This blog post was updated on October 11, 2018.
A few years ago I decided to travel to Europe for a two month stay solo. I remember sitting in my coach seat, getting lost in what was then Radiohead’s new album, and it dawned on me, I was about to embark on an 8 week European adventure alone.
My heart kind of sank, and I started questioning whether I had made the right decision. Of course when I arrived in Athens and began exploring I realized that being by my lonesome didn’t actually mean I had to feel lonely. These are some of the ways I got through my solo journey without singing the travelin’ blues.
1) Keep a journal: Whether you’re documenting your travel experiences or simply your feelings, a journal ensures that you’re never really alone. It not only enables you to end your trip with a great account of what went on during your journey, but it also gives you the chance to vent and reflect without any worry of being judged.
2) Talk to people: Just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you have to be anti-social. If you spot another solo traveler, strike up a convo! You may find they have some valuable travel advice to offer, or maybe an adventurous tale to share. Regardless, the human interaction will feel good. Don’t be too shy when it comes to approaching groups either; you may walk away with some great new friendships.
3) Participate: Seek out some solo traveler activities. This will remind you that you’re not the only one out there who ventured out to explore the world alone. Look for tours, specials, and other things that cater to solo travelers.
4) Stay in a hostel: Even if your goal is to stay introverted, staying in a hostel will ensure that you’re surrounded by people. You don’t necessarily have to interact too much with those around you, but having other travelers around you, will prevent you from feeling alone.
5) Stay connected: Update those at home on your travel experiences. Let them know how you’re doing, see how they’re doing, etc. With social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, it’s almost impossible to ever really feel lonely these days. If you have a blog, keep your readers posted! Just knowing that someone else is participating in your experience will help to keep you feeling connected. Chat with your friends from back home if you’re feeling bummed out one day. Just remember, you didn’t come all this way to sit in front of a computer screen! So while social media interactions are helpful, get out there and explore as much as possible!