Travelling alone can be daunting – in fact the very thought of perhaps not talking to anyone for a week or two can be scary!! Granted, some solitude can be beneficial, especially as you get the chance to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it, without exception.
I took off on a solo trip to South East Asia last year for 2 months and I can honestly say that whilst I was excited, I was also concerned about being alone for extended periods and perhaps withdrawing socially. I eventually made up my mind that I would go alone, after trying to find a travelling companion or women’s travelling group of some sort and not succeeding. I was fortunate enough to have accumulated 3 months long service leave and I felt that it was time for me to take a break from every day life and feed my soul. So, it was either go it alone or not go at all – I took the plunge!
There were times during my travels when I did feel lonely and miss my family, but I was fortunate enough to meet a girl from Arizona on a travel website and we ending up hooking up in Bangkok. On meeting each other in person, we felt an instant connection and decided that we would share hostel accommodation to keep costs down for a couple of weeks before we embarked on our own adventures. This leg of my journey was to become one of the highlights!
If I could offer any good tips on combating loneliness whilst travelling, this is what I would recommend:
Stay in a Hostel – Even if your not sharing a room with anybody, you will always find
another traveller to chat with, as generally there is a communal room, bar, internet area and a restaurant. Having the opportunity to chat could lead to organising sightseeing trips together, checking out the night life or sharing a taxi!
Keep in Touch on Skype – I found Skype to be invaluable when keeping in touch with friends and family. It is a very cost effective option for communicating back home and it is widely used around the world.
Take a Course or Join a Class – In Thailand I had the opportunity of joining a Yoga and
Meditation group which is another way of making new friends. If Yoga or Meditation is not your thing, then why not try a cooking class?
Volunteering – This is a great way to meet new people whilst spending time immersing yourself in the local culture. It also generally keeps your travelling costs down.
Join a Travel Companion Website – This is how I met my travel buddy from Arizona. Just make sure you meet in person, preferably in a public place, prior to committing to travelling together. Just use common sense when it comes to security and safety and if it doesn’t work out as planned – leave!
For more information visit www.adventurouswomen.com.au