How to Overcome Being Alone

By Nomadic Matt | Published March 25th, 2013

traveling alone doesn't mean you are aloneBefore I first went away in 2006, I had these expectations about travel. My trip was going to be a non-stop adventure filled with colorful and exciting people. I’d make friends everywhere. I’d be talking to strangers on buses. Locals would be inviting me out places. I’d be drinking a latte, strike up a conversation with my beautiful waitress and then the next thing I’d know we’d be at a wine bar with her teaching French. It was going to be just like those articles I’d read or movies I saw on travel.

Then I went overseas. There I was, on the road and alone.

At first, it was exciting. I could do whatever I wanted, when I wanted.

It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s adventurous but then that excitement wears away as you begin to crave human interaction and companionship.

Suddenly, you’re alone in the bad way — and that’s not what was supposed to happen.

But then you realize the only reason you are alone is because of fear.

I was a big introvert. It wasn’t natural for me to just walk up to strangers and talk to them.

But that fear was keeping me back from living the dreams I had in my head. If I wanted to make them happen, I was going to have to MAKE them happen.

A lot of people wonder if traveling alone means they will always be alone? How will they make friends? Is it easy?

It’s a valid concern and, for us non-natural socialites, it’s a challenge.

But let me tell you: it’s a lot easier than you think.

There are a lot of people traveling solo.

People just like you.

People looking for an adventure.

People who crave interactions with others.

And that other is you.

Because we all start off in the same boat – in a foreign country without any friends, looking for people to spend time with.

Once you realize that, you realize how simple and easy it is to make friends because everyone is just like you.

It took the introvert in me a while to learn that truth but once I did, I had no trouble meeting people.

Try starting small. Talk to the person in your dorm room. Say hello. Ask them about themselves. They will respond. It will be fine.

Do the same to other travelers you see.

Look for that group leaving for the bar and ask, “Can I join you?”

Walk over to that pool table in the hostel and ask, “Who’s next?” Guess what? You are!

I found it hard at first, but you either sink or swim on the road. My options were to be alone or to get over my fear, take the plunge, and talk to people. I choose the latter.

And on the occasions I was sinking instead of swimming, other travelers came up to me and said hello.

They made the first move so I didn’t have to.

Why? Because they are looking to make friends too, and understand that if they don’t do something either, they too will be alone.

Travelers are a friendly bunch. We want to meet new people and make new friends.

And one of those friends is you.

You are never alone on the road. There are people everywhere who will be constantly talking to you and inviting you out.

Traveling alone doesn’t mean you will be alone.

Take it from this introvert, you’ll meet more people than you’ll know what to do with.

And you’ll realize that there was never any reason to worry in the first place.

comments 78 Comments

This is great! I can be introverted myself, or at least until I feel comfortable in a group. When I go to teach in Spain I have already made it a goal to be outgoing because it will make my experience even better. Thanks for writing this as it makes me feel more comfortable since others have experienced the same feelings as I fully expect to.

This is good timing for me. I’ve had the dream of backpacking across Europe for a very long time, which I’m finally doing this summer. I’m very excited, but that reality of being alone for a month and a half has set in. I can be very comfortable by myself, but that sometimes keeps me from reaching out. It’s a constant challenge for us introverts to get out of our shell. After leaving Europe, I’ll begin teaching in Taiwan and that’s really when the challenge will begin when I’m out of the backpacking culture and among the locals. Nothing worth having in this life is just handed to you though.

I can relate to this in a big way. I’m such an introvert. When I’m at home I wont talk to hardly anyone but my same group of friends. But once I’m on the road alone again I start being more and more social until I pretty much just wont shut up. It is completely terrifying at first, but totally worth it. Some of my closest friends I’ve met traveling and it’s hard to imagine what my life would be like now if I had never spoken up.

This is definitely one of my biggest concerns when I study abroad next fall! Even though I consider myself a social person, being alone out there in a foreign country just makes everything so different. We’ll see what happens :)

I also had this concern before I started my 2 month backpacking trip in Europe. And just like you said, if you’re in a hostel, everyone else is traveling alone, and everyone is open to talking to strangers. So I found it super easy to find people in the hostel, and then to do something touristy with them for the day. What is harder is if you’re staying in a hotel, because people do stick to themselves more, or are there for work, so don’t really feel like hanging out with strangers.

Such a good article! I think loneliness is the biggest challenge for everyone traveling solo. However, I also think loneliness is one of the biggest challenges in life in general. How many times am I not alone back home? No one has ever asked me if I don’t feel lonely in Stockholm where I live by myself. Instead people are jealous that I’ve an apartment I don’t have to share. But when I tell people I’m going on a trip without any friends coming with everyone asks me “Why” and “Won’t you feel lonely?”

I sometimes feel more lonely in my hometown than I do when I’m out on the road. People tend to be more openminded to strangers than to neighbours. If I’m a lonely traveler no one will judge me if I try to take contact with them. But if I’d start chatting with random people back in Stockholm I bet at least 50 % (if not more) would judge me as a “weirdo”.

Anyway. Again, thanks for a very good article about how life’s on the road!

It doesn’t matter how much I read this, I can’t convince myself to actually travel on my own. It feels shameful as a traveler, however I have always had people around me as I tend to lose everything, but I know eventually I will have to do it on my own :) Thanks for the inspirations!

