“If you wish to overcome that feeling of isolation and loneliness, I think that your underlying attitude makes a tremendous difference.” – Dalai Lama.
Being alone can be a scary situation, especially if you never faced solitude before and even more so if you have never travelled alone before. There are hurdles that we as individuals must overcome, and learning how to be alone is without a doubt one of them, as you can never be truly happy if you do not appreciate your own company.
The Dalai Lama says that each person should spend time alone everyday, so you can learn how to read yourself and look after yourself. But it’s sometimes just not that easy, especially when you find yourself being lost in thought and feel yourself drifting through the nameless, unfamiliar faces around you. There are many ways in which individuals can be comfortable with silence and the sound of their own breath; it just takes independence to find this and to be OK with this.
For a long time, I dreaded being alone and I feared not having someone around to talk to. Even now, sometimes all I want is company and to see a familiar face. Learning to be happy alone can be a long process; it is controlled by the mind and a person’s ethos.
Travel is one of the world’s greatest gifts, and a gift that shouldn’t be burdened by negativity. Don’t worry if sometimes you feel down and lonely, it is a very natural feeling when you are spending day in and day out with you and only you. From here, it is all about how you treat this feeling and the situation. You can sit and feel sorry for yourself or you can make the most of the opportunity you have.
Bangkok was where I felt consumed by negativity and from this I felt vulnerable. I chose to take myself out for dinner with a diary and order a Pad Thai. Not only did it take my mind off the fact I had no one else by my side, but it passed the evening delightfully as I emmersed myself within the culture and let myself just be. As The Dalai Lama says, attitude is the key to overcoming loneliness; one must never let their mind wonder off into a sea of doubt.
Book a day trip, this is a great way to spend a day with other like-minded travellers sharing similar interests to you. Book a tour to get you from point A to B, also an alternative method to meeting people and having nights out and morning tea with others.
Being alone is one of life’s greatest lessons, it truly teaches individuals to rely on themselves and prove to themselves that happiness is not dependent on other people, and being lonely is only a train of thought and not an actual feeling. Wondering the streets of Rome or London alone, teaches you how to immerse yourself within a place and to keep an open mind as you observe and experience everything in your own unique way.
Don’t be frightened to travel alone because the fear of loneliness startles you. Travelling alone is one of the most beautiful journey’s you can take your soul on, and one of the most spiritual things you can do, allowing yourself to get to know how you function within the world.
“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” – Janet Fitch.