It’s been said that if you make friends with yourself, you’ll never be alone. But it isn’t always that easy, particularly when you’re travelling solo.
For all its joys, travelling can also be challenging, stressful and extremely tiring, and, at some point, you’ll likely find yourself wishing for a familiar shoulder to cry on – no matter how independent you are.
The trick, though, is not to dwell on those moments. Here’s six ways to deal with loneliness as a solo traveller.
1. Make new friends
It sounds obvious, but meeting new people and making friends is a great way to overcome any loneliness you might be feeling. Staying in hostels is a particularly great way to meet fellow travellers.
2. Leave your room
If you’re really down in the dumps, you probably won’t want to do anything more than hang out in your hotel room but it’s important to keep yourself busy; take advantage of every second of being abroad, even if that just means going for a walk.
3. Set yourself a challenge
Being abroad often helps to overcome your fears. Why not use your time abroad to do something new or out of your comfort zone? Whether you decide to go sky diving, learn a new language or take a tango class, having some sort of goal will give you something else to focus on.
4. Pack a piece of home
Try taking your favourite book or DVD with you the next time you travel; something familiar to take out of your bag when you start yearning for home comforts.
5. Cut yourself some slack
Travel can be stressful at the best of times, so cut yourself some slack if you shed a tear or two. The important thing, however, is not to dwell on your emotions. Pick yourself up, remain positive and get out there!
6. Take a group tour
Joining a group tour or excursion will introduce you to a dozen other characters. Many cities offer free tours, including walking tours, food tours and even pub crawls. All of these are a great way to meet new people to spend time with not only for the duration of the tour, but potentially also later in your stay.
To any solo travellers reading this, what do you do to overcome any sudden bouts of loneliness?