When you’re solo-travelling there will definitely be times when you feel lonely. I usually get lonely when I don’t love the town or city I’m in. Usually even if the hostel I’ve booked has a weird, unsociable atmosphere or I can’t find anybody that I’d like to spend my time with I can find cafes, art galleries, bakeries, or parks to go spend my time.
But sometimes this just isn’t the case. Sometimes you’re stuck where you are since you’ve already planned your plane, train, or automobile (see what I did there) ticket and you’re committed to a plan.
I’m totally feeling this way in Lyon. The city is quiet in the summers, I hadn’t met anyone I really gelled with at the hostel. Further, the hostel was at least a twenty-five minute walk from any bakery or coffee shop I liked (they also close quite early around 6:30 or 7:30).
So! In times like these here’s how to stay busy and distract yourself from the thoughts of not enjoying where you are.
1. You’ll be somewhere else soon!
I’m a third of the way in of my three-month long trip right now and I usually spend 3-7 days wherever I go. Currently, I’m on day 6 of 7 in Lyon. The thought that in less that 48 hours in be in a new city (Vienna, and I’m so excited to be somewhere bustling again!) gets me amped and fully distracts me from feeling lonely.
If you’re keeping up a travel blog or write in general, then the slow times in your trip are great times to focus on your craft. Write your blog posts for the next week. Hell, write your blog posts for the next however many weeks! Work on a article or short story you haven’t been able to attend to. Respond to all the Facebook messages your friends from home have sent. Write a blog post about tips to help keep you sane when you’re not enjoying where you are.
I’m so passionate about reading, like overly passionate. Like, I’ll spend hours in a cute cafe or carefully curated park and just read, both at home and while travelling. It’s probably my top hobby to be honest. Grab a beer, coffee, ice-cold water if you’re dying of heat like I am, and get to reading. Check out my post ‘Literature and Books‘ for all the books I’ve read this past year if you’re looking for some inspiration!
4. Treat yourself to a nice meal
I lied, eating is my first top hobby and reading my second. I generally travel on a budget and cook about half my own meals. The other forty percent I usually spend on cheap eats. The last ten though should be spent indulging luxuriously in local cuisine. Or whatever cuisine your heart desires. If you’re feeling down, go eat! I’m no scientist but I’m going to go ahead and say indulging in gastronomic pleasures definitely releases endorphins. Also, check Trip.com for great affordable restaurants wherever you are.
5. Netflix and chill
I very, very rarely suggest spending hours on Netflix, either at home or travelling. But sometimes you need this. Sometimes you need to just chill in bed or on the couch and catch up with some good tv. Don’t feel bad about it! Netflix and chilling, if it makes you feel better, is 100% better than feeling mopey about the situation you’re in. Just don’t make this the routine activity – everyone thinks that one person at the hostel with their eyes glued to their laptops or iPad watching who knows what every. single. day. is a little insane. But on your off days go get some ice-cream and chill with some reliable Netflix.
Distracting yourself and keeping from getting lonely is all about staying busy. Find something you enjoy doing and stick to it. Remember, feeling lonely won’t last forever and soon enough your travels will take you somewhere you’re going to enjoy. This too shall pass.