Be afraid they say. To be honest, I was a little worried I might get lost in China. I am Chinese American with very little skill in speaking Mandarin. At first, it was hard managing the language barrier, but my superior instinct helped me conquer.
One of the first things I learned about traveling alone is to trust your gut feeling. N,o not just trust it, but TRUST IT WITH YOUR LIFE. I was lost many times in China and barely able to understand the language. I was also very uncomfortable and feared that other Chinese would judge me for not speaking Chinese properly. Again, this is a self esteem issue. I needed to break through my shell and grow as a person. And growing was what I did.
At first, it was very hard breaking out of my shell and speaking. But as I realized that people are not as judgemental and even the ones that are don’t matter. I gave myself a 3 second rule that if I felt like talking to someone for anything, I would have 3 seconds to initiate the conversation or else I would have failed.
After a few nerve racking attempts, I grew in self confidence. As I approached people more and more, I was less worried about what other people thought and more focused on achieving my end goal. I started naturally holding my chest out high and looking at the world in a new lens. My mind was on the outside focused externally instead of internal. Nothing could hold me back and soon after, I was smiling and chatting with the locals in my broken Chinese like it was nothing.