Saturday, September 13, 2008

One Troopin' Traveler: Tips for Flying Solo

No, no.. I haven't assumed dictatorship over this blog, I just felt the need to address a topic that I recently came across on another travel blog about dealing with loneliness on the road.

It's inevitable that during at least one point in your life, you'll feel about the size of an ant.. as if you're the only living soul on earth.. and this can happen quite frequently to those that travel solo. Instead of wallowing in your sadness or self-pity, I'd suggest taking this as an opportunity to really get to know yourself on a deeper level. While this is, of course, easier said than done; if you're aware of your upcoming independent journey, then it should - at the very least - be a bit easier to mentally & emotionally prepare for the road that lies ahead.

During my last month in Paris, I was abruptly notified of the fact that my stay would be extended. I thought that was fantastic, until I realized that everyone else in my group would be leaving a few weeks prior. Instead of immediately embracing the opportunity, I chose to get angry and sad which helped me to successfully attract more negativity. Once I got over myself and acknowledged how childish I was acting, I decided to explore areas of the city that I'd kept putting off because of all the time I thought I still had. What fool [that was lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world] would consider this an unfortunate experience? While it truly may be more difficult to feel alone in today's technological world, I think that everyone can identify with that empty feeling. Surround yourself with all of the friends, family, & action you can handle, but there's still something in a Sunday.. The positive part about this empty feeling is that you can fill it! - Simply put.

How do you combat this feeling of loneliness?

  • Identify your feeling and figure out why you're feeling hollow inside
  • Embrace the feeling and channel it into a positive, rare opportunity
  • Find a sense of purpose and appreciate the beauty in the experience you've been granted

If you're truly unable to deal with the solitude, then you can always turn to:

  • Text messaging
  • Emailing
  • Telephoning
  • Reading this blog

If you're not taking a solo trip in the near future, then try these techniques on any given Sunday.. I know I'll be putting them into practice tomorrow.

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