Loneliness. We’ve all experienced in our lives. But we never expect it to happen when we are on the trip of a lifetime. But I am here to tell you: loneliness happens. Regardless of where you are around the world. If you are traveling by yourself, be prepared for this inevitable feeling to creep in at some point or another.
Traveling alone does have its ups and downs, I won’t lie to you. And there are definitely times when I’ve felt lonely while traveling solo. It’s just inevitable.
However, it’s important to remember that alone doesn’t always have to mean lonely.
Roughly 90% of the time, I love traveling by myself. I love being able to do exactly what I want when I want to do it. This also means that if I’m feeling a bit down, I can decide what I want to do to make myself feel better. What site have I been dying to see? Is souvenir shopping in order? I get to decide the next steps, and sometimes that is all I need to perk myself up. But when that doesn’t work, and I can’t get out of my own head, I use some of the following tips.
Here are a few ideas for combatting loneliness when traveling by yourself:
- I go on walking tours and day trips, which are great ways to meet other travelers. When you get to a new city, see if there are any free walking tours you can join – I guarantee you’ll meet another solo traveler on one.
- I go on small group trips (like the tour I did in Iceland for the Golden Circle). This allows me to explore new places without doing it completely on my own, and it means i can see a whole bunch of stuff at once, and maybe decide to go back (with a new friend?) later on in the trip.
- When I stay in hostels, I would hang out in the common areas at night – it’s easy to meet other travelers this way.
- If I’m feeling lonely, I head somewhere where there are lots of people – a park or restaurant or local event. Even if I don’t end up talking to anyone, sometimes just being around other people can help!
- Call your friends or family. This can help you feel better by just talking out with someone you love, and who knows you. Hopefully they also encourage you to get out there
- Challenge yourself to try something new! Have you always wanted to sky dive? Learn French? Take a tango class with the pros? Now is the time to do it. Being abroad often helps to overcome your fears. It might not be easy at first but in the end it can be incredibly liberating. If you’re lucky, you just might get addicted to your new passion!
These are simple tactics help me combat loneliness when traveling by myself. What are your tried and true tricks when you are out on the road by yourself? Let me know if the comments below!
Like what you’re reading? Receive monthly (yes, only monthly) emails from me on solo travel, adventure, and more!