This is a two-part blog post. Part-1 of the blog post stated three ways of how not to feel lonely during solo travel, and this part states the remaining four ways of how not to feel lonely during solo travel.
Let’s get started!
4. Pursue your hobby
I am sure each one of you must have had a hobby when you were a kid. But, as we reach adulthood and get busy with our day-to-day life, we don’t get time to pursue our hobby. We fail to realize that doing those small things we love is actually one of the best stress-busters. So, when you travel alone, you can use your time to pursue your hobby.
In fact, reading is one of the best ways to steer away the feeling of loneliness. So, read read read! Read the books you always wanted to read but couldn’t read earlier because of lack of time. Read the books on local culture, people and stories; they will give you better understanding of the place you are visiting.
Even if you are not a reader, do whatever you love to do. Sometimes even binge watching helps. I remember on a particular day in Battambang, Cambodia, I was feeling too lazy to do anything. So, I started watching a series on Netflix and finished it in 13 hours straight (Guess which series was that!).
5. Interact with locals
When you travel alone, you get more opportunity to interact with fellow travelers and local people. In fact, other people generally refrain from talking when you are accompanied by your partner or family or friends; and when people see that you are traveling alone, they feel comfortable in interacting with you.
Since I traveled alone to countries that were culturally very different from India, I made use of every opportunity to interact with local people and fellow travelers.
If you are not used to talking to strangers (like me), don’t worry; start anyway! No body is going to beat you up hopefully for starting a conversation (well, actually that depends on what you talk about!) You will get better with practice. 😊
In fact, don’t just interact with locals; get engaged with the local community and participate in their daily chores.
6. Keep in touch with family and friends
We get caught up with life so much that we hardly take out time to even talk to our friends. Solo travel is an apt time, not only to make new friends, but also to catch up with old friends.
In fact, keeping in touch with friends and family is so easy and convenient with internet; you can make long audio or video calls without spending a fortune. So, use your time to talk/chat with your friends, especially if you are feeling lonely.
If you are feeling too lonely (generally happens when you travel alone for a long time), invite your friend/s for few days to have a short holiday with you; this will be a good change for you, and it will charge you for your further solo travels.
7. Enjoy your own company
Majority of people can’t stay alone for a long time; they always crave for some company, either real or virtual. Even the thought of staying away from family, friends and known faces make them anxious. But, isn’t this a sign of emotional and psychological weakness?
I am no different actually. The biggest challenge I faced when I decided to travel alone was – “how would I stay away from my husband for so long?” I knew I was emotionally dependent on him and couldn’t stay away from him for so long. But I wanted to get emotionally stronger. So off I went and when I returned, my love for my husband increased manifold, and my dependency on him reduced substantially; I came back stronger!!
So, consider your solo travel as a way to spend some quality time with yourself. Your “me-time” is like meditation – it lets you grow as a person. So, learn to enjoy your own company. Solo travel is the best time to reflect on your life and do some soul searching – take a pause, anlayze your life, learn your lessons, and go back stronger!
So, take that plunge! Don’t let the fear of loneliness hold you back from your solo trip. Trust me, once you learn to handle the loneliness-pangs, you will eventually become richer in friends, experiences and life!!