Solo traveling means you travel alone, eat alone, and sleep alone. Depending on where you are you might not be able to contact your loved ones regularly. Besides nothing replaces being physically there to hug someone you care about. Keep busy and reach out to other solo travelers. Accept that sometimes it’s going to be hard to continue traveling alone. I promise you it’s always worthwhile.
Some cities get way too many tourists. Tourists in some places behave badly. These factors can create an unwelcoming attitude amongst locals towards travelers. I remember how my friend asked people in Milan to take a photo of us in front of the Cathedral so many people ignored her. The language may have been to blame. I did get an argh not again vibe from passersby. When you are lonely and trying to make friends this can have a devastating effect. Remember that there are many friendly people out there and keep asking and being open. We did eventually get our photo taken in Milan by a friendly local guy.
They are out there and you will find them all over in Paris, Venice, and Bratislava… If you are homesick and or heartbroken it’s going to be crummy. And if you are single it may suck. If like you are like I was in a long distance relationship at the time of traveling it will hurt at times. Push through all the negatives, find the positives. Envy a bit and learn to be happy for others.
Germans don’t mess around with staring. They tend to show you they are staring. It can get extremely uncomfortable. Travelling often means you are a foreigner in a strange country. People will see you as a mystery. Smile at those who stare at you. If the stare is hostile look away or use your gut and stare back. You will get used to it in time.
A solo female traveler tends to struggle more with this one. Certain men might think you are a soft target. They might think you are looking for a guy. They may follow you, kiss you, and touch you it’s such a terrible list if it’s not wanted. Learn to say no strongly and loudly. Still, it can make you feel dirty afterward.
Being sick whilst traveling or failing ill along the way is no fun at all, no one is there to bring relief. And you have to soldier on alone. Being hospitalized may mean that no one is there to come to visit you. Solo travel isn’t just moon and June. It’s tough, complex and complicated.
Losing touch with travel friends
You might not get that number, or add the person on Facebook in time. Even if you do keeping touch is a mission if you are constantly traveling. Travel friends are the best, they experienced what you did and you share beautiful memories. It’s sad that sometimes travel friends are transitory not permanent parts of your life.
Trying to make new friends
Feeling awkward, stumbling over words and just not clicking. Making friends is hard to do in certain situations. Being alone can make one feel a bit intimidated when faced with a group of people.
I’m guilty of this talking about my traveling too much. It’s why I’m channeling that here on my blog. It’s an adventure, unforgettable maybe the best time of your life and you can’t help but talk about it but, others don’t always understand. Solo travelers don’t have others who shared that exact moment with them to reminisce with.
Losing touch with friends from home
I have a few friends left in Cape Town. The rest have moved or I lost touch with them. I have also had to let go of many toxic friendships. I have my sister, my other family members, a few friends, and my boyfriend. I have like 2 friends left in my city. The upside is that you learn who your true friends are when you are no longer seeing people every day and it opens up the space to form new friendships.
Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Eve all these special days can be hard to celebrate when you are traveling alone. You see families and friends bonding and it may make you terribly homesick. One of my friends ended up being in the hospital around Christmas and on Christmas. I wasn’t close to her at the time and already made plans to go to the Netherlands for Christmas break. My dear friend Elian had a lonely Christmas. The bad and the good is all part of traveling and living abroad.
With some ingenuity and a driven attitude, many of these negatives can be overcome. I tend to provide tips on how to move past these bad things when you are traveling. Do let me know how you deal with some of these issues. I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading
xxx Nikki xxx