Solo travel has countless benefits, hell, we could write an endless post on why solo travel is the best kind of travel. BUT, one of the major downsides are those times you find yourself alone, needing someone to chat to, or just need someone to grab a beer with and watch the sunset. Let’s not beat around the bush – solo travel can be lonely. So rather than ignore it we’ve come up with some ideas to tackle it. Also, remember, loneliness is not a weakness, it’s your brain’s way of telling you to keep moving on and meeting people (well, that’s our scientific explanation anyway)!
1. Do something that makes you SMILE
What’s your weakness? Sitting with a coffee and people watching for hours? Watching a game of thrones marathon? Grabbing your camera and hitting the streets? Whatever you love, do it, just do it. Be selfish, selfless, greedy, un-sociable, over-sociable. You deserve to do what makes YOU happy. We all know what it is that never fails to make us happy – go and do that. Simple as that. It also helps if you go and do something that you just couldn’t do at home
2. Give yourself some luxury
Sometimes we just need a slice of luxury to help us feel more comfortable. Especially if you are travelling in a country less developed than your own – we’ve all been there when all we have wanted was a hot shower and a comfy bed – that alone can actually make you feel down. So splash out for a night or two, maybe upgrade to a private room in your hostel or check out some last minute hotel deals or Air B n B. Give yourself some R&R and then pick up where you left off – ready to explore the world.
3. Attend events and get to know other solo travellers
Now, this may be one of the easiest ways to cure loneliness! Meet-up groups and local events are full of people doing exactly the same thing as you. You can almost guarantee that you will find a like minded fun person there to hang out with. Utilize our “Meet Other Workawayers” feature. Sign up to meetup.com and search for local events happening near you. Another great option is to take a free walking tour. Most cities in the world offer them and are full of young adventurous travellers wanting to learn about their current stomping ground. Join them, learn and then go for a coffee after. Sounds like a good day plan to us!
4. Distract yourself
Read! “The more you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Read as many books as you can – you may never have this much free time again. You may have seen our post on ‘The best travel books to fuel your wanderlust’ so how about you start making your way through those?
5. Go slow and welcome change
Solo traveller Kathy tells us:
“I do slow travel, so I’ll go to the same cafe each morning for coffee and another cafe for a glass of wine each evening. By the second day the owner and the regulars usually engage me in conversation. Also, if I hear someone speaks English, I’ll ask where they are from. If they give a short reply, I leave it at that. More often than not, they respond with enthusiasm, and we talk about each other’s countries and our travels. Many times I have clicked with people and we end up going out to dinner a couple times or wander the city together. Now that my Italian is better, I have been able to engage better with locals, which is my favourite thing. I used to be shy, but through solo travel I have morphed into a gregarious person!”
We think this is a great way to travel – slowly and passionately. Take your time with this experience, it is not going to last forever. Savour every moment, even the lonely ones – let them help you grow. Embrace the change!