5 Reasons Why Traveling Solo Can Remedy Loneliness

traveling solo to cope with loneliness

By Silvia Mordini

For quite some time now I’ve come up with all sorts of excuses why I couldn’t travel by myself:

  1. My partner didn’t like to travel and I didn’t want to go without him
  2. The guilt of leaving my partner and family behind
  3. Not feeling worthy of the extra pampering and expense
  4. Traveling alone felt selfish and undeserved
  5. The fear of being alone. Even after all the years of yoga, meditation, and being on the mat on my own I was still afraid.

In today’s society, you can freely admit plenty of shocking things aloud but saying you’re lonely silences the room. People feel a mix of worry and pity toward you. Rarely do friends or colleagues know the appropriate way to respond likely due to the fact that we don’t fully understand the definition of loneliness. According to Wikipedia it is defined as:

Loneliness:  anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or community with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors. Research has shown that loneliness is widely prevalent throughout society among people in marriages, relationships, families and successful careers. It has also been described as Social Pain “” a psychological mechanism meant to alert an individual of isolation and motivate him/her to seek social connections.

The book, “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection”, states that 60 million Americans are lonely, which is about 20 percent of the general population. Paradoxically this means that I am not alone in my feelings. Travel is an incredibly therapeutic mechanism to combat loneliness as it helps us feel connected to small and unique tribes of people in different places.

Here are a few reasons why traveling solo is a powerful remedy for loneliness:

1. Interesting engagements and interactions with people you may not otherwise meet simply by traveling from one place to the next. Traveling requires interacting with taxi drivers, airport personnel, and hotel staff just to name a few.

2. You create a shared experience with fellow travelers by practicing curiosity and exploring unknown places. That shared experience creates a certain and often lasting bond amongst the group.

3. Travel puts you in a new ecology away from some of the difficult situations and energy draining people in your life.

4. You can be your genuine self, free from judgment. You can dress, eat, speak, and express yourself in your most authentic ways, which frees your psyche. You no longer have to repress or hold back due to fear of being judged by those around you since you may never see the people you met again. I’d compare travel to Indra Devi’s description of yoga. “Yoga, is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.”

5. Travel gives you the opportunity to try new things. This practice of courage reignites self-confidence and bolsters self-esteem.

Traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to travel alone, you can make it fun and go as part of an organized group or retreat. The benefits come from leaving the house without a friend or partner to rely on and taking chances to grow and spread your wings just as you are. Nothing has furthered my own personal self-development than being a solo female traveler. Why not try it yourself and discover what you’ve been missing?

Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

silvia mordini 150x150 Why Yoga Inspires Us to Take Chances with an Open Heart and MindABOUT THE WRITER

Enthusiasm to love your life is contagious around Silvia.  Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential.  Silvia lives her happiness in such a big way that you can’t help but leave her classes, workshops, trainings and retreats spiritually uplifted!  Born in Ecuador, raised traveling around the globe, she is an enthusiastic citizen of the world and spiritual adventurer. She has over 10,000 hours and 15 years of teaching experience, owned a yoga studio for 9 years and after being run over by a car used yoga to recover physically and emotionally. Silvia leads Alchemy Tours Yoga Retreats and Alchemy of Yoga RYT200 Yoga Teacher Training. Join her on Twitter to keep inspiring greater happiness by answering the question #YRUHappy. Connect with Silvia on Twitter and Facebook and learn more about her story at www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

  1. I’m going on a solo trip soon as well. I have never done it before. All the reasons above are good, but then I still think I would feel lonely as I need people that are close to me. However, I am really curious how I feel exactly.

  2. Andrew McCarthy wrote a fascinating book called “Longest Way Home.” I heard him speak about it at the Miami International Book Fair, and he said travelling, especially on your own, is the greatest act of peace on Earth. The alternative to not seeing what’s outside your world is to automatically see it as a threat. So true! Thanks for the post!

  3. I’m afraid to travel solo and I don’t think it’s that fun compared to traveling with family and friends. But your post convinced me to try to sometime. Thanks for sharing.

  4. If the destination and the journey is fulfilling enough, I don’t mind travelling by myself. Also, I agree that if your travel companion isn’t like minded, it could ruin the whole experience. But otherwise, I wouldn’t mind company as sometimes it can be fun.

  5. I have travelled alone in the past, back packing in Europe. I guess my experience was that its definitely something I would like to do once in a while, it helps you reconcile with yourself. So many time we land up leading so many roles for our children and family or work that we loose our inner soul. Travel alone to a nice place once in a couple of years do things that you love to and it will revive you totally.
    But don’t do it too often can get lonely too 😉

    Very nice blog loved to read it!

  6. Solo travel is never lonely. I have done many solo trips, the first when I was 18 years old. Friends and family always ask if it is difficult to travel alone, and my response is that although I may be travelling alone, I am never lonely. I have met some of the most incredible people travelling by myself. You’re more open to people from different backgrounds, more interested in their opinions. It is an ideal way to push yourself past the those comfort zone boundaries and return home with a fresh perspective. As a woman, be careful where you choose to go, but wherever you end up, trust your instincts and embrace every new experience!

  7. Traveling alone is all I do! And not because I am lonely, not at all. If you go alone you do not have to deal with others, you do what you want. I travel alone because it is calming and quiet and wonderful.

  8. Lovely article! I think the joy of travelling alone is amplified when I meet amazing locals along the way and explore things I’d never expected to! 🙂

  9. I love traveling by myself. When it gets hard is eating dinner alone. The occasional solo dinner doesn’t bother me, but eventually it feels too isolating. Next time I trek on my own (which is coming up soon), I think I’ll try to find meet-ups or Twitter peeps in the areas I visit, just for the purpose of dining together.

  10. I regularly do roadtrips alone to do site visits and to research for my tours. The first time I did it alone I hadn’t planned to but was let down at the last minute. A friend told me the first day would be hard but after that I’d be fine. She was 100% correct. I sometimes do wish I had a second pair of eyes for the work aspect because days are long and tiring but the pleasures of being alone and the many advantages make it worthwhile. As Heather says above, dinners can be hard but I use the time to make notes, Tweet and interrogate the restaurant staff.

  11. I have a small circle of close friends who I can trust with personal musings and chat with at length about life, the universe, and everything. Many of these people live within a few minutes drive, so we can visit each other without much advance planning necessary. Oh, and I have a huge library and regularly drop in on college courses, because at heart I am a perpetual student.

    Map Destinations

  12. Very cool. My first solo travel experience was DEFINITELY pretty lonely at first, once I adjusted and got over the learning curve, it was a really positive experience. Even if you’re not meeting tons of people and being social all the time, I think it can be a positive experience to just practice being by oneself.

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