Are you dreaming of a travel adventure, but nervous about setting out on your own? I’ve heard many people tell me that they would love to travel, but they just don’t want to be out there all on their lonesome.
Take it from me; the fear of loneliness is not a good reason to hold yourself back from your travel dreams. When you start out as a solo traveller, you will never really be alone if you don’t want to be.
When you go travelling on your own, you will more than likely make lots of friends on your voyage. If you are a friendly and outgoing person, it’s hard NOT to make friends in the social atmosphere of a hostel, train, bus, tourist attraction, group tour, bar or other public space. You will constantly have opportunities to chat with other people and get to know them. Most hostels will have a common area where people will be playing card games, watching movies, doing their laundry, cooking food, and talking to each other.
If you are a solo traveller and you are feeling a bit bored, homesick or lonely, all you have to do is wander out into the main area of the hostel and you will meet many other travellers just like you. You can share stories about where you are from, where you have been, and where you are going. Your new friends will tell you about all of the adventures they have had, recommend places to go, and might even invite you along with them on their next day trip.
Friends that you meet on the road can also last a long time. When I was staying in a hostel in Wellington, New Zealand, I shared my room with one other person. Her name was Bridget and she was a New Zealander from Auckland who was travelling with a German friend. We started to chat at around 8pm, and we didn’t stop until well after midnight. We got along like a house on fire, and we shared stories of our travels, our love lives, our hopes and dreams, and everything in between.
When I awoke the next morning, my roommate had already left to her next destination, but had left me the sweetest note with plenty of recommendations of great things to do during my stay in Wellington. We kept in touch on Facebook, and a few months later she came to visit me and Lee when we were living in Christchurch. A few months after that, we visited her in Auckland and she kindly let us stay in her beautiful apartment. Two years later, as I write this, Bridget and I are still friends and keep in touch. Wherever I am in the world, my door will always be open to her and I’m sure she would do the same for me. (that’s her beside me in a boat on the River Avon in Christchurch in the featured image)
Through travelling the world, I have met many other truly amazing people who have been wonderful friends to me. It’s sad to leave them when I get on a plane again, but I know that they are always there and I can keep in touch no matter where I am.
When you are travelling on your own, it’s actually easier to make friends than when you are travelling as a couple or in a group. When you are travelling with your friend or significant other, you will be spending most of your time talking and socializing with them. This decreases your chances of having an opportunity to strike up a conversation with an interesting stranger. However, if you are on your own you will find that meeting people happens very naturally as you travel.
So don’t let the fear of being lonely hold you back from solo travel. Enjoy the adventure, strike up a conversation with a stranger and you will come home with plenty of great friends to stay in touch with.