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Absolutely terrified to go travelling...

Travel Forums General Talk Absolutely terrified to go travelling...

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1. Posted by Hectopasca (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

I'm 19. I have a crappy job 3 days a week and my life for the last four years has been boring. I've sat infront of my PC playing games. I'm physically fit and I have a bit of money behind me (roughly 2.4k)

I want to go traveling. I've decided I'm going for sure but I can't bring myself to make the first step at all. The thing is, even though I'm 19, I've never actually done anything by myself, my mom got me my job, she drops me off to work nearly every day and my dad picks me up. Because of my refusal to grow up, I'm here now asking you guys how you found the courage to leave for god knows how many months and go traveling.

What I am to do is buy a bike, pack a few things and go cycling around England for a while, hop onto a ferry and visit Paris then see where the wind takes me from there. Is my dream too far-fetched or is it possible?

I don't really intend on staying in hotel after hotel, I'll obviously camp out if it's nice weather or go to a hostel if I can. I want to keep money spending to a minimum e.g Food, Water, Cleaning supplies.

The worst part of it is that I grew up in a very technology oriented environment. I have no camping skills at all, hardly any social skills to be honest..lol..but..I know I want to do this, I HAVE to do this in order to grow up.

How did you guys get over this hurdle? Did you have someone to help you or what. Please, I need help.

P.s Sorry if this is in the wrong section. I couldn't find a "Shit scared" section anywhere. =/

2. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

My friend, there is nothing unusual about travel stories whether they are sitting on a beach 500 yards down the road with a handkerchief on your head for 2 weeks, or going on your very first trip abroad, doing a bunjee jump 300 feet over a river full of crocodiles.
There are plenty of websites that give tips on first time camping. Get into their forums and fire away with as many questions as you need to ask.
If you are feeling a little wary, then pack all you need (as a first timer you will check everything 100 times and probably take too much stuff) and just start off on the 'novice slope'. As things go on after a few days, you will get to know the nice things and nasty happenings. The sunshine and yesterdays loaf of bread at 1/2 price - v - the broken zip on your tent and missing the last bus by 30 seconds and having to wait 8 hours for the next one.
All these things happen to everyone, both beginners and experienced.
Take a small trip to start with but allow more time to extend it if you are having fun. In other words, come home if it's not your thing or go a little further afield if it's all working out.
My first ever trip away alone was a short flight and a week's 1/2 board in an OK hotel. After that I knew it was for me.
Now I travel the world, sometimes working, sometimes on hoilday and every trip is so unique.
Hope it all works out for you.

3. Posted by Budges (Budding Member 33 posts) 7y

Well mate...you have just made the first step by asking for help!

Hopefully some of this advice helps but Im not exactly an experienced traveller (yet): had family holidays and a month in Thailand with a mate doing a tour, but in January Im leaving home on my own with a one-way ticket overseas.

I would suggest not thinking of it as being 'scared' cos that can have a bit of a negative connotation. I read in a Readers Digest book about this guy who was 'scared' of getting in stage for public speaking...but then instead of calling it being 'scared' he called it having 'new-feeling'. Probably sounds a bit weird but if you think of it as simply having new experiences/feelings that you havn't had to deal with before (rather than being scared) then it turns it into a positive. Travelling is exhilarating and exciting and wherever you are there will be people around (whether locals or other tourists) who will help you no matter what the problem.

I would spend a while of time researching on the internet about travelling: there are unlimited sites and many forums like this one and thousands of blogs out there from which you can learn a great deal about all aspects of travelling. Once you feel you have learnt as much as you can from books and the internet...then the only thing to do next is to leave and go travelling and learn it first-hand!

And you will be bloody nervous but I would say no first time traveller (especially a solo one) has embarked on a journey without being at least a bit apprehensive and unsure!

Regarding camping...research about gear so you have some idea, then talk to people in the shops (just tell them you dont have a clue and you will get good help). Before travelling I would suggest doing a couple of one-nighters out camping somewhere...then do some two-nighters.

You could always join a tour for a week (even in your own country) which is always a good introduction to travelling and could be a great stepping stone towards travelling on your own.

Be sure you know how much money you need...once you consider everything involved: travel/camping gear, transport, food, accommodation, insurance, visas, vaccinations etc it can get expensive.

Travelling doesn't always go smoothly and its often best when it doesn't. There is only so much you can prepare for, and the rest you learn as you go! It will be a massive learning curve and you will probably hate some bits of it but what you will learn and experience will far outweigh any negatives.

In the end, the day will come you will just have to take a deep breath, step outside and go exploring!

4. Posted by Hectopasca (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Thanks a lot for the words of encouragement. :D

Been talking to my friends and my parents and I'm gonna buy a bike tomorrow, ask for a leave of absence off work for about a month and buy a 1 man pop up tent.

My mom said she'll smash my bike when I buy it so i can't go...lol

My only problems now are.

What route to take and how the hell am I going to keep myself clean?

Bathe in lakes, or hope places I pass let me use their shower..lol

I'm thinking of going in the next month or so. I wanna see the Eiffel all lit up in the night sky and snow falling around me.

5. Posted by Budges (Budding Member 33 posts) 7y

Consider a bike with front suspension...makes the ride much more comfortable (rear suspension is not really worth the money unless your into downhill mountain-biking...and its not really energy-efficient for riding long distances). You will be relying on your bike so dont stinge on a cheap one.

Get good waterproof panniers for the bike...not sure how you were planning on doing it but I wouldnt attempt riding around with a backpack. Might need some lights on your bike if you will be doing night riding.

Remember a tyre repair kit and allen keys for the bike...and take at least one spare tyre tube. Make your you are practised in taking and replacing your tyres and tubes before you leave. I would make sure you have 'thorn-proof' tubes which are thicker and more resistant against punctures.

