Welcome to Forever Roaming the World’s sneak peak post, containing extracts from my debut book You, Yourself & the World.
The book covers over 100 fears, concerns, thoughts & questions about long term solo travel which are comprehensively answered for you.
It’s purpose is to provide you a better understanding of long term solo travel (6 months +, 1,2 years or with no return date in mind.) to combat those fears. It also provides an indepth look at what long term solo travel is really like (there’s no sugar-coating) & how it can change you. By the end of the book you will get a good idea if long term solo travel is for you.
No stone is left unturned. From those questions we all have when solo travel is just a thought, or a fantasy in our heads, the concerns we have, to when it becomes a reality. It’s all covered.
This post provides 2 questions and answers from the solo travel loneliness section of the book:
Before you get started if you’ve missed the previous two extracts and would like to read them first you can do here: You, Yourself & the World book extracts.
Solo travel loneliness is high everybody’s mind before starting a journey. This section of the book answers loneliness concerns and fears, when it can happen, the reasons for it & we look into if you need to like your own company or not when long term solo traveling.
This extract post gives you access to two of the questions and answers covered in the book.
solo travel loneliness
Q: Doesn’t long term solo traveling mean being all the time?
Short: There will be periods you get lonely but not all the time. You will not get lonely because you’re solo traveling though.
LONG: You are human, you feel and go through a range of emotions and feelings and yes without a doubt there will come a point when long term solo travel loneliness hits. It’s unavoidable, especially for long term solo travelers, it will hit you in spurts, come and go like the passing wind. Sometimes you’ll feel it coming other times it will hit you without warning. However It’s not because you’re a solo traveler and you will not be alone all the time.
It’s more than likely you will be surrounded by people most of the time. Granted you may not know them all or possibly not even talked to them but physically there will be people around you. A common misconception is solo travel means lonely travel – It does not.
You get bouts of loneliness when you are at home, you have friends, family, familiarities, and home comforts but it can still hit you. It’s the same when you’re traveling. The only difference is your family are not there, your old friends are not there, and home comforts can be far and few between.
Solo travel Loneliness is not just a one time hit, it can linger or come and go when it pleases. You could be sitting in the middle of a group, laughing, enjoying your time, involved with what’s around you and bam it hits. It could hit you in a moment of solace or serenity. You could be enjoying and taking in a moment, soaking in the amazing scenery and all of a sudden it hits you. It doesn’t matter where you are, or the situation it can hit, wrap itself around and suffocate you.
Your mentality plays a part
There is no getting away from it but how much loneliness affects you is down to mentality. Are you strong enough to fight it? Will you fight it? Or will you let it drag you down and feel sorry for yourself? Only you can answer those questions.
There are those who get dragged so far down the first time it hits they can’t and don’t want to fight it. They feel a little lonely, feel sorry for themselves, and can’t cope with it. They pack their bags, let the emotion control them and within a blink of an eye head back home. Many end up regretting that decision.
While some will just give up and go home, others understand It’s a passing feeling. They will feel it for a while, feel sorry for themselves, miss people back home, but will fight it and be back to normal soon after.
The first few times you feel lonely will be horrible, a gut wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach. You can yearn to be home; your judgement can get clouded or even misdirected. However like any storm, it passes. There’s nothing wrong with moping and being in your feelings for a few days but you do have to come out of it.
Reasons you may feel lonely:
- You detach and segregate yourself from others
- You feel like you don’t fit in (possibly in a hostel, or with a group on an activity or tour)
- After you’ve made friends with a person(s) and have to say goodbye to them
- Constant cycle of hello’s and goodbyes
- Breakups can make you feel very lonely solo traveling (a lot of couples break traveling)
- Arriving in a new country/destination/environment – You have to start from scratch, you feel like a stranger, everything is new and unknown again
- Humans are creatures of habit and the unknown can scare us, and loneliness can breed from that fear
- Trying to make friends with a tight-knit group but not being able to penetrate their bubble
- Becoming homesick/missing out on Birthdays, Christmas, weddings, funerals
- Feeling detached from the people you’re with even if you’ve made friends
- Not understanding the people around you
- Seeing others around you in groups while you’re alone can make you miss your own friends
- Sitting in a café alone, not being able to understand the language
- Being in a country where there is a huge culture shock and throws you so far out your comfort zone and depth
- Choosing the wrong hostel or accommodation type to suit you
- Leaving friends you’ve made behind when you have to go to your next destination
- Just having a shit or downer day
- Hungover or on a comedown
- Traveling from A to B on your own
- Sitting on an overnight bus alone with just your thoughts
- Having to eat alone
- When you want to take a picture but there’s nobody to take it with you and you have to take a selfie
- For no apparent reason it just hits you
- Coming home, there are many long term solo travelers who feel lonelier when they arrive back home in familiar surroundings and in their own bed than in a foreign country and a stranger’s bed
It may be strange to hear this, but sometimes It’s actually good to feel lonely. It’s healthy for you to just do nothing, mope around, and get have a release of emotions Those days you feel lonely give you the opportunity to reflect, think back on times you were happy, on memories you’ve made, or to catch up with people back home.
