It’s easier to prove your abilities if it’s not the first time you’ll be out there traveling by yourself. Have you ever done anything brave completely on your own, such as moving to a new town where you didn’t know anyone, studying abroad, or a taking trip by yourself? Point to those past successes as proof that you’re capable of doing it again.

If you never have done something like that, then take a baby trip first. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can just be a long weekend away in a new city. Navigate it on your own, start conversations with strangers, or eat a meal by yourself. It’s a great way to build up your experience and confidence, and also the confidence of those in your inner circle.

When I first decided to travel the world alone several years ago, I was just like many of you — nervous, scared, and unsure if I was going to make it out alive. People worried I would end up like characters in the movie Taken, raped, or worse.
“It’s a dangerous world. Haven’t you seen the news?” they would say to me.
Their fears and doubts were infectious.

I was so scared and worried by their comments that it took me a full year to execute my plan, beginning with a one-way ticket to Asia. I had to build up my courage (and savings) for the trip first.

Switzerland conjures up many images. On one side, there are majestic mountains, delicious fondue and chocolate, big banks sheltering people’s money, precision watches, and an orderly society. On the other, heart attack–inducing prices: $8 USD coffee or beer?! $50 steaks?! A $15 menu at McDonald’s?! $35-40 hostel beds?! WTH!

Switzerland is rated the most expensive country in the world to visit, with Geneva and Zurich being two of the ten most expensive cities to live in.

And because it is so expensive, it’s easy to see why so many people skip over the country and wait until they are older and (hopefully) wealthier. When I mentioned I was visiting Switzerland on a budget, many people shook their head and wished me good luck with a “poor soul to think he can do that” expression.

I’ll admit I was worried. While I’ve found that not all “expensive” destinations need to be tough on the wallet (though some are unavoidably expensive), Switzerland seemed daunting, having a strong currency and high taxes, and being a mecca for rich banks, international organizations, wealthy residents, and tax shelterers.