Dealing with loneliness through travel

‘The only way out is through’ is an epigram on a postcard I bought once; still haven’t sent it. This might be said of travel, especially if you go alone and unpackaged. Even those who love solo journeying can crash from solitude into loneliness at times, especially when plans go awry and you’re stranded in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language (to my southern English mother, that included Liverpool) and, worse, you don’t have the money to buy your way out of trouble. But it’s a good learning process – if you manage to avoid arrest and disease, all things are possible with goodwill on all sides, and you can make lifelong friends in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

I’ve been asked about my own experiences of loneliness, which I’m happy to share.  I don’t want to make the blog about me, so I’m putting some lonely stories into a separate page. A couple involve travel, as I like the indie solo road, and that inevitably leads to the odd moment…

What about you – any lonely travel moments, good or bad, that you can share?

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20 comments on “Dealing with loneliness through travel

  1. […] commented on a post about loneliness the other day. About why it is that we think doing things by ourselves is so […]

  2. […] Dealing with loneliness through travel (nomoreloneliness.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterDiggRedditFacebookPrintLinkedInTumblrPinterestStumbleUponEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]

  3. Ruth says:

    I moved 18 times between the ages of 18 and 27 and did masses of solo cycling all over the UK between ages of 17 and 24 -basically because I hated myself so much and believed if people Really got to know me they would hate me too!(I love cycling too!) I came to like myself during my solo travels and still have a mass of wonderful friends I made from that time. I learned that I am likeable and lovable, and if someone doesn’t like me so what. I need a lot of alone time now and rarely feel lonely. Such a valuable lesson to learn young.

  4. […] Dealing with loneliness through travel (nomoreloneliness.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterDiggRedditFacebookPrintLinkedInTumblrPinterestStumbleUponEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]

  5. […] Dealing with loneliness through travel (nomoreloneliness.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterDiggRedditFacebookPrintLinkedInTumblrPinterestStumbleUponEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]

  6. When traveling alone we find our loneliness in others, we share their moments, and exercise the solitude that haunts us all. This is true not only for the adventure whose stage is under foot, but also for the voyage that takes place in our daily lives through the passage of time. Regardless of where the loneliness lies the resolution is always the same … find another and conquer it together. Cheers

    • Thanks so much for commenting. You’re quite right about the daily journey! Finding someone to share with is ideal in the short term, but the most solid solution is to resolve the loneliness inside ourselves, so finding a companion becomes a bonus, not a solution. Don’t you think?

  7. Kyley says:

    I suppose every solo traveller goes through these stages.. Moving on to the next destination, changing hostels and forcing yourself to talk to a stranger is how I get out of it quite quickly.

    • I’m glad you say you have to force yourself to talk to a stranger – not just me, then! Why are we so reluctant, do you think? What is so scary about another human?

      • Kyley says:

        I ask myself that same question right before I start talking to a stranger. It is only a stranger and if he/she doesn’t like me I will never have to see him/her again in my life. I think we are scared of being judged, not liked and found weird. But it is also the culture we live in. Everybody lives in their own protected safe life, while when you travel, you’re all in the same situation which gives you something in common.. This is very interesting! I might write a post about this topic as well! Thanks for the inspiration!

      • You’re very welcome! Enjoyed your insight – do you mind if I post it as a post as well as a comment? Want people to be sure to read what you’ve written.

      • Kyley says:

        Haha no problem! You gave me the idea! Would be nice if you could mention my blog maybe??

      • Of course! I’ll do it as a link. Thanks, Kyley. Keep commenting….

  8. Lagos says:

    Oh that’s why! Your writing is seamless. I’m sure you already know but just sayin’

  9. Lagos says:

    I like how you set up your log.

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