At the beginning of the month I came back from a week of travelling in Morocco where I joined a group trip on my own. I was originally extremely nervous because I am not the most confident person and I find it hard talking to new people but the experience was one of a kind. I learnt quite a lot from the week long trip and can’t wait to do more trips.
Airports can be strangely relaxing places
Being on my own at the airport I got some food and sunk into a corner to read my book before my gate was called. Usually if I was with someone else we would be talking and discussing the holiday but I got a chance to totally relax before my flight. Normally airports can be a bit stressful as you try not to lose people in crowds and having to wait for each other after passport control but on your own it’s quite peaceful.
Ask lots of questions when you’re with new people
Talking to a bunch of 15 strangers who I was travelling with was one of the things I was dreading most as I am not confident at all. A lot of the people on my tour were older than me (up to around 65) so I thought i’d have nothing in common with them and would struggle but asking questions kept the conversations flowing. A simple question like ‘Where are you from?’, ‘What do you do?’ or questions about their children opened up so much scope for conversation and I genuinely met such an amazing bunch of people.
You don’t need to put on an act with new people
Yes all 16 of the people on our group were totally different from one another but this was incredibly refreshing. Sometimes in group situations it can be like putting on an act or making out you’ve heard of things others have, or have similar interests but being yourself is far better. With strangers there’s no need to put on an act and you can be far more relaxed and enthusiastic about things when you’re being yourself.
People are incredibly caring, even if they don’t know you
On our trip we did an intense four hour mountain trek which was incredibly tough from the sheer mountain drops to the intense heat but the people surrounding me made it bearable. If I was struggling to come down a rock face people would put their hands out to help me down, someone who was quite fit decided to stay at the back of the group to ensure no one got left behind and everyone was so encouraging. Travelling alone doesn’t mean you are alone, and if it wasn’t for the group a few of us might have given up part way.
I’m probably more confident than I think
Yes there were odd situations where I was at the dinner table and looked around to everyone else having conversations and I was stuck in the middle but for the most I found it quite easy to talk to these people. Maybe this was because they were older and I felt judged less than I would in a group of 15 people in their 20’s, but either way my confidence seemed to blossom. I made an effort to talk to people even when I didn’t know what to say and it seemed to work.