How To Travel Alone Without Feeling Lonely

Jackie Arruda in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Jackie Arruda.

Jackie Arruda in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Jackie Arruda.

There are many reasons people travel alone. Maybe it’s because their friends or partners cannot join them at that moment. Or maybe it’s because they really want to do it this way.

“Is it dangerous?” Yeah, sometimes it is, but living is dangerous too. “Don’t you feel scared or lonely?” Pretend that you are strong, then you will be stronger than you could ever imagine.

After traveling with my friends and family for many years, I realized something very important in my life. There was always a moment when I needed to be alone to enjoy this experience.

I needed to make this exchange with the environment by myself. To give something to earth and to get something in return.

Traveling is an amazing experience that always changes you. Maybe you don’t even realize it.

Traveling alone made me smarter, more confident. It made me feel that I could do anything and everything by myself.

It also put me in contact with more people. It sounds weird, right? But that’s exactly how it works. When you travel alone, you open yourself up to the universe.

People will approach you to get to know you, to invite you to some parties, bars or to join them for a walk.

Relax, you will never be completely alone. Unless you want to!

Lisbon's airport. Photo by Jackie Arruda.

Lisbon's airport. Photo by Jackie Arruda.

1.       Learn how to keep a balance in your life

   There are moments in your life that you want to share with somebody else and there are moments that you want to be alone. Learn how to identify those moments and learn how to say ‘no’, kindly.

   People will always see it as a bad thing when you are alone. So they will assume that you always need a company.

   Learn how to say ‘no’ when they approach you. Be kind and say that you are OK and that you are enjoying this experience.

   Only you are able to identify those moments in your life.

2.       You are never completely alone

   I used to think that when I traveled alone I would be completely by myself. I was wrong.  I realized it at the moment when I got into my hostel room and my roommates wanted know everything about me and asked me to join them for a walk.

Actually, the main interest is knowing where you are coming from, where have you been, and where you are going to next. Because we are all travelers, right?

   It’s important to make these connections because you will learn from their experiences and they can give you some good advice.

   If you are following the same routes, they can show you some good places to go or good things to experience.

   Once, I thought I would not be able to explore some cities because the public transportation didn’t reach the places I wanted to go. So my roommates told me about Flixbus and BlaBlaCar. From that moment on, I could go anywhere.

I met my friends from Taiwan in a hostel room in Brussels. They invited me to join them for a walk in Brugge. What a great day!

I met my friends from Taiwan in a hostel room in Brussels. They invited me to join them for a walk in Brugge. What a great day!

3.       Share your experiences with those you love

   According to Jack Layton, you should “…cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.” Apply this to your travels.

   I'm sure your friends and family are always interested in knowing where you are and what you are doing. They want to know how is this new place that you are exploring.

   Send them videos and pictures. Share your stories and experiences. Talk to them through Skype or Whatsapp.

   They will be happy to share this important experience with you. And you will be happier because of their interest.

4.       Read your favourite book or listen to your favourite music

   If things get harder… read your favourite book, listen to your favourite music, watch your favourite movie or T.V. Show.

   Those things will make you feel better and more comfortable because they will take you to your comfort zone. Those territories are known by you.

   But if you are looking for inspiration, try something new!

   Try to remember the title of a book that you really liked and pick a new book from the same author. Or another book about the same topic.

    If you are traveling, then read about traveling. Watch movies about inspirational trips. You will feel a lot better after that!

I always keep my favourite books around me when I'm traveling. This one is Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  Photo by Jackie Arruda.

I always keep my favourite books around me when I'm traveling. This one is Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  Photo by Jackie Arruda.

5.       Meet local people or just meet people

    Are you wondering how to meet local people? Well, I can recommend some websites like Couchsurfing and Worldpackers.

   On Couchsurfing, you will be hosted by local people and you will be part of their routines. There’s no better way to feel part of a new culture. The exchange is incredible and you will always think that the best part of that place was the people that you met there.

   On Worldpackers, you will exchange your skills for accommodation. You will be volunteering abroad and it’s always a good experience.

   I love these websites because you are able to travel more or longer if you use them because you will be saving money. But again, the best part is the experience that you will get from your hosts.

   Don’t ever use these websites only to savemoney. These communities were built based on this exchange of experiences. And if you are not there looking for it, then don’t be there.

   Among all the websites and apps to meet local people the only one I don't recommendis Tinder because you will have your heart broken. The chances to get a real match there are very small. Almost zero. But you can use it only to make friends!

   To meet people you just need to go outside and socialize. Go to the bar or to the clubs, join a walk tour or a boat trip/bus trip. These are great ways to meet people.

   I know it was easier when you were a kid inkindergarten. If you had beautiful or cool toy everyone else would love to be your friend.

   Always remember that alltravelers are looking for good experiences. Share your experiences with them and listen to their stories.

   You will get used to turning strangers into good friends.

The students of Ghent gathered together after classes is a great opportunity to make local friends. Photo by Jackie Arruda.

The students of Ghent gathered together after classes is a great opportunity to make local friends. Photo by Jackie Arruda.

6.       What if I really want to feel lonely?

 That’s OK. It’s up to you. There’s nothing wrong about it. Some people decide to travel alone to heal themselves from bad experiences in their lives.

   Take your moment. Enjoy this experience while you are turning yourself into a better version of yourself.

   Just don’t break down. Or do it, if it makes you feel better.

   There are many other ways to travel alone without feeling lonely. You can share your suggestions in the comments below. And if nothing here seems to work, you can always talk to me. I will do my best to make you feel better!!!  Enjoy your journey.