Am I Lonely, Travelling Solo?

People I meet are very concerned about whether or not I get lonely travelling solo. It’s nice.

It’s funny though. I mean, I don’t think anyone ever asked me that when I used to do the three-hour round trip commute alone to an office where everyone, including me, sat with earphones in. Where it’d be a once a week workmate trip out to eat together at lunch, for the maximum hour, before we had to catch up on the extra 40 minutes we’d taken by hammering the keyboard all afternoon, lost in a world of composing, sending, deleting and organising.

Loneliness

Then, if I wasn’t going out to see friends (admittedly, most nights) it’d be home, possibly via the gym, to wait for a boyfriend whose working hours were later than mine by working away on my blog, alone, but for Spotify and Breaking Bad.

But now, whether I’m lonely or not is creeping up the top 5 inevitable questions you get as a travel blogger when anyone finds out how I live my life, travelling from one place to the next as I please.

So for all those worried folks out there I thought I’d answer the question.

Am I lonely?

Do I get lonely travelling alone

This digital nomad lifestyle I’ve been living for the last 21 months is definitely not a long term thing for me, that’s becoming obvious.

1. I miss my friends, particularly the really funny ones.
2. Sometimes I feel very different to the norm, but not in a good way. Disconnected.
3. I miss my family, they’re funny too.
4. Moving every few days is exhausting.
5. Carrying everything I own is literally weighing me down.
6. I’d like to meet someone who’ll be around for more than a few days.
7. I miss familiarity.
8. Running a business from hostel Wi-Fi is not ideal.

I guess that doesn’t answer the loneliness question though.

So the truth is: no, I’m not lonely.

For me, this is work. Travelling is now work. It’s how I make my money. I used to spend all those hours alone in an office at work and now the world is my office, and I still work alone, but on my terms.

I’ve met some awesome people on my travels and I think having the blog means they stay in touch with me more than usual because they have another way to know me, and a way to keep up on their terms rather than us having to have an actual conversation. I’ll often get Facebook messages popping up from friends I met a few countries ago.

I’ve also made a lot of travel blogger friends, so no matter what time it is, whether England is asleep or not, there’ll be someone online just to have a quick chat to, if I want.

I actually like being by myself

Me on the beach at Timothy Resort

I am absolutely fine in my own company. I mean, it’s not a laugh a minute when it’s just me, myself and I, but I’m perfectly content spending days and even weeks by myself. In fact, I find it kind of tiring being with people all the time now, I need my own space or I get angsty. Just lately I feel kind of weird saying I’m a solo traveller because I’ve barely been alone, especially this last year.

Again though, I think that’s because I write. I get lost in it. I’m more than happy to not talk to anyone and to work away on my blog. I’ve ignored people all day today to get work done – I’ve been the definition of resting bitch face.

I don’t think loneliness has too much to do with whether you’re surrounded with people you know or not.

Loneliness vs being alone

Fun times in ST Kitts

The loneliest I’ve ever felt was when the guy I loved turned against me. It was just for a few months, after five years of a brilliant relationship, which made it all the more lonely and confusing. When I’d cook dinner and end up shovelling it in the bin like some sort of Stepford Wife, when I’d have to make up some explanation to his mum about why he hadn’t come home, when the person I trusted more than anyone suddenly decides they’re done with you but doesn’t have the decency to talk it through, to reason or explain, and I felt like I was going insane because this definitely couldn’t and wouldn’t happen to us two. To me, that’s loneliness.

I’ve got friends who’ve told me they’re lonely, in their relationships and lives; ones who have jobs, partners and houses. Loneliness isn’t always about whether you’re physically with people or not.

Dancing on my own

I’m alone, but I’m not lonely.

I know my life isn’t for everyone. Even last week someone asked if I actually had any friends. Another said I was brave for doing it at 31 (implying something, not sure what). And many others I’ve met recently have said they ‘couldn’t do it’. I want to reply that I ‘couldn’t do’ their life either, but I don’t feel the need to judge their life like they do mine.

Happiness quote

But I’ll take this opportunity to reassure anyone who’s worried about me, I’m fine. Waking up when I want, where I want, dressing as I please, eating whatever I desire, doing as much work as I want, talking to people if I feel the need or ignoring them if not, knowing exactly who my friends are from home who’ve bothered to stay in touch all this time and owning a business that pays enough for me to live this life, and save for a future one, is working out just splendidly.

My life is an awesome, unbelievable, crazy, messy, tiring, exhausting, adventure, but I’m definitely not lonely, I’m just doing it my way, by myself.

More on my life

Best Worst Life eventsConfessions of a travel bloggers
How I’ve Afforded Travel, in Short
Travelling Without Luggage (Why?!)

25 Comments

  1. by Ersie Courea on April 29, 2016  10:11 am Reply

    You could try staying somewhere for a few months and even get a day job. When I lived abroad ages ago it was tied up with working so I didn;t feel disconnected!

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:54 am Reply

      Yeah, I'm thinking I'll do that from October-December this year, London is looking very likely! A lot of my friends live there and although it's expensive, it's my favourite place in England and I could actually see it as a tourist. Lived there for seven years and never even been to the Natural History Museum, or the British Museum, or the Tate!

