How to Cope with Loneliness

Lonely_by_FrozenStardust1When I talk about my big trip coming up one of the first questions is: Won’t you get lonely?

Here’re my thoughts on traveling solo and how to deal with loneliness on the road.

1) I don’t really get lonely. Mainly because on the road you’re constantly meeting and interacting with people. (Actually more so then in my day-to-day “home” life where I tend to sequester myself in my mini house.)

So in a weird way, traveling helps me engage much more with people. Think about it:

  • · You’re always eating out and it’s easy to strike up a conversation with the people at the next table.
  • · Or you’re on a bus (or more like waiting for a bus) for 10 hours, so you chat with the fellow traveler who is suffering along with you.

2) I used to smoke (socially, not heavily), but the cigarette was my travel companion. You could easily go into a hotel bar and ask someone for a light and strike up a conversation. (un)Fortunately, I gave up smoking cold turkey more than 3 year ago which means I need a new travel buddy.

I’m thinking it’s going to be that fancy new camera I bought. You can always offer to share a picture, or ask a question, or fiddle with the buttons if you’re feeling uncomfortable. I still have a very loose grasp on how to work the thing so it’s not much of a stretch any way.

3) You deal with it. I don’t think being lonely is necessary a bad thing. It’s sometimes is a chance at self-reflection, if somewhat forced. So you spend a night thinking about how you got to this god-forsaken place (sometimes literally) in your life. I’m a big girl. I can handle a serious conversation with myself.

Which brings me to another coping mechanism…

4) I talk to myself. All the time. With gestures and laughing out loud. I think I’m hilarious. And so does Sybil. So you see, really I’m not alone….

5) Ok, Ok, so I get lonely sometimes. These are the 3 things I think I’ll miss the most:

  • · Kitties! (read: The Power of Pets)
  • · Driving my car (read: My Need for Speed)
  • · My wardrobe (read: A French Twist on Living Mini) The whole “only 25 articles of clothing” thing is harder than I thought. Maybe this is really that I miss looking fabulous since on the road you tend to get a little “unkempt,” ie: pedicure not pristine, clothes threadbare from hand washing in the river, no mascara for miles…

Um….did you notice that I didn’t actually mention any people. Yep, not so worried about it. Especially now that I’m getting to be a Skype pro. And my closest friends and family keep threatening to meet up with me along the way. Somehow I think I’ll manage just fine.

Although two years is a long time, so I won’t throw out the idea of a side trip home if I need a breather. Sybil agrees.


Photo credit: Frozen Stardust

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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 4th, 2010 and is filed under How to Cope.

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