As a solo traveler, you have to do everything independently. You plan the entire journey without answering to anybody. You occupy a table for one during lunch. You watch sunsets in the most amazing places, all on your own.
As enlightening as this experience can be, many solo travelers face a common problem – loneliness. Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or newbie, an introvert or extrovert, when you are a long way from home and the people you love, sometimes that nagging feeling creeps in.
But that does not mean you aren’t cut out for solo traveling. You just need to find a way to beat loneliness on the road. Here are a few tips we’ve compiled!
1. Slow down
Sometimes it might just be the rushed pace of the entire journey wearing you down. Visiting many different places within a short period of time is a good way to maximize your holiday, but it’s tiring! Being constantly on the go means you never have time to rest.
The best way to combat this? Slow down. Spend more time in one place to recharge. Wake up in your own sweet time. Enjoy at least a day without worrying about what to do or see next. Taking a break from routine works wonders.
2. Do something familiar
Being alone on foreign lands and having to get used to a different culture, language or lifestyle can make anyone feel homesick. It’s normal to miss family and friends, home-cooked meals, even your regular coffee shop. After all, nothing compares to home!
Do an activity you enjoy or something you normally do at home. It can be a workout session, a dinner at a restaurant selling cuisines from your country or a few episodes of your favorite sitcom. This takes your mind off your journey for a short while, allowing you to unwind.
3. Video chat with friends
There is no denying that technology is a major part of our lives today. Online platforms like Whatsapp, Skype and WeChat are widely used to connect people through free calls and video chats, making it easier for people to keep in touch around the world.
Talking with a close friend allows you to organize your thoughts and find comfort in a confidante, so that you don’t feel the distance as much.
4. Say “hello”
Have you gone for days without speaking to a single person? Lack of interaction is one of the causes of loneliness. It is easy to feel isolated when there is no one to share your memories with, let alone talk to.
Don’t be intimidated by having to break the ice – you may be surprised to know that there are many travelers just like you. Say “hello” to someone at your hostel or waiting at the train station. Be brave enough to ask if they would like to go for a meal, or visit a place together. Sharing your story with someone else and listening to theirs reminds you that you are not alone. You might even make a friend!
5. Join a day tour
Not only do day tours help you immerse in the culture or give you more knowledge on the area, it is also a great way to meet like-minded people. Join a walk around the city, workshop or any other day tour where you have the chance to interact with locals or travelers like yourself.
6. Never forget your purpose
Every time you wonder if solo travel is for you, think of three things: the reason you chose to embark on this trip on your own, what you have been grateful for during your journey and what you will regret if you had chosen not to do it.
Doing this reminds you of your purpose and motivation, so you can rise above that feeling of loneliness and be ready for the challenges ahead. All the best!
LokaLocal is a travel social platform that connects travelers to local experiences, from one-of-a-kind tours and places off the beaten track. Join our activities to meet new friends and explore different cultures.