How to combat loneliness while traveling solo


Try these strategies when on the road and feeling lonesome. – Photo: 123rf

In the planning stages, solo travel can feel purely fresh and exciting. However, after the reality of the road sets in, the emotional temperature of the trip can change.

Dealing with the hassles of transit alone, struggling with language barriers and only encountering unfamiliar surroundings can wear down the energy and enthusiasm of the planning phases.

Try these strategies when on the road and feeling lonesome.

Join a day tour

With activities, history and usually some time spent sharing a meal, communal day-trips taken with other travelers can be a great way to combat loneliness.

Faces from all over the world and flowing topics of conversation help fulfill the desire for company that some may feel after stretches of time spent on one’s own. Travel companions that may join you for a day or two in your explorations can be found this way.

Treat yourself

Sometimes all it takes to get reacquainted with the best of one’s own company is a sensually curated experience that reconnects the mind’s pleasure centers and shows the body some TLC.

A spa service, high-end dining experience or night at the theater will help refresh your energy with a series of uplifting, positive inputs that reaffirm the power of enjoying one’s own company.

Opt for postcards over social media

While communicating with friends and loved ones can be an effective way to deal with feelings of isolation, the saturation of connection that can accompany a brief visit to any social platform can have the opposite of the desired effect, showing enviably curated moments that can exacerbate already negative feelings.

Grabbing a postcard that highlights something key from your journey creates a fun, nostalgic way to keep in touch that lets you express your feelings without overwhelming yourself with FOMO. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

This story was created by Detour, a journalism brand focused on the best stories in Black travel, in partnership with McClatchy's The Charlotte Observer and Miami Herald. Detour's approach to travel and storytelling seeks to tell previously under-reported or ignored narratives by shifting away from the customary routes framed in Eurocentrism. The Detour team is made up of an A-list of award-winning journalists, writers, historians, photographers, illustrators and filmmakers.

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