The loneliness of travel. When travelling, you leave behind your friends and family to be in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar faces. Being on the road for a few months now, can get lonely even when travelling with a partner.
I felt this loneliness during our last few weeks in Thailand. (If you’re not caught up on our travel adventures as yet, Ernest and I are slow travelling and were in Chiang Mai, Thailand for two months. You can read more about our adventures in Chiang Mai here and here.) Also, when you’re slow travelling you’re not actually sightseeing or doing touristy things on a daily basis.
We’re both with each other pretty much 24/7 and have no problems with that. However, you begin to miss interacting with others; the conversations with your family, friends, and colleagues. Is this why travellers are usually so friendly? That they strike up a conversation with you just standing in line??
On a more positive note, the loneliness has actually helped me reflect and appreciate. It’s provided me with the time to think about where we’re at (in our lives) and realize what we have. Being able to live in a different country and learn about these places and the people have, in my opinion, provided me with the knowledge to learn about myself and life in general. These are some of the reasons why I love travelling.
However, being alone is a physical thing and I wasn’t alone. Therefore, this loneliness came from within and was more emotional rather than physical.
I also believe it was because we were in Thailand for two months and me (being a restless person) was ready to move on.
How To Deal With Loneliness
Joining a community event is a great way to deal with the loneliness of slow travel. There may also be several volunteer opportunities that are available.
Another great option are coffee meetups for expats or nomads that I’ve found on Facebook. Being with others in the same situation as yourself.
Go workout. It’s a great way to clear your mind and also get the endorphins flowing. Not only will you feel great afterwards, but it’ll also be great for your health.
In all honesty, reflection (as I’ve mentioned above) will help wipe away those loneliness blues.
Do you go through loneliness when slow travelling? How do you cope?