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Solo Travelling as a Remedy for Loneliness

Travelling with friends is the most exciting experience. You know you’re going to have the best time of your life from the moment you book your tickets, but would you book a trip only for yourself, or are you afraid of feeling lonely?

Solo travel can be a wonderful, even spiritual experience. The places you will see and the people you will meet will come to mean much more to you and you will never forget them.

Sometimes we think that we need to have company, because travelling alone is unusual, no one of our friends does it and the idea of being in charge of the whole trip seems stressful. And, last but not least, it can be scary to be left alone with our thoughts and feelings for such a long time. When we’re around other people, our emotions are filtered: we only tend to show our qualities and our strengths. Instead, when we’re alone, our shield collapses and all the fears we were trying to hide come out again. In this moment of vulnerability, it’s easy to feel lonely.

But hear me out, the best remedy for loneliness is learning how to be alone. Once you muster your courage and go on your first solo trip, you will not regret it. You won’t need another person to make you happy, you will learn how to be with yourself and travelling will be relaxing and therapeutic. It doesn’t need to be a long journey, one day can be enough to get started. For example, try to visit a museum or go to a park – it will be a whole new experience! You can take your time to stare at a painting, even for hours if you like, or listen to music while wandering around the stands of a local market or get to know other travellers. If you travel on your own, you’re free to do whatever you like.

Sadly, women have to be more careful when travelling alone, especially at night or on public transport. Carrying a whistle or pepper spray can be a good habit to make you feel safe and protected. On a positive note, the Italian start-up Wher has taken a step forward to help women avoid unpleasant encounters. This app generates the most recommended route, in order to walk around the city in total safety.

When you’ll come back home, you will remember peculiarities of the trip that you wouldn’t have noticed with other people. Your journey won’t just be a physical one, because you will have explored your thoughts and feelings along with the city. Spending time alone can empower you to be more independent and confident. Maybe you will understand a bit more about yourself and your insecurities. So, what are you waiting for? Go book your first solo trip!

Maria D'Aniello

UC London '21

BA Comparative Literature at UCL
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