Who has not experienced loneliness?
Sometimes, travel is a solution to loneliness. The opportunity to meet people.
Sometimes loneliness is what being on the road is all about. But is it, as some fear, a problem? Is it something bad in itself or does it have its own value and benefits?
Let’s put loneliness in its place.
Travel Alone and, Sometimes, Travel Lonely
Being lonely at home holds different significance from being lonely as you travel.
At home, one would hope for family and friends to enrich life and keep feelings of loneliness at bay. When loneliness does arise, possibly due to the end of a romantic relationship or an empty nest after years of having the kids around, one has to rebuild. Travel has helped people do this. It has been a solution. Read here how Renee traveled solo to heal a broken heart.
But what happens when you aren’t traveling for a solution. When you’re on the road and you simply don’t meet people. What happens when traveling solo causes loneliness.
It’s a Matter
Despite meeting hundreds of wonderful people as I travel, there are occasions when I’m alone a little longer than I want. It happens to most people as they travel solo. So what can one do about it?
Perhaps it’s not a matter of what to do – it's not a question of getting relief from loneliness. Perhaps it's a matter of adjusting one's attitude to it.
Here are some thoughts on the subject:
- Remember that loneliness doesn’t have to be a permanent state. Read: How to Travel Alone Without Being Lonely: 10 tips & 5 posts.
- Know that loneliness can be a teacher. It teaches you how to be calm, how to be strong, how to be patient. It teaches you to learn to live with yourself.
- Discover how loneliness can reveal your inner resources and your true needs. Sometimes in the midst of a busy life we lose track of our emotional strength. Loneliness can help you recover it.
- Relax into loneliness to clarify your goals. The silence of it allows you to see deeply into your true wants, needs and desires.
- Get to know yourself so that you are better able to love and live with those who are most important to you.
Loneliness has something to give us. It is not just something to be endured.
With thanks to my friend Simon for inspiration and help with this post.