Ah, Loneliness – the less glamorous part of solo travel. The part that’s rarely talked about. You don’t see this in pictures as everyone seems to be having such a fabulous time always. Solo travel is fantastic, I won’t dispute that but sometimes, I feel so homesick when I travel alone.
In any case, I’m not the only one who feels this way. When you travel solo, loneliness is bound to creep in. Here are some ways to cushion the effect and get out of that place quickly.
Go out & make new friends
Making friends is one of the easiest thing one can do while traveling solo and this is coming from someone who is somewhat of an extreme introvert. You have to be open to meeting new people.
Smile and don’t be scared to start up a conversation
For the most part, people are friendly. When I go out to lunch or dinner and see someone (or sometimes, a group) sitting by themselves, I’d politely ask if it was okay to join them. I never got a negative response and I was also welcoming of other locals and travellers who wanted to share a table with me.
I once stayed at a hostel in Paris (St. Christopher’s Inn – I highly recommend this place by the way). It had a really cool bar downstairs that hosted both in house guests as well as people who weren’t lodged in. So even if you’re not staying in a hostel, you can still head down to one to hang out and make new friends.
There are free walking tours in many cities that provide the opportunity to meet new people while exploring many parts of the city center. FREETOUR.com, for example offers free (as well as budget) walking tours in as many as 84 countries worldwide!
I have been on a few walking tours which gave me the chance to interact with people who certainly added a bit of color to my day.
No Free Time!
Don’t sit out your entire holiday in your hotel room. Go out and explore the sights and sounds of the city you’re in. The less free time you have, the less lonely you’ll feel. If it helps, you could make a list of places you need to see or things you need to do in a day. That way, you keep your mind preoccupied with achieving your objectives.