The day of your trip comes and you’re waiting at the gate full of wonder and butterflies. The nervousness of the moment is making your legs shake and your palms clammy. You’re finally going solo and you’re anxious and certainly second-guessing yourself.
“I can’t seem to do it.”
“Who do I laugh with?”
“Make memories with?”
“WHO’S GOING TO TAKE ALL MY PICS?!!”
You’re questioning how you are going to fight the fear of loneliness while traveling solo. But, hold up, there’s a tendency to equate being alone with loneliness. Don’t do that!
There is also skepticism when it comes to traveling alone. Whether it’s from your family, friends, significant other, strangers or even yourself. If you took the opportunity to face your fears, smack the buy button, and book that solo trip, then you’d be able to overcome the skepticism and fear of loneliness.
The fear of not having a tribe and the protection of friendship can add to the feeling of loneliness. Especially if you’re an extrovert and feed off of being around others.
If you need a new perspective, let me give you peace of mind, help you muster up the courage to finally go without hesitation, and just be.
Let’s dig deeper into how you can fight the fear of loneliness while traveling solo.
Loneliness is just a State of Mind
It’s just you and the beautiful view outside of your hotel window. The waves are crashing softly on the beach and the other guests are having the time of their lives. The bathing suit you picked out to wear for the day is calling your name from your bag. But, the fear of loneliness is calling you at the same time.
You wonder, what is this feeling that is trying to dampen the mood of your big solo adventure. Maybe your FIRST solo adventure at that.
Is it really loneliness? “Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connection or communication with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future.”
If you’re in this space, then take a deep breath. Yes, you may not be around your friends or family to share these moments with you. But remember you can do whatever the hell you want.
Think about it, would you go anywhere or see anything if you waited on people to live your life? No! So live in the moment and take advantage of the time and space you have to yourself. Get out of your own way!
By doing this, you can take the time to really understand the difference between feeling lonely and being alone.
If you truly want to be connected to your friends and family, then share your memories and moments via social media. Your solace may only be a direct message or a video call away. Even in a far off place, you’re still with the people you care about the most.
A few more ideas:
- Jenny Kotlyar, from Campsite Vibes, says “I listen to podcasts when traveling solo and that’s helped me fight loneliness…Typically I hike solo, so I chat with other hikers.”
- Video blogging (vlogging) – You can vlog to keep yourself engaged with your family, friends, and followers.
- Carry a journal – Write journal entries to yourself or send a postcard to family members. Your imagination will be your sidekick.
Be Alone, But Liberated
Once you’ve accepted the fact that you’re by yourself and experiencing these emotions and views, you can relax.
I get it, you’re ALONE! But the fun doesn’t stop because you are alone. This is the perfect chance to make new friends.
Priyanka Gupta, from On My Canvas, suggests “hanging out more with local people than other travelers.” Meeting new people from the local destination helped her find places in the area and warn her about some localities, etc. It “gives a feeling of home away from home,” she says.
Whether you tag along with locals (obviously with safety in mind) or book a tour guide, you get to absorb and take in the local culture without any distractions or compromising. It’s magical.
Take a look at your bucket list and check off all the things that YOU want to do. You can decide the WHEN, WHAT, WHERE, WHY and HOW!
Be alone but also be liberated. Discover the ends of the Earth and bury yourself in the various cultures that make everyone unique.
Your solo trip could be used to unwind or explore your introverted or extroverted side. Think about all of the things that you could be doing and the experiences you can have.
Your growing confidence is enough to beat the fear of loneliness.
Be an Explorer
Don’t forget the reason for your solo trip in the first place. Your solo trip is meant to be fun but it is also a learning experience. Maybe your reason for being there is to learn about the culture, listen to the beautiful accents, taste the local cuisine, get out of your comfort zone, and/or learn more about yourself.
Despite the downsides, be an explorer of human connection. Whether you’re an introvert, you can engage as much or as little as you want. If you’re seeking to explore more about the local culture, then locals are your “best friends” for the time being.
These are the people you will look to for help when you need it most. Note: Take precautions as you engage with strangers. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t do it home, don’t do it abroad.
“Even though there are a lot of advantages to [solo traveling], there are also some downsides like feeling lonely while moving around, especially if you are used to being around your friends and family all the time and now you all alone in a big world seeing groups of people everywhere,” shares Melissa Giroux from A Broken Backpack.
After being on the road for more than 5 years, [Melissa] met many travelers. She continues “there is a really small chance that you will stay on your own while traveling since there are so many opportunities to make new friends. Wherever you go, there are always places where you can get to know people and avoid feeling lonely.”
So as Melissa suggests, get to know people Visit local shops and restaurants. Talk to the owners, employees, and patrons. Show real interest in the local culture and invest in the local community. If possible, have dinner with a local family to learn more about their home and country.
Note: If you want to log your memory with the locals, ask permission to take a photo or video of them.
Melissa states, “Some of the best spots to meet new people are joining meetups or local events that you can find on Facebook…If you’re a digital nomad, co-working spaces or co-living spaces are [also] places to be! Meet like-minded people who you can talk to and plan something together…Last but not least are hostels. Hostels are full of solo travelers meaning people will either start talking to you or you talk to them. Either way, it’s all about networking!
Meditation Is Medication
Even as an extrovert, you need some time to wind down alone. To be honest, the need for self-care is greater than ever.
This trip is your form of meditation. Dancing with the handsome fellow you noticed when you walked into the bar is meditation. Soaking up the sun rays while overlooking the ocean is a form of meditation.
Find ways to maintain your sanity even when you may be worried about feeling lonely.
Putting yourself first should always be your priority. And, a solo vacation is a great opportunity and a perfect getaway to break the cycle of fear, anxiety, and loneliness. Solo Travel Queen, you are a breaker of cycles and mother of self-care.
So, what is your meditation?