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Alone, not Lonely, on the Road

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 9 December 2010 | Views [2823]

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.

There are two main reasons for this:

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...

Tips on traveling alone (yes, alone) without being lonely.

I could give you dozens of tips but here I will focus on 6 of the fundamentals.

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.

Related Articles:

Solo and Safe: 10 Tips for the Solo Traveler

Inspiring Independence: 12 Reasons to Travel Solo

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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Tags: accommodations, emotions, friends, lonely, meeting people, solo travel, travel tips

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