  2. by Kayte on April 29, 2016  10:14 am Reply

    Now you have Snapchat, you'll never be lonely! Your Snapchats make me alol. My fave way of keeping up to date with your adventures. Xxxxx

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:52 am Reply

      Thanks Kayte! You're partly responsible for that little venture. I'm pretty much obsessed with it now, as I'm sure you've seen. xx

  3. by Kate on April 29, 2016  10:34 am Reply

    Fabulous blog post!! I get that question a lot as an expat trailing spouse who's partner is at school all day long, and people have a hard time understanding that no, I don't get lonely. I actually really enjoy my time and my own company.

    Kate x http://www.petiteadventures.org/

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:34 am Reply

      Some people just don't get it, and can't bare to be by themselves for long. Guess we're all different!

  4. by Emily Ray on April 29, 2016  11:02 am Reply

    Inspiring post, Miss Flip Flop! I think you're absolutely spot on when you say loneliness isn't to do with whether you're physically around people or not. Some of my loneliest times was when I was at uni, surrounded by hundreds/thousands of students. Travelling by yourself is something that's not for everyone, but you're absolutely bossing it.

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:33 am Reply

      Bossing it? Thank you :). Ah yeah, I had a few of those at uni. No one understand me maaaaan. :)

  5. by Chloe on April 29, 2016  12:10 pm Reply

    Do you have any friends?! I remember that moment clearly...! Totally relate to what you've said. I wrote something about this a while ago. It's easy to judge from afar but I'm a firm believer that loneliness is a state of mind. Keep at it until you don't want to anymore.

    And yes - you definitely have friends! :) Cx

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:33 am Reply

      Ah thanks Chloe, not too many, but some. That's good. Loneliness is definitely in the brain, not on the ground. Anyone can feel it, no matter how many mates they have. Not me though :) x

  6. by davide on April 29, 2016  3:29 pm Reply

    awesomeness

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:23 am Reply

      Thanks Davide :)

  7. by Danielle on April 29, 2016  3:31 pm Reply

    Brilliant post! I definitely agree with everything you've said. While it's not for everyone, I love solo travel and you look like you're having the best time!

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:23 am Reply

      Thanks Danielle. Yes, I pretty much am! Every day is an adventure, just the way I like it.

  8. by Hayley on April 29, 2016  5:34 pm Reply

    It's nice that you miss your funny friends (I know you meant me... shucks!) and I want you to know I miss you too!! Flippers and puff forevs xxx

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:22 am Reply

      Ha. IDST. :) xx

  9. by Jayne on April 29, 2016  10:48 pm Reply

    Gosh isn't it funny (rude) the things people can ask someone whose life isn't necessarily the norm (ie coz it's awesome!) Can't believe the friends comment you got. I get asked a lot about what my partner thinks to my solo jaunts like it's not something Justin understands/ I need his approval. I also loved your distinction between being alone and loneliness and your point about how this malarkey is work for a lot of us so is different. If you're busy writing or catching up with social media this often fills what may be lonely hours. Anyway I'm rambling. Great post. Loved there musical interlude too! - Your friend! J

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:21 am Reply

      Yeah, it was a bit of a strange comment! It's weird because if you turn the statement around, does she think she only has her friends because she's there, in the place? My friendships transcend borders :).

      I guess it's just the first thought that enters their mind, but does Justin ever get asked what you think about his job. Betting not.

      I know it's just because we're doing new and exciting things but some people have some funny old thoughts!

  10. by Jen on April 30, 2016  2:35 pm Reply

    Love this flippers.

    I often felt my loneliest when in London surrounded by friends. Now I don't have time to be lonely and despite having become unintentionally nomadic I'm more alive and less lonely than I've ever been!

    • by Vicky on May 1, 2016  2:15 am Reply

      Exactly! It's like an inner peace, or something. I'm glad you're enjoying the crazy nomadic life. Who KNOWS where you'll be sleeping next week!

  11. by Maggie on May 2, 2016  5:29 am Reply

    Excellently published! The procure details is filled with the numerous nice and convenient points. I love travelling alone....

  12. by Linzi Clark on May 8, 2016  12:40 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky,

    I used to get the same comments (from British guests) when I worked as a wedding organiser in Jamaica but like you, I never once got lonely and just loved the experience of living a different life. Don't be afraid of being different - be afraid of being the same as everyone else.

    • by Vicky on May 15, 2016  2:15 am Reply

      Nice! I like the way you put that. Suits my sentiments perfectly :)

  13. by Laura on May 10, 2016  3:21 pm Reply

    I love this post Vicky. I guess people are intrigued by what you do, I know I was when I was asking you questions and I really hope I didn't offend you. It's weird as I don't think I've ever felt home sick before but when I was in St Kitts this was the first time I've felt like this which is strange as I was having an amazing time with awesome people. I guess it got me thinking about why I was feeling like this, whether I could travel alone, whether I would feel lonely, whether I would get bored of my own company and whether I would miss my cat too much! Anyway, you're doing a great job and I guess if we were all the same it would be a pretty boring place and I wouldn't be able to read about your awesome solo adventures!

    • by Vicky on May 15, 2016  2:11 am Reply

      Oh I'm sad to hear you were homesick Laura – you didn't show it! But yes, there are so many different ways to travel, I'm just doing it in some kind of mad gap year / digital nomad kind of way tearing around the world. You'll find your way that makes you comfortable and happy :).

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