Keeping clean: you will know better than me (being an Aussie) how accessible lakes etc are. Use biodegradable soap to lessen your impact on the environment. Really all you need is a bucket (or similar device) that will hold a few litres: splash some water over yourself to get a bit wet...scrub up with soap...and then splash the rest of the water over to rinse. Take some wet wipes to keep clean when you have no access to water.

Minimise the amount of stuff you take: you probably only really need one set of clothes to wear day after day for riding in (having more will just mean you have multiple sets of clothes getting dirty each day), one set to sleep in and a set of decent clothes to wear when your not riding.

Regarding the route: make sure you work out what distance you are capable of riding each day (might only learn that once you begin) so you are never stuck in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you can navigate well and read maps (could get a GPS as a safety net) efficiently. I would plan at least the first week or two really well so you know exactly where you want to stay each night and which route you are travelling along. After a bit you may be more comfortable and happy to let the route sort itself out.

Hope some of that is helpful.

6. Posted by lrgraves (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Hey man, When I was 21 I quit my job as did my girlfriend and we travelled to Mexico in a Volkswagon van for 3 months. This was a very long time ago so you can tell I am older. We were both scared as were our parents. We had a great time and have since been back many times and are now travelling a lot as older retired ex hippies. Be scared, be safe, and just do it. You will not regret it and it will continue for many years to come. You will meet new friends and have times that you will be amazed at.

7. Posted by melwurmus (Budding Member 22 posts) 7y

As soon as you take that step, you will wonder why you were afraid in the first place.

Get really to know your gear, do a bit of research and I would suggest at least a short trip in your area, so you get an idea of what to expect.

Don't worry about the missing skills, you will learn in no time. :)

Have a wonderful trip.

8. Posted by ruthlisgo (Budding Member 12 posts) 7y

You really want this I can tell! So now you just have to simply 'Go and Do It'. I too have been feeling for a while that I needed to change job ect....and now me and my husband have decided to leave our jobs at the end of the year and set out traveling in the new year. Once the decision was made I felt over the moon-sometimes we just have to go for it and not think too much-things will come together and I am sure you will not look back:) Go for it:)

You can read more about my experiences as I travel ect on my blog

-snip-

Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Been talking to my friends and my parents and I'm gonna buy a bike tomorrow, ask for a leave of absence off work for about a month and buy a 1 man pop up tent.

Just in case you haven't bought your bicycle and tent yet:

I have done a bit of cycle touring and I strongly recommend researching bicycles and buying from a professional bike dealer. I personally hate bicycles with suspension, my recommendation would a a hybrid bike between a racing bike and a mountain bike with broad pierce-proof tyres and with "deore" components from top to bottom. (Make sure the bike isn't just called Deore, if the list of components just says "shimano" and not "shimano deore" avoid the bike.) You should also make sure you can attach front panniers. Expect to pay 450+ pounds for a decent bike.

Panniers: I recommend Ortlieb panniers. They are expensive though. A good source of them can be the German site www.globetrotter.de, they have special offers for them and they do mail order to the UK. A good compromise on cost can be their house-brand "Meru" panniers or the MSX panniers. You can get the MSX panniers for around 45 EUR per pair plus shipping from German ebay.

Tent: The ideal tent for cycle touring is the Salewa Micra. (Make sure it is the Micra and not the Micra Base, the difference between the two tents is the apsis, making the Micra Base much larger and heavier.) It is relatively light, but sturdy and large enough for one person and 4 panniers. It is one of the few tents which frame pieces are short enough to fit into most panniers.

The small and cheap pop-up tents usually don't cut it, they leak in a downpour and cannot withstand a decent stiff autumn breeze. Go for the Micra even if you swallow at first when you see the price.

What route to take

Inside the UK stick to the national cycle network.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Cycle_Network

I can also recommed that you use this Dutch route planner:

http://www.fietsrouteplanner.eu/content/view/104/109/

and how the hell am I going to keep myself clean?
Bathe in lakes, or hope places I pass let me use their shower..lol

Bathing in lakes is a good idea. For some places there are specialized cycling maps, these cycling maps often list places where you can swim. Note though that swimming in unknown places can be dangerous, talk to locals before you jump in. I personally prefer to stay on camping sites, they are cheap and often have other facilities that are good to have: laundry, telephone (to call mommy and tell her that you are alive), internet access, restaurant, small shop to buy food and sometimes a fully equipped kitchen.

I'm thinking of going in the next month or so. I wanna see the Eiffel all lit up in the night sky and snow falling around me.

Cycling, sleeping in a tent and snow do not mix well. If I was you I would head south, following the St. James Way to Spain or the Rhine and the Danube to Istanbul. You should also plan on staying in hostels, it is better to shell out 25 EUR for a hostel bed than to freeze your arse off in a tent.

10. Posted by geeadamg (Budding Member 23 posts) 7y

I was pretty scared when I first went solo travelling earlier this year as I'm the shy, quiet type until I know someone - but I was older (28), although one thing that made me get rid of nerves was to over plan where to go and what to do. I went to the states and more or less, as soon as I got there my plans changed and like others have said, wondered why the hell I'd be scared. But the plan was a safety net when I didn't know what to do with myself.

Although you plan is different I made sure there was some familiarity where I went - I purposely chose an english speaking country (I'm from the UK) and made sure I had a hire car for the first two weeks when I landed. But the bug has hit me hard since, I can't wait to get off this island again and see more of the world, I had nothing to really work for before that (except food and shelter) and now I'm out of my early mid-life crisis :)

Use wikitravel.org
And, don't forget to take condoms !!!