journal is my friend...
I love to write
and always carry a marble composition notebook tucked away
in my bag. It's just the right size and weight -not too bulky,
heavy or filmsy. When loneliness strikes I pull out my sturdy
little companion and begin writing away. Conversations with
myself, conversations with someone I've met, observations,
notes, recording the events of the journey, reflections. It's
great company and when I get home I have a wonderful journal
about my trip. I've collected dozens over the years. It's
fun to re-read them, especially during those "dry"
periods when one is stuck at home and cannot get out and see
the world. It helps, too, to have a favorite pen just for
writing for this purpose -- both familiar friends, ready when
you need them.
look for a library...
loneliness on the road can be a fun challenge.
Check out a foreign library, for their books, magazines
& even classes.
Many libraries haveinteresting programs -- everything from
good speakers to hands on projects.
Stop by the local tourist board. They will have a
ton of information.
Ask for a copy of their "calendar of events"
a city tour and see the city without driving. I always take
the tour my first day in a new city, it gives me the lay
of the land and I often meet up with other single travellers
looking for company as well.
with the local people. Some of my best information has come
from the folks that live in the town in my neighbourhood.
They remember the foreigner and wave when I walk by the
Paula, Feasterville, USA
do my laundry...
On the road
, when I feel my lowest I do my laundry and scrub very vigorously.
I look at the problem this way...when I'm sad at home, I scrub
floors so why not laundry on the road? I also seek out the
most decadent chocolate or pastry I can find. Those kinds
of treats are bound to make me feel better (at least in the
short term). Finally, as I do at home I go out for a real
good run. This way I get rid of the extra chocolate calories
and I'm able to clear my head and heart.
went to the beach and was grateful...
I spent one
year living in Australia, a world away from my friends and
family in New York. There were a few times when all I wanted
to do was to go home for one week just to see even one familiar
face. Here are some things I did to help remedy the homesickness:
I went to the movies by myself. That (and a big bag
of popcorn) always seemed to cheer me up.
(2) I grabbed
my camera and went on a long walk. In fact, I took some
of the best pictures this way.
(3) I emailed
Mom! Mom always understands!
(4) I called
my best friend.
(5) I hung
out with my new friends if they were available.
all else failed, I would head to a cafe, or the beach, or
the opera house with a good book. It always made me feel
great to know that I was lucky enough to be in Australia,
with a darn good book!
Jana, New York, USA
go to the orientation meetings...
A few years
ago, on a solo trip from Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta I witnessed
what it was like to be totally alone in a foreign country.
As everyone else laughed well into the night at the pool-side
bar, I was tucked away in my room, reading the latest Harry
Potter adventure. On my second day at the resort, I decided
to take in the hotel's orientation meeting in one of their
banquet rooms. It was here that I discovered another girl
also traveling alone. Upon introductions, not only did we
discover that we were both from Vancouver, but we lived only
a few blocks apart and she had attended high school with my
room-mate. It all worked out beautifully; we spent time together
for part of each day and then we left it up to each other
if we wanted to be alone for the rest. Turned out, by there
being two of us, we made friends with others in the hotel
a lot easier and by the end of the trip had most of the hotel's
guests and employees in the palms of our hands! I have to
say, some people prefer to travel alone. And, as I discovered,
I'm not one of them. However, alone together is fine.
Brenda, Sherwood Park, Canada