Traveling solo is an incredibly rewarding experience that many people will never work up the nerve to try. It takes a lot of courage to leave behind the comforts of places and people we know to immerse ourselves in something completely different. But just like anything else, it can have its drawbacks, one of which is occasional loneliness. Here are a couple of ways to help deal with the feeling of overwhelming loneliness while traveling alone.
1) Keep Busy
It’s hard to feel lonely when your mind is busy! Get out of the hotel (or wherever you’re staying) and discover a new place to explore. It doesn’t get much more exciting than finding that beautiful gem of a beach or cute coffee shop.
2) Get Out
Sometimes it’s best to find where the people are. If you are in a popular area, try going on a tour. Groupon and LivingSocial are great places to find inexpensive tours and other entertainment. If you are prone to feeling lonely frequently, maybe try staying in hostels or renting a private room in a home (using caution, of course).
3) Use Technology to Your Advantage
Nowadays, it is easy to meet people with similar interests. Join Facebook groups, try websites such as meetup.com, or download apps geared toward meeting new people. It goes without saying, but always be careful when going these routes!
4) Call Home
This could either make things better or worse, but sometimes simply calling home and talking to friends and family can do the trick. It can be reassuring to have a familiar voice on the line. Skype is even better because you can share your amazing adventure with them visually.
5) Go to Bed
This might sound odd but when I was in Hawaii I had some pretty tremendous bouts of loneliness that would hit me mostly in the evening. When I would go to bed, I woke up in the morning feeling 10x better and ready to take on a new day. Hitting the reset button can be crucial to recovering from waves of solitude.
6) Challenge Yourself
Come up with some things you would really like to accomplish before going back home. Is there a trail you have to hike? Is there something you absolutely must see? Come up with a mission (or multiple) that will make you feel a sense of accomplishment.