We’re hosting our first guest post, courtesy of Helene from HC Lifestyle Blog! Today, Helene is sharing her tips on dealing with loneliness as a solo traveler on the road. Though I personally love traveling solo, we know not everyone is a huge fan so we’re sharing some additional perspectives in dealing with some of the challenges of solo travel.
Enjoy! – Constance @ The Adventures of Panda Bear
Solo traveling is becoming more and more popular. This year, I got into solo traveling because I just didn’t have anyone to travel with, and I completely fell in love with it. It’s very liberating!
When traveling solo, you forfeit some of the advantages of traveling with others, mainly having company and someone to talk to. Nevertheless, there are many ways in which you can avoid feeling lonely on your solo trips.
Let me share a few tips with you!
Bring plenty of entertainment material
Whether you’re into films, books, music, or all three, always make sure to bring a variety of entertainment on your trip. I usually have my Kindle with me for flights or bedtime reading, my tablet with films, and music on my phone. This way, when I have to wait somewhere, like at the airport, or in line, I can take out my Kindle and read for a bit. I also love listening to music while exploring a new place because it’s like you’re in a film with an epic soundtrack! (Maybe I’m strange, I don’t know!)
Talk to people
I know this can be hard if you’re very introverted, but give it a try! It’ll get easier each time. Whether it’s people you meet at your hostel, a waiter at a restaurant, or someone you run into randomly, strike up a conversation and see what happens. At least, you’ll have talked to someone for a bit, at most, you’ll have made a new friend!
Do please be careful though and trust your gut. Stay safe!
Check out Stop Shaming Solo Female Travelers for some witty retorts if you get disapproving reactions for traveling solo while abroad.
Appreciate the extensive me-time
Nowadays, people don’t take a lot of time to be alone with their thoughts anymore. We keep distracting ourselves and thus never have the chance to think through our problems and let them go. Solo traveling gives you the opportunity to do just that!
Take advantage of your alone-time (NOT lonely-time) to purge your mind of day-to-day stresses. Ponder your issues and realise that they’re not as insurmountable as you once thought. Admire the beauty of a strange new place. Take the time to daydream.
If you’ve truly set aside some moments for you during your travels, you’ll come home feeling refreshed and with a clearer mind.
Connect with your loved ones
Many of us are really busy in our daily lives. Sometimes, this can lead to being disconnected from our friends and family. Even though the technology is there, we might not be able to find the time to keep in touch, or we may get distracted from doing so.
A solo trip is a good time to connect with your loved ones because you’re unlikely to get distracted by work or by other pressing issues. When was the last time you video-chatted with your parents or sent a message to an old friend?
You’re more likely to be in a relaxed frame of mind and not in a hurry to go anywhere, so your conversation will be way nicer than if you were in a rush and your mind were elsewhere. And to top it off, you can show them where you are and give them travel envy *evil laugh*!
Try new things or just do whatever you want!
One of the best things about traveling solo is that no one you know is around you, so you can basically do whatever you want (within the boundaries of the law, obviously). I revel in the extra time I get to take photos without anyone pressuring me to keep walking, and I love being able to choose where I want to eat. I can get up as late as I want (can you tell that I’m not a morning person?) and I can choose not to do any activities I don’t want to do.
This is also the perfect time to try new things because there’s no reason to feel embarrassed, you don’t know anyone and you’ll be leaving soon. No better time to try a crazy activity you’ve always wanted to try, but never did because you were afraid your friends would judge you.
I hope these suggestions are useful to you. Solo traveling isn’t meant to make you feel lonely, so I hope you can enjoy it to the maximum and I wish you all the best! Happy travels:)
For all my travel stories, visit the HC Lifestyle Blog!