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The loneliness of traveling alone

March 2, 2017

I always travel alone, because I choose to. Sometimes I say it is because nobody else has free time like me, but in truth – I would travel alone regardless.

I travel solo because I can only handle my own responsibility, let alone somebody else – because I like traveling at my own pace without making mutual decisions and I enjoy the adventures that come my way. Finally, I don’t think I would be comfortable with traveling with a partner, long term.

Solo travel truths

Eating & drinking alone at restaurants and bars

At first eating alone was intimidating. Sitting at a restaurant alone, watching all of the people around me laughing in groups, couples sharing intimate moments and friends chatting away. Sometimes I play around on my phone if there is wifi and have cyber conversations on whatsapp or Instagram, this often eases the pressure away and in some way I feel as though I am not alone. Other times I choose the most inconspicuous seat, slightly out of view and sit and eat.

Going to bars is 10 times worse then eating alone. Everything until the first drink is finished is nerve racking. I think it is even more pressure for a lone female to walk into a bar alone as it could send out the wrong signals. Often people try and flirt with me, and always they ask me why I am alone and sometimes people even tell me that ‘it is strange to see a female alone in a bar, don’t you have friends?’

The benefit about going to bars alone is that depending on your character and what you are seeking then you can guarantee that you will make new friends as everybody is in a chatty, social mood

Exploring alone

There is nothing like the sensational feeling of arriving at a new place. Usually I am overwhelmed with excitement, and sometimes it is so much that I would love to share the feeling with somebody. Some moments are so beautiful that I wish I could express my feelings to somebody about it. Like ‘wowwwww look at that… isn’t it beautiful?!’. Traveling alone, we have to just make our own mental notes and judgments

Taking risks alone

From hiking slippery mountains to taking the local ‘dangerous’ transportation it is always better to be with somebody in those circumstances. If you fall, somebody is there to catch you. If there is danger approaching, you are better in numbers and can protect each other.

Sadly when you are alone, you are all that you’ve got. Which means that there is a higher risk of something going wrong if it happens. Hopefully not thought!

Couples… everywhere

Plenty of couples travel together, it’s a beautiful thing. But for me, currently single it sometimes makes me ‘wish I had what they had’. Sad I know.

If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend and you are traveling solo seeing couples who travel will spark all kinds of deep emotions as you become emotional because you miss your partner and would prefer that they were there with you.

Hostels and common rooms

I am quite social but I have definitely had moments in my life where I have been in a hostel or equivalent and been sitting alone amidst a full room of people. I am always fully aware that I am alone too. While the group travelers are laughing and sharing inside jokes the solo traveler usually just sits there, not caring, goes into the dorm or gets involved if possible.

It can be quite a frustrating situation if you let that get to you because you feel like the odd one out and slightly envious that you don’t have somebody with you to laugh and joke with.

Company

Being alone too much can lead to overthinking and overthinking isn’t always good. Sometimes our minds stray and then stray again and before we know it we’ve gone into a dark path which was highly unnecessary. Having company completely relieves us from going crazy as too much solitude is dangerous.

Companionship

Everybody craves a lil TLC, don’t they? Unless you are willing to turn on dating apps or meet locals then being alone all the time means less hugs, kisses, sex… It’s something that you should remember that you may be in a position where you will go 6 months ‘without’ any physical affection.

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