How to deal with loneliness when solo travelling
As a digital nomad, I’ll travel a lot. It also means, I’ll constantly keep my relations away and I will require a decent amount of adaptation. When I took the decision to be solo traveler it was not easy. The idea of leaving everything behind including my friends and my family is now part of my new life. It’s hard to find someone with the same interest as me within the same timeframe. To accomplish my dream I had to make a drastic decision to start a solo traveler life.
Being constantly on the move is not an easy thing. You have to plan your next trip, find out where you’re going to sleep next month, booking the next flights, getting a steady WIFI, get your daily work done, etc. There are 5 things that really help me get through those obligations and make my solitariness a strength.
Get a daily routine
Even if I left behind a boring routine, it’s a lot of fun starting on new one. Especially in another country, there’s nothing worse than being in a new culture and have nothing to hang on. You have to stay focus and find something to rely on. In my case, I choose Starbucks. Every morning I’m heading to the nearest Starbucks to start my day. I drink a coffee and browse the internet. Nothing special, just a normal way to keep myself connected with the outside world. I know it’s not very exotic, but you have to establish a life stability first. At least, I know I can stay there most part of my day and work on my computer. Instead of jumping into the unknown. I get comfortable where I’m used to. At noon I try to discover the city and go out for a walk. In the afternoon, I move to another coffee shop and start working on again.The fact that I constantly move from a tourist area to the most underground café, really makes my day unique.
Don’t be on vacation, have a schedule
Don’t act like you’re on vacation. You need to stay busy and to have goals. If you’re relaxing all day, you are slowly realizing that it would be so much better with someone you like. Staying active and productive will keep your mind on focus instead of flying around those emotions.
Another habit that helps me a lot is to start my day with an alarm clock. Even if I quit my normal life, I still need to be productive. Living a hangover lifestyle is not really my plan. I’m not in a new country to spend my morning in bed. I created my own schedule to have the most productive weeks ever. Since, I’m no longer a typical employee, I have the privilege to work for myself. In the first months, I decided to be productive 7 days a week to keep my motivation. Being productive doesn’t always mean working on the same thing all day. On a typical day, I take pictures, record footage, write blog posts, stay active on Instagram, learn programing languages, learn local language, work on client projects. I have the flexibility to go outside between two café session and I begin discovering the city I’m in.
Keep contact with the outside world
Even if you’re physically not there, that’s not a reason to stop communicating. There are so many tools online to talk or text somebody. When I was in Canada, I mostly used Facebook Messenger with my family and friends. In Spain nothing has changed, I can stay connected pretty easily. Just be sure to have a decent home WIFI. I also redirect my phone number to Skype. It’s almost impossible for someone to forget me.
You also have the ability to meet other digital nomad. When you’re traveling solo you really have to get out there and start speaking to other travelers. Most of the time, these kinds of people are very open and you’ll be surprised how many are in the same situation. I know many cities like Chiang Mai and Ubud are great places to meet digital nomads. If you’re somewhere else, you can subscribe to Nomadlist or check their filter that’s very useful when you’re looking where to go.
Get a life, a real one
Finding a goal that will keep you on target every single day. You want to be able to look back and see how much you accomplished in the past month. Act like you have to leave a heritage to the civilization. Watching cats videos is relaxing, but not productive. Don’t be afraid to start something new and create new habits, it’s the right time for that. You can start relaxing by learning new things. For example, I decided out of the blue to create travel videos and take photography along my trip. That’s clearly not the main purpose of my new life, but it’s relaxing and it expands my skills. Remember that nothing is stopping you at this point, just your confidence will make you stronger.
It’s really not something to set aside. Prior to any life goal, you have to maintain your body full of energy to stay interested. Running every morning is a good way to start your day. I like to do 10 minutes intense workout every 2 day to keep my body awake. Even if you want to discover new food, you need to stay on diet and stay fit. It’s going to help you on the long run through your digital nomad lifestyle.
Loneliness is not a bad thing. It’s a positive way of living. Instead of relying on other people’s lives to make yours interesting. You’re completely dedicated to build yours. Many genius have built their own success during this period. I’m not saying that I’ll be in this situation in the next 5 years, but at least I appreciate every moment and I challenge anyone to be a solo traveler for a month. It’s a great experience and you’ll improve your personal confidence over time.
If you keep a productive vibe with you, I’m 100% sure that you’ll forget about the fact that you’re alone and you’ll feel this experience as an accomplishment.