This might be one of the few situations where the ‘Stranger Danger’ rule shouldn’t apply.
One thing you should know about me is that I am a closeted introvert. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the occasional spontaneous adventure, exploring new places and/or people from time to time.
Still, the instances when I feel that way can be quite rare, with the need to recharge my social battery as essential in between. But why am I giving you all this information, you might ask. Well, that’s to prove to you that if someone like me can go on a trip with a group of strangers they’ve never met before, then surely you can too!
In fact, my first time traveling with a group was only a few weeks ago. And in my continued attempts to be completely transparent with you, I must admit that I was a mess in the days leading up to it, my nerves eating me away.
But ultimately, I went. And it was one of the best decisions I’d taken in a long time!
Here’s why you should make that decision too:
- You’ll Still Have Your Own Space
Group travel doesn’t have to mean that you’ll be surrounded by people you don’t know well 24/7. Instead, the beauty about going on a trip with strangers is that you get to experience and maintain independence while still being surrounded by like-minded people with similar interests.
Although you’ll interact with the group during planned tours, you’ll get to travel in your own way. You’ll still have the opportunity to choose which activities of the itinerary to participate in and which to skip.
- It’ll Push You Out of Your Comfort Zone
Ask any inspirational person or successful individual and they’ll probably tell you that only great things come out of stepping outside your comfort zone. But to be honest, I remember silently cursing every human being who swore by this concept in the hours before my departure.
However, as much as it pains me to admit it, I soon discovered just how right they were. After settling in, I found myself ready to give the trip a real shot. I became more open to new experiences, whether that was trying an activity for the first time or simply ordering a dish I hadn’t had before.
Furthermore, after returning home I found myself more and more eager to take risks and put myself in situations I would have never before.
- You’ll Make Impactful Connections
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of traveling with a group not found in solo traveling is the fact that while you still retain your independence, you have a group of people to get to know and interact with whenever you feel particularly social.
Another advantage of group travel is that it essentially aligns you with people similar to you. These other individuals have also chosen this trip for its activities, destination and the fact that they’d be traveling with strangers.
Moreover, meeting new people can be a very educational experience. For instance, it will teach you to stop making judgements before knowing a person. Plus, as you interact with individuals from all around the world, you’ll not only get emersed in different cultures and their traditions, but your view of the world will broaden along with your perspective of it.
- Provides a Sense of Security
Although the idea of traveling with a travel agency might daunting for those who love to have control over planning, soon you’ll find that they might be the best thing you’ve done for your peace of mind.
This is because when everything is planned, from transportation and visa applications to where you’ll stay and the activities you’ll do, the only thing you have to worry about is not sleeping through the five alarms you’ve set for the morning to not miss the hotel breakfast!
Furthermore, another way group trips can add to your sense of security, especially if traveling to a foreign country, is by allowing you to experience going on a solo trip, with the knowledge that you are not completely alone acting as a safety net. If anything happens or you need help in any situation, you know you’ve got a group to support you.
- It’s Freeing
While some hate the idea of going on an overly planned trip, feeling that it might restrict their movements and ability to be spontaneous, going on group trips with strangers can be very freeing.
For starters, to go on a trip with strangers means that you don’t have to wait for anyone to finally visit your dream city or take a well-deserved vacation.
Another way traveling with a group can be freeing is by giving you the chance to introduce yourself to people who do not know you. They do not hold any expectations of you or prejudgments from past interactions. Accordingly, one can say that you become free of your past self and their mistakes, instead presenting who you are now to the people surrounding you.
Traveling with strangers can also play a role in freeing you from the fear you find constantly holding you back. As you try this new experience and realize that you’ve faced your fears and anxieties surrounding it, you’ll notice yourself taking more risks head-on, in spite of the fear.
Taking the decision to go on a trip with strangers is far from easy. From a young age, we’re often warned about stranger danger, advised to stay away from those we don’t know. And to fight every instinct telling you to remain in a place where you’re safe and surrounded by comfort can be rather tiring. But if we don’t break out of that cocoon and fly away, will we ever be able to grow?
Perhaps the best way I can explain what going on a trip with strangers for the first time feels like is by describing what one might experience when cannonballing into a pool instead of slowly getting in; the cold will freeze your bones at first… but then as you get used to it, you wish you’d jumped in sooner!
(Maybe here, speak directly to the readers, asking them if they would be open to traveling with strangers and where they’d like to go, but that would depend on whether or not there would be a comment section)