. every body is in the same boat. none of us want to be completely alone all the time.
i don't mind being alone for small stretches of time while i'm travelling but i prefer to have a companion for the majority of the trip. i find it's really taxing being a solo traveller since you always have to be peppy and talkative at hostels (if you want to make friends, that is). it's just easier having a mate with you.
I think you should only do something if it's a really deep rooted desire within you. If you don't feel ready to do it, then you're probably not. I'd say that maybe the urge to travel is there and that, given time, you will definitely get to a point where you feel in a good place to do it. If you really want to travel badly, then you will overcome all the what ifs and questions and just go anyway - I think that's what happens most people.
I found that if you were on the move too much while travelling that you didnt get to know people. If you are moving from hostel to hostel every couple of nights, you dont connect with people as much. Whereas if you base yourself someone for at least a week or two, you're going to become a regular face there and you'll end up hanging out more with other people who are staying a little longer as well. Then you find that you'll end up travelling with certain people for a while.
One thing I hated a bit initially about the backpacking scene was that I found myself drinking almost every night. I mean, not that it wasn't fun - I had a great time - but there is that thing that you fall into in hostels of drinking because that's what everyone else is doing and that's how you get talking to people. However, as time went by, I became perfectly happy finding the most comfortable chair in a hostel and settling in for the night with my book, happy to ignore the general hub-bub unless someone wanted to strike up a conversation with me. You can get tired of the party scene every night and that can affect your level of enjoyment on your travels too I think.
I suppose it's about getting to a point where you are comfortable with yourself. If you want to do something do it, and if you dont, dont. Simple as that.
Good luck with your decision.