mom thinks that I'm intrepid...
solo in France, Italy, England, New Zealand, Prague, Switzerland,
Austria, Belgium, Canada, US, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore.
I admit that I still feel alone at times. That doesn't stop
me from going alone. The rewards are too great. I hope these
tips help another JourneyWoman.
(1) I take
an English book to dinner. Usually somebody will spot the
cover, stop by and talk with me about the book. If I'm near
the end, I always ask the person next to me (especially
in France and Italy where the books in English are not that
readily available and are expensive) if they would like
the book. This relieves me of continuing to carry it and
I end up talking with somebody for awhile about the books
they enjoy or have read.
(2) I take
my CDs and listen to my favorite music.
(3) I always
ask "Do you know where. . . I can find a good play,
a good cafe, etc. in the neighborhood or near it? Again,
it opens up the discussion.
carry phone cards. Call home. Hear a friend or my mom's
This always makes me feel -- they think I'm a very "intrepid
traveller" and are excited about my adventures! I can't
Elizabeth, Seattle, USA
meditate in a place of worship...
I travel almost
everywhere alone. My independence is sacred to me because
it means I can come and go as I please. It offers me the best
way to give myself the most from life. Still there are some
tough moments when I wish I had a 'someone known' beside me.
At those moments I do a 'check' to find out if there are other
issues going on inside. Am I extra tired, bored, in a restrictive
business environment, or really lonesome?
(1) If I
need to rest I can pick a small church for a short meditation,
or return to my room for a rest with my MP3.
(2) If I am
bored, I ask myself what I'd really truly deeply like and
then I go do it. Do I need a facial? A massage? A good movie?
A mall? A swim or workout? It doesn't matter what time it
is, I try to take time to honor that need and fill it.
(3) If my
business colleagues feel too much like starch I remind myself
that that is why I am independent- to be free to be me at
all hours of the day and night. Then, I figure out what
I need to do to perk up the situation and I do it. A long
stemmed red rose placed on a conference table with feminine
delicacy and in silence followed by eye contact. Yep.
if I am really lonesome, and that does happens, I will go
where the people are and the energy is free. It could be
a park, or a mall, or an intimate caffe. I go looking for
people like me in places people like me hang out. What an
energy booster that is! It's feels like home and the sense
of isolation disappears immediately. It is much easier then
to strike up a conversation with someone because there is
more shared interests and nothing feels forced. I've always
found that 'forced' increases my sense of alone-ness dramatically.
That short or long, exchange is a win-win situation for
both of us. It usually melts away that sense of loneliness
and I'm renewed and refreshed, ready to move forward.
Roshanna, Lido di Venezia,
meditate at a concert...
When I feel
sad and my sagging spirits are calling for help from loneliness
on the road, I seek solace in music. No matter where in the
world I am I book a ticket for a concert of any kind. Sometimes
the pickings seem slim but the experience becomes wonderful
as I get lost in the musical experience. The extra bonus is
that I usually get the opportunity to chat with other people
-- locals who love music as much as I do. I always leave feeling
pack a pouch of tea...
I still remember
my first trip, a solo 2 1/2 months 2-wheeled adventure throughout
Europe early spring into summer. Here are some of my tips
for fighting loneliness.
(1) Try to
book accommodation with Hostels. You have a higher chance
of fellow solo travellers equally eager to listen and share
stories of daily travelling escapades. Beats talking to
your big toe! When book into a business hotel, I sometimes
check with the front desk or concierge on what events or
places they might frequent if on their own.
(2) A great
ice breaker is loose tea leaves in a pouch. Nothing beats
a shared pot of hot tea and shared stories. Earl Grey always
was my great travelling companion and a favourite shared
tea in any countries.
Other people will approach you and share as well.
Pick-up travel information ahead of time or while
at your destination. If on a business trip, I would speak
to others (i.e. attendees at trade show who might have booth
next door ) and ask if they've heard about whatever I'm
thinking of attending. If they've never heard of it, I might
extend an invitation to them. Next thing you know, you have
a party coming along with you. Bye bye loneliness!
Shirley, Toronto, Canada
watch my attitude...
I am 68, have
travelled in my motorhome for months at a time, and I relish
my solitude the most of all my treasures. Loneliness happens
when my relationship to myself is incomplete, when I'm not
my own best friend, when I talk in negatives to myself instead
of appreciatively, and when I don't listen carefully to the
quietness inside me. Thinking of being alone as lonely is
very different from perceiving it as solitude. For starters,
solitude is healing, restorative, and self-nurturing. Therefore,
the experience of loneliness is an opportunity to get to know
yourself better, deeper, more intimately. When this feels
scary or impossible it is an extra special gift. How productive
it is to sit quietly, alone, empty your mind, listen for the
whispers of your unconscious, your deeper self, your soul.
Safe spiritual journeys, everybody!
log on to my hometown paper...
To combat loneliness
while travelling, I bring along a small photo book with not
only photos of my friends and family, but also photos of my
house, car, and anything else to remind me of home. And I
subscribe to the online version of my local paper, so I can
keep up-to-date with the latest news back in my home town.
But the best cure for travel-induced loneliness is a prepaid
phone card - and friends who don't mind you phoning them at
three in the morning!