This evening, I spent an hour messaging my nephew on Facebook; he’s a good kid, and has a heart of gold. We’re close, and our conversation made me realise just how much I am going to miss him and the rest of my family. I will openly admit that I’m sat at my desk with a tear in my eye; I think the realisation has only just hit home, the potential impact of loneliness while travelling round the world. It is my dream to explore and experience different cultures; the unknown excites me more than it scares me, but I do worry if I will be able to cope with travelling alone for six months. Of course, travelling for a week or two is a completely different experience, and while I see my family infrequently, I am only a short bus or train journey away, compared with being at the other side of the world.
Fear stalking my thoughts
The fear is there, stalking my thoughts, but my instinct is telling me to be strong, and I know I am making the right decisions at the right time in my life. I’m 41 years old, have worked for the same employer for 24 years, and if I wait until I am 55 years old (when there’s a very slim chance I might get early retirement) who knows if I will be healthy enough. Being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes does concern me because it can cause problems with your sight if it is not kept under control, and since I only have sight in my left eye, the thought of losing my sight and not seeing the world gives me a huge incentive to explore.
While the chances of this happening are slim, there is a chance.
Creating memories is vital
I have never been in a really serious relationship (i.e. living with a girlfriend stage), so, I am used to my own company, and I do enjoy spending time alone. I wouldn’t say that I am a loner, I do like socialising with friends, and I love when my nephew comes around and we go exploring together. I have never, for one minute felt lonely. One person that inspires me is Andrew, he’s my younger brother, and earlier this year he made the brave decision to move to New Zealand with his girlfriend; I see his adventures on Facebook, he has been bungee jumping and skydiving; right now, he is creating memories, ones that he will never forget. I am proud of him.
Life is for living, and who wants to sit down at a desk, in an office, staring out of the window, counting down to retirement. I’ve now gone from being upset to having goose bumps with excitement; such is the emotional roller coaster that I’ve ridden on tonight.
How to overcome loneliness while travelling
Thankfully, in the 21st century we have the technology to help keep us connected while being tens of thousands of miles away from family and friends; there’s Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp and lots of other apps and software. Meeting new people and making friends can be a quick fix for your loneliness, so, staying in hostels is a good way to meet other solo travellers. Rather than staying in the dorm though, spend sometime in the kitchen or the lobby, and strike up a conversion. When feeling lonely while travelling don’t skulk around in your hotel room, go out and explore and treat yourself.
If you’ve made the decision to travel alone, don’t let fear put you off.