By Kim Dreese
Here at Frayed Passport, we are exuberant advocates of solo travel. Traveling on your own gives you an adventure unlike any other. Instead of shackling yourself to your best friend who hates nature for a whirlwind adventure through South America, you get to make your own schedule and don’t have to worry about anyone’s needs and desires but yours. You also can eat where you want, see what you want, and create an experience that’s completely and uniquely your own.
Although traveling alone has many benefits, some solo travelers find themselves getting lonely or bored when they’re on the road without a companion. Your trip may last for a long weekend or perhaps even months, but whether you’re backpacking across Europe or taking a solo trip to the Cinque Terre, there are going to be pauses in the action when you may wish for a kindred spirit or a break in the monotonous hassles of travel.
Here are three simple ways to take back your happiness, explore your surroundings, and get the most out of your journey:
1. Make New Friends
Whether you’re a solo traveler on a group tour or all on your own in a foreign place, find a companion if you’re feeling lonely. New friends have the added benefits of being completely unknown, which means you can spend hours learning about each other while exploring exotic locations. If you don’t speak the local language, take along a language dictionary, try using what you remember from your high school or college classes, or pick up some basic phrases before you go.
2. Live the Culture
You’re traveling alone in an amazing new place; you get to decide exactly what to do, where to go, and what to eat. If you’re alone in Spain and your wife always forces you to go to the opera and ballet recitals, go see a soccer game or take a trip to a local sword-crafting business in Toledo. If you’ve always been curious about Indian cuisine, ask someone for recommendations and indulge your tastebuds. Go see the architecture, the museums, the shops, the people—whatever calls to you.
3. Keep Yourself Busy
If you’re unable or unwilling to do either of the preceding choices, pack something you know will bring you comfort and entertainment. Take a paperback copy of your favorite book, your iPad to steam your favorite shows on Netflix, and pictures of family and friends.
When you’re all alone in a new place and you’re feeling lonely, just remember: Meet the people, see the sights, and keep busy.
And finally, some of our favorite solo travelers have excellent advice on what to do if you find yourself lonely or bored while on an adventure. Check it out!
Solo Travel Tips from Adventurous Kate
Why You Should Travel Solo (in 5 Minutes)