I talk to myself...
I travelled solo to Spain and was staying for one month, so I posted a note for a travelling companion. I got a response from a man (gay and perfect!) who could meet up and travel with me. We got along really well, but he went to Greece while I had another five days of holiday left. I never thought I would feel disoriented and alone on my first trip to Europe but there I was feeling really blue. I was getting so desperate that I even tried to change my return ticket, but to no avail. The weather was rainy and cold, not the ideal for touring around. I decided to really push myself and go beyond what I ever thought I was capable of. I checked the weather report that night, found a warm and sunny climate in the southeast of Spain and the next morning, I boarded a train and headed for the sun. It was not as exciting as it might have been had I been travelling there with someone else, but given the circumstances, 'wasting' five days in the south of Spain was not so bad.
Travelling solo can be
lonely, but that is part of the experience. In retrospect, I had a great
time and I would do the same thing again. I'm so glad that I couldn't
change my ticket and come back to Canada. I'd feel like such a whip if
I had to tell people that I couldn't find anything to do in Spain so I
came home early. I send my greetings and support to all the JourneyWomen
out there who have the opportunity to go on a trip even if you do get
I give myself options...
Loneliness on the solo-travel road gives you two options, both of which can be fun. First, you could just go with it. Pour out your heart in a journal with a glass of wine or two. But then treat yourself to a lazy and pampered evening in your hotel, giving yourself a facial, manicure and bubble bath. Shop for the supplies you need at a local pharmacy or department store.
The second option is to
fight lonely feelings with action. Talk with your hotel desk staff, the
local tourist office staff (or a local newspaper if you read the language)
and find out what entertainment options are available. Then buy a ticket
and attend the cultural event that most appeals to you - theater, dance,
jazz, symphony or neighborhood piano bar. Once there, initiate conversations
with the people near you - easy to do with an opening line of, "Excuse
me, I'm new here and I wonder if you could tell me..."
I join clubs...
Anita, a Canadian in Australia
I practiced solo dining...
Nancy, Los Angeles, USA.
I stay in hostels or smaller hotels...
(1) Never enter a restaurant
without a book or journal. Instead of sitting and staring at the wall
while waiting for your meal, you can keep yourself occupied and feel less
(3) Join small group day tours. One of the ways I consistently meet others is by taking short tours. For example, a day tour of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia set me up with a number of Argentinean and Brazilian travelers who accompanied me for the next several days.
(4) Stay in smaller hotels or hostels. They're much friendlier places. You might ask to join a table of people at breakfast or sit in the lounge in the evening and see if anyone asks to join you.
(5) While you're away, take a class or language lessons. Most schools set up events to get people together. And you will surely meet others in class.
I keep telling myself that there are just too many places to go
and too many people to meet for me to ever get lonely while I'm traveling!
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