When you’re traveling alone things can get, well, lonely. Before traveling by myself for the first time I romanticized it greatly. The idea of loneliness didn’t even pop into my head because I was so stoked about being by my lonesome. However, when I arrived in Ireland my heart sank a little. It was not only slightly intimidating but kind of saddening too. While I was looking forward to finding myself and all that jazz, I still kind of missed the idea of sharing my experiences with someone. The following are a few ways that I fought the lonesome traveling blues.
1) Socialize: Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you can’t socialize. In fact, you’re at an even greater advantage now that you are alone. You don’t have anyone holding you back. Get out there and talk to people! That alone will help you get to know yourself better. Watching yourself interact while you’re out of your element is revealing.
2) Write in a travel journal: Remember when you were a kid and your diary was your best friend? Well things haven’t really changed. Writing in a journal allows you to understand your own thoughts a little better, while feeling like you have company. Get those feelings out and feel better!
3) Stay in hostels: You'll usually have the option to get a private room but this will also ensure that you're not completely alone all the time. Sure, you'll want to see sites alone, walk around the city alone, etc. However, sometimes you may just want to be around people. Staying in a hostel will ensure that.
4) Look for other solo travelers: You’d be surprised but a lot of other travelers are feeling the same thing you are. If you manage to find one another you can share your experiences, thoughts, and dilemmas.
5) Do things that are meant for solo travelers: While you can and should participate activities that incorporate groups and couples, do things that require you to be solo. This will enable you to feel good about your experience while also allowing you to meet people like yourself.
The idea is to feel comfortable in your aloneness. You don’t want to completely isolate yourself because that’s when the loneliness really kicks in. Meet people, engage, but understand that you always have the option to go hideaway in that corner with your own quiet thoughts if you want to because you are alone.
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