I travel alone a lot. Actually I travel solo since more than 10 years! I’ve met hundreds and thousands of people that have asked me all the same question: Sebastian, how do you cope with loneliness while traveling solo?
Well, there are many ways how to beat loneliness while traveling but these are some of the answers I tell to others:
1. TRAVEL SLOW… REALLY SLOW!
This last year has been a hectic year with many countries I visited on blog trips and individual trips but in the past I’ve travelled really slow. The way I traveled was more comparable to the life of an expat. I moved from one place to another and stayed in a place for months. This way I became friends with locals and other travelers and I almost didn’t spent time alone if I didn’t wanted to. Find a favorite bar, coffee shop or any other place and visit it regularly and start to talk to people that you meet regularly at these spots. I made really good friends while living in Bangkok for almost a year last year and I know I will see and meet them again somewhere down the road!
2. FIND A HOBBY YOU ARE REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT!
You should have a hobby, something that you love doing and doesn’t require the attention or attendance of somebody else and do it every time you feel lonely and need distraction. For me this is blogging, I’m not the best writer but every time I have nothing to do or need distraction I blog or work on one of my other businesses. I’ve made my hobbies my job and I never feel like I’m writing. Sometimes I edit a video, write a blog post or start recoding and redesigning one the many websites I own. I’m never bored!
3. DON’T BE ALONE!
You don’t need to be alone. Wherever you go there will be people. If you are not comfortable to talk to strangers it’s about time that you get out of your comfort zone and start to approach others. Still not convinced? Go to a bar have a few drinks and start chit-chatting to the person next to you. I’ve had incredible nights just by talking to strangers. This one time in Bangkok I’ve talked to a random guy pissing next to me at the toilet, the next moment I was drinking with him and flight attendants from 7 different countries and had an incredible night until the next morning.
4. STAY AT THE RIGHT PLACE
Don’t stay in fancy hotels. It will be hard to meet other solo travelers or other people in the hotel lobby or hotel bar instead sleep at hostels. As you can see on the blog of the budgettraveler there are more than enough luxury hostels where you can meet other travelers. Most hostels have common rooms where you can easily meet other travelers.
5. CATCH UP WITH OTHER TRAVELERS
A great way to meet others is through communities like Couchsurfing. Every bigger city has a forum where you can post and find meet ups. In bigger cities there are meet ups daily and in case you shouldn’t find one then start one. Locals and travelers check the forums every day and have subscribed to them by email. I’m sure that you will quickly find like minded people to hang out with!
6. CHALLENGE YOURSELF
You still have no idea what you should do? I’m sure you have a dream or skill you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Then now is the time to make it a reality. Start taking these Tango lessons you’ve always dreamed about or start learning this new language and find a great tandem partner.
You see there are many ways how to beat loneliness.