Is it possible to enjoy backpacking solo as someone with social anxiety/lacks confidence in social situations?

Is it possible to enjoy backpacking solo as someone with social anxiety/lacks confidence in social situations?

Top Answer:

Sure, but it depends on the location. If you're going to your pic then do it. But you must do your research ahead of time, FOLLOW ALL SIGNS, and be well equipped. I went to Humboldt County recently and went to Redwoods National Forest. You can go in it alone but you have to be aware of wild animals here like black bears, mountain lions, elk, bobcats, wolves, and snakes. I went armed with a Kukri and two cans of bear mace. The bears are not a big deal. They would rather avoid humans and go around them. Mountain Lions and Wolves are to be cautious about. They pick out weak, children, old, and single people. Mountain Lions are stealthy and will approach you from behind avoiding your weapons.

There are signs that say it is recommended to not travel alone. Don't get brave. this, the forest up here is really dense that you can take a flash light in broad day light to see.

Other Answers:

I think it can. I'm not really good with new people either. But being within a foreign country, surrounded by people different than you, you are attracted to, and other travellers are as well, each other. The best thing's: theres no strings attached.

To make it easier go to places with few Western people.

As this guys going to Amsterdam, it's pretty hard to meet others except for hostels. You're surrounded by western people and no one cares about you. If it was in some little village in Vietnam, there's only a few places to eat and you'll notice every traveller easily, and they will see you.

Only thing that's recommended is some self confidence (in being alone or just being confident about yourself).

I'm doing it right now in Amsterdam.. I honestly feel kinda off and its hard since I don't know like how I'm supposed to behave.. like what is normal in my country is maybe offensive or just not common here.. I don't know.. first time travelling and have met a few people so far: czhec girl and her friend, smashed Norwegian guy invited me to Normal in March (yay), Canadian guy from hostel, Australian girl from hostel, some guys from Sweden and really really nice guy from here, I met him in the plane.

I'm not autistic or anything but I do have lack of confidence and I dont even speak English that good so it's been hard so far but definitely doable

Where are you from?

Costa Rica. Met The czech girl at a bar, she was checking me out I think and she started the conversation. Norwegian guy asked for cigs, the rest I met them at the hostel.. its really different here. People literally don't care about you, like you go unnoticed to Dutch people in the street. Don't get me wrong they're very nice people, speak perfect English and are really helpful but like they don't make eye contact with you or anything. I'll try my hand at picking up chicks today at sugarfactory but I don't have high expectations. In Costa Rica you can talk to anybody in the street as long as you speak Spanish and be friends with them specially at social events but I doubt that is the case here and don't want to come across as a creep.
So far I had few awkward situations like going into a cafe (normal cafe) and asking for a table for one, lady looked at me said OK! And awkward silence followed until she asked what would I like to eat... I felt really embarrassed as there were a lot of Dutch people inside

Where are you from?

It doesn't help, but its possible for sure! The best way to learn how to do those things, in my opinion, is to really experience all the conflicting cultures and natures of people. You'll only learn from it. At the same time you still need to make an effort person, the world functions through social exchanges, or atleast try, some people out there are genuinely great. I have a friend who has severe social anxiety, and I somehow managed to drag him oversees with me, he was a different person afterwards. Go for it man.

You'll never progress as a person if you don't try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Also backpacking is the easiest way to meet new people. By default you have something to talk about and people travelling generally want to meet new people. Couple that with a bunch of social activities that are involved when discovering a new place and the fact that many people travel alone/in small groups you'll find it stupidly easy to socialise.

i can only imagine that it would actually boost your confidence, no?
traveling solo teaches you to deal with things you have never experienced before, think on the fly, work with what you have, and be able to adapt. these things are usually big triggers for people with anxiety, however if you force yourself into a situation where you can ONLY challenge yourself, you will see that things arent so scary.

at least thats what i like to think.

It forces you to take those few dry hours in the early afternoon and make something of them. I call the "dry hours". Everyone around you has a job, school, something. You're just around.

So if you are near a body of water, you're gonna go check it out. Hot out? Go swimming. Maybe it's cold and you want to check out some architecture. What variety of tree's are around? You'll develop interests, passing fancies, be more observant. You'll do things that you wouldn't have the slightest interest in doing back in your 1 room rental in the west where you paid bills and vidya'd.

I had a lot of vacation this year, and spent most of them hiking more or less alone in the mountains during ~2months.
I don't know precisely what you mean by backpacking, but walking alone is a very enjoyable experience, whether you lack social skills or not. At some point you will feel the need to talk to someone. And probabilities are that this someone does feel the same.

It's possible if you are open to challenging your anxiety. The good thing is that being abroad surrounded by people you don't know and will never meet again creates a very fitting arena for this. That's not to say it will be easy, but if you use the opportunity and travel for a long enough time it may even be character-changing.

I highly advice doing so. I had similar problems and went on a cycling trip through South America anyway. By the time I came back my self confidence has had a great boost. Although there were many moments of intense loneliness as well. I did meat a lot of people, which was nice.

I did meat a lot of people, which was nice.
I bet it was.

I'm worried about this too OP. I think I'll give it a go after winter with the worst case scenario being that I have a few awkward failed interactions and a low budget holiday. I have low expectations of myself though since I am a full-on shutin.

go away. I have severe social anxiety and still spent 6 months in Asia and had a great time. People are much more open and friendly if they are also backpacking in strange places. I made friends and had a good time.

Very aggressive for a severely socially anxious person.

When you act agressive and say social anxiety all i read is attenyion seeking disorder....all your friends won over by the pity vote by any chance?

Yes. That's how I overcame my 4 year long depression and anxiety. It's hard though and I failed many times before succeeding but in the end it made me a completely different person.

Yes but if you don't make an effort to step out of your comfort zone and occasionally talk to people, you'll be a pussy all your life regardless of what country you are in.

is it possible to enjoy something you do alone as someone who doesn't have an easy time with people

Gee man I have no idea, we'll have to ask the oracle and stuff.

Is it possible to enjoy backpacking solo
In Europe, yes.
In Canada it can be deadly.

Sure. I travel alone all the time.

Hell yeah. Source: me.


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