Once you get it out your system you’ll feel better for it. Also It’s good for you because it shows you can still feel. As a long term solo traveler, after a while you start to become numb to a lot of thing. You will go onto autopilot and sometimes your feelings do too. So feeling lonely tells you that you still feel.
A little solo travel loneliness is good for you, but if you let it take over it can ruin your trip. If that loneliness keeps building you can constantly have internal battles weather or not to go home, and it affects you physically as well as your mood. You need to remain positive, keep in mind it will pass.
(The next question covers how to deal with long term solo travel loneliness – Available in the book)
Sounds stupid but I guess I have to like my own as a long term solo traveler?
SHORT: Not stupid at all. While getting along with yourself does help, long term solo travel can be as much about your internal journey as well as the external one.
LONG: While it does help to like your own company and in doing so could make your trip less stressful It’s not the be all and end all. Long term solo travel gives you the opportunity to dive inwards to get to know yourself. You can deal with any issues, defeat demons, tackle problems and start liking your own company.
There are many long term solo travelers who start off not being able to stand themselves or their own company. But, over the course of time, start to get to know themselves better. They resolve internal issues, defeat inner demons and voices, in turn start liking themselves and enjoy their own company. There can potentially be such a swing where they don’t even other peoples company anymore. They are happy with their own.
Long term solo traveling not only gives the opportunity but the platform to get to know yourself because of space time, and the environment you are in.
You might be a person who thinks you’ll never get along with yourself but over time by going inwards find you actually just misunderstood yourself. Or find you just didn’t have time previously to get to know yourself. You possibly like to be alone but can’t for too long because your thoughts and inner voices come at you, so you have to surround yourself with others to have a distraction.
The longer you spend diving deeper into your consciousness the more you will find out the reasons. This might not be pretty; you may have to face some brutal home truths and have some very dark moments, but you will come out the other end for the better.
You get the chance to deal with issues that you otherwise would not do back home because:
- You have removed yourself from the old environment which manifested the way you think and feel about yourself in the first place
- While long term solo traveling you are in your own space and time
- You are forced to rely and depend on yourself
- You are putting your own safety in your own hands
- You are forced into being responsible for yourself
- You have to learn to trust yourself
- You have the opportunities to confront and overcome your insecurities
- Break down internal walls and prisons
- You have to spend time with yourself at times
- You’re in a more relaxed environment, a different setting
- There are no distractions or influences from your old life
- You have time to conversate, argue, battle with yourself to resolve issues
- You naturally get to know yourself better and learn about yourself
- You may be thrust into difficult situations and they may teach you more about yourself than anything
- You have to deal with different situations on your own
- You are the key decision maker and trust It’s the best one you make
From this a new trust build’s. It doesn’t matter how many people you surround yourself with, when it comes to long term solo travel at the end of the day the only person that it going to look after you is you.
It gets easier
Once you come to terms with this, things start to get easier, you start to get on the same page with yourself. As hard as it may seem now, you start actually enjoying your own company. You might have the odd disagreement here and there but by in large you like doing the same things. You might even start enjoying your own company more than other peoples.
Many solo travelers get to a point where they prefer being on their own, have more fun with themselves than with other people. These are the same people who could never fathom it when they started solo traveling. It’s all about the journeys you embark, the internal and physical ones.
Full List of questions covered in this solo travel loneliness section:
- 1 – Doesn’t long term solo traveling mean being lonely all the time?
- 2 – How do I cope and get over loneliness when it does hit?
- 3 – Will I get homesick and just want to go home?
- 4 – Will other travelers make fun of me for being a long term solo traveler?
- 5 – What if I get scared, anxious, panic being in a new place when I wasn’t expecting to?
- 6 – Sounds stupid but I guess I have to like my own company as a long term solo traveler?
- 7 – What about mental stress, emotional days, mood swings, will that still happen long term solo traveling?
- 8 – Will long term solo travel help running away from my problems, issues at home, or my past?
- 9 – What about health, is solo traveling good for your mental health, physical health, and wellbeing?
- 10 – What about dealing with things like depression and other mental issues how does solo travel help
If there are any questions about long term solo travel loneliness that you would like added on, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them on for you.
SECTIONS COVERED IN THE BOOK:
1. THINKING ABOUT LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL
2. SOLO TRAVEL CONCERNS
3. LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL (PERSONAL) SAFETY CONCERNS
4. LONELINESS/MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
5. MENTALITY SHIFTS/ SPIRITUALITY
6. MEETING PEOPLE/MAKING FRIENDS
7. BUDGETING & FINANCES FOR LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL
15. MY PERSONAL LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL ADVICE/TIPS
FIND OUT IF YOUR FEARS, CONCERNS, AND QUESTIONS COVERED IN THE BOOK ON THE FULL QUESTIONS AND SECTION LISTING PAGE
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