Alone, Not Lonely, on the Road

I write and read, about solo travel all the time, and I often see articles with words like "travel alone not lonely."

The focus of these articles, however, is not about trusting the solo travel experience to be as social as you want it to be. They are about joining groups so that you are guaranteed never to be alone.

Here, I'll take a different tack. I believe that one can travel alone, independently, solo...without being lonely.

I believe there are 2 reasons you can travel alone, without being lonely.

1. You're a pretty amazing person, and worth spending time with.

2. You will meet the most extraordinary people and spend time with them simply because you're traveling alone.

However, the fabulous solo (and social) experience is not automatic. There are skills and tactics necessary to make it happen. so I give you...

6 Fundamental Tips on Traveling Alone (Yes, Alone) Without Being Lonely

1. Where to Stay

Choose accommodation that is social. Hostels, small inns, guest homes and B&Bs are great for meeting people.

2. Where to Hang Out

Go where you will meet people. look for the coffee shop where freelancers work, restaurants with communal tables and free, guided tours.

3. How to Get Around

Train is one of the more social means of transportation. The bar and dining care are great places to meet people.

4. Talk to Strangers

Questions are the way to engage locals and other travelers in conversation. Ask questions that are open ended and master the follow-up question that often starts with "how" or "why".

5. Establish a Routine

If you're in one place for a few days, go to the same coffee shop, restaurant or pub for a few days in a row. In no time you will have made friends.

6. Take a Course

If you are in one place longer than a few days, take a cooking course, language lessons, volunteer...get involved locally to meet people.

Traveling alone does not have to be a lonely experience. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. You could find yourself looking for some solo time.

About the Author 

Janice Waugh publishes Solo Traveler, the blog for those who travel alone. The blog offers solo travel stories, tips, safety advice and destination ideas as well as a couple of free ebooks including Glad You’re Not Here: a solo traveler’s manifesto.

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