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Lonely or Alone? How I Really Feel When I Travel Solo

I was recently asked during a blog interview if I ever feel lonely or alone, when traveling solo. It’s usually the one question I always get asked the most:  “Aren’t you lonely, don’t you feel scared traveling alone? I could never do that!”

Difference between the two:

lonely without company. Feeling completely separated from others.

alone being solo or physically separate from others.

Now, let’s be real. I am human. Of course I feel both, lonely and alone at times. On the occasion I can feel lonely. Thats normal. It would be nice to share my traveling moments with someone. When I travel solo I meet tons of people, probably more than I do when I travel with friends.

When I walked El Camino a couple of months ago. I was alone. I was in the middle of the woods for hours following random arrows and running out of water in hot weather. On some days it was rare I’d see any other human being because the roads were so abandoned. During those moments, I never felt like I was alone. I did feel lonely at times, and slightly home sick. I missed my bed! My sleeping bag wasn’t cutting it!

But, If I am completely honest, (and I feel like I’ve shared this before) I enjoy being alone probably more than I should!  I enjoy being with myself.

See the thing that always resonates with me the most is when people say, “I could never do that!” I realize that there is a greater fear in being alone than anything else that could ever happen. I know myself pretty well. I know what I am capable of and what I am not. I learned a lot about myself from being alone. Therefore, for me, being alone is never a bad thing. The more I travel solo the more I continue to learn too! I believe I have the courage to face any of my fears.

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220 miles (355KM) in 2 1/2 weeks on El Camino De Santiago

I believe we have the power to build up the courage to be alone and face our fears, it’s within us. I realize that most people are more afraid to be alone with themselves. Were as some people are afraid to be alone because something bad could happen. Don’t get me wrong, I am scared of getting mugged in a foreign country, but things can be replaced. It’s the memories and moments that can’t. To me, the fear of being ‘alone’ isn’t greater than the fear of the ‘what if’. Maybe I’m too confident. Or since I’ve already been mugged a few times, I just know the feeling too well.

The way I see it is that we got here alone and one day we leave alone anyway.
Yes, sometimes the feeling of being lonely hurts and I know it’s the sacrifice I make for being a solo traveler. It’s like a mentioned in my last post, 6 Things I’ve Learned About Travel Blogging (The Cold Hard Truth).

Being alone, and learning things about myself and making memories have much greater value.

And to be 100% honest, at time’s I don’t feel alone. Yes, I am physically alone, but I am comfortable with myself that I don’t feel like I am traveling solo. So no, I am not afraid to travel alone. I am comfortable being alone.

You could almost say that taking risks and making memories is of greater value than the fear of thinking something bad could happen. Because at the end of the day anything bad can happen anywhere.

If I can face myself, and be happy with that, then I can face this big scary world and be okay with that too.

Ps- Maybe I don’t feel alone because my travel angel is always by my side. Haha! 😉

 

How do you feel when you travel alone? What are you really afraid of? What holds you back? 

 

STATUS UPDATE:

Only 3 weeks left until I head out again, and if you aren’t following me on social media I posted some information on HELPING ME PACK MY BACKPACK FOR SE ASIA!

I’m taking some water filters from Waves 4 Water to Indonesia to help those who need fresh water.

**I’ve also decided that I will randomly select people who donate and send them a post card from Indonesia! 🙂 

I can’t do this without you guys. Spread the word!!  🙂

 

 

2016-10-24T23:03:47+00:00

5 Comments

  1. Melissa Giroux September 11, 2015 at 3:55 am - Reply

    Hey Jen! Great post! (That’s my girl! :P)
    First, it’s a really good initiative that you’ve got here for the water filters! 🙂 Just so you know, the link was not right, so I found it via your FB page (and the link for your FB was not right as well… 🙁 )
    Anyway, I feel what you means about travelling solo. I think it’s the best way to meet people, to challenge yourself and to get more confident. Now, that the solo turned into a couple, I also think that it would not have been possible if I traveled with friends.

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