Theresa

Tom,
Believe me, if it’s shameful, it’s probably only shameful in your own mind. I used to sort of have this attitude, but then realized I was limiting my life with it. I overcame it, started to travel on my own and have not stopped (going on 20 years now). As Matt wrote, there are so many people out there traveling solo. If you want to meet travelers, you will. If you want time alone, you’ll have that too. Please don’t limit yourself with this thought. In the end, no one really cares if you’re alone or with someone…and who cares if they do!!

Kenny

Yes, you might very well need to go it alone.
NOBODY will have a matching schedule & you can’t wait forever!
Some only want to sit in an overpriced resort & experience Las Vegas on foreign soil.
If you are like me, & have a limited amount of time & money, then solo travelling will actually give you what you wanted within your capacities & efforts!

NomadicMatt

If you wait for others, you’ll never get anywhere.

Even as I chose most destinations on my solo travel last year across Europe based on places where I have friends or acquaintances living on, there were also these huge, silent gaps between encounters where I had no one to deal with but myself. And sometimes it just became too hard to put up with.

Now, even though I thought about using hostels for accommodation, I ultimately didn’t (they book fast), and I think that didn’t help. On hostels you may be a bit (or a lot) less comfy, but all things considered it is a small price to pay for the chance of easily socializing with many people who are just in the same boat as you, being strangers in a strange land, and also looking to know other people and go places, I think. At least I learned an important lesson in here.

NomadicMatt

Hostels might not be comfortable but they are a hub of social activity.

I feel your pain…as a fellow introvert, I can find myself feeling alone on the road. But you are so right – there are so many others in the same boat. Most of the time, you can easily make a simple conversation style comment to test the waters. Most of the time, you will end up with a person in the same boat. That is one of the things I love about solo travel! Last year during Restaurant Week in San Sebastian, Spain, I found myself inviting other solo diners to share dinner with me. The restaurant benefited by seating 2 tables in 1, but I found a fellow traveller who ended up sharing dinner again the next night with me! It was perfect! After all, the worst that can happen is that they can say thanks but no thanks!

Vee

I agree with you: staying at hostels is a great way to meet other people. I think that being a solo female traveler, I definitely did not have a hard time making friends…if anything, I struggled to have alone time, as everyone is always so social.

NomadicMatt

I totally agree. Sometimes I want to be anti-social. I need me time.

I love to travel alone as I am pretty extreme in my schedule, but I did find 2 people I love to travel long periods with.

I have always been very social and like I always say: I’m never alone. In fact travelling alone is far more interesting in a certain way as you finally really have the time to meet amazing people and give them the time they deserve; met incredible people that way.

Frank,

The hardest part of being “alone” is knowing that what you are living now, some of the most amazing moments of your life, will be just like a dream once you go home. You will have no one you often see to remind you these wonderful moments and you will be sad not being able to share them. Showing pictures, explaining how awesome it was doesn’t give 1% of the credit to reality.

As an entrepreneur with my company here in Montreal it isn’t always easy to leave for long periods. (This summer il do : Russia, lithuanie,latvia,estonia, finland, poland and sweden alone but I feel like that is totaly ok.) But for the 5 month trip I am planing in south america, I want to do it with my best friend, one day when we will be old I want to talk about those old good crazy days; the sunsets, the party, the ladies and think about all these memories and having someone that REALLY does understand; someone who also lived it :)

In my travels I have met some amazing people who were living there dreams. You never know what will hapen.

Yes, you are right, it’s easy to make traveler friends while on the road. Even with locals is not difficult, there are a lot of them interested to hear about your story. ;)

Susan

I’m extroverted, but I was surprised to find myself less extroverted than I had imagined I would be on a road trip to Yellowstone (among other places) last summer.
On the other hand, a friend of mine met a S. Korean college student (who was looking for a Hostel) and invited him to stay with her family. She asked me if I could invite him somewhere with my kids (who are also in college) and I did. After the first dinner with my son and the second trip to the river, with my sons and my daughter, we ended up giving him a ride from Portland to Berkeley – on a road trip to see my brother. My brother’s family enjoyed him so much that he invited him to stay. We then took him to San Diego with us to visit my sister. Her family enjoyed him so much that she invited him to stay. After a couple of nights in San Diego we dropped him off at a hostel before heading north.
I was such a wonderful experience! He is my inspiration for traveling alone. :)

I was alone in a 4-bed dorm at ‘Caledonian Hostel’, Edinburgh for a couple of weeks end of last year, but reception just kept sending new girls for my room mates every few days, first a group of hot Irish girls, then a cool French girl… great hostel :D

Ever been to Edinburgh Matt? My spiritual home really. The writers city.

NomadicMatt

I love that city. Great place.

Since there is Couchsurfing.org you do not have to be worried about being alone. It is probably the best way of travelling provided that you have adventurous spirit. If you want to meet new people, stay over a few nights on their couch for free (there are recommendations you can rely on) or just find local people to hang out with, I recommend you to try it. (Provided that you would like to visit Prague, this is my CS profile. Our couch is comfortable and I will be glad to show you the best places in the city).

Interesting point, never thought it that way. But if you are travelling alone but you still get to see and meet people unless you are looking for companionship, it shouldn’t really matter.

Travel is one of the easiest ways of becoming less introvert. I’ve had this great experience and yeah, if you have this fear of approach, then put yourself on the line!

I am having a sort-of issue with this as I travel. I am discovering that I am a social creature, but that I have no interest in talking to most people who are on the road. I keep comparing the people I meet on my travels to my friends at home and basically can’t be bothered with them because they are not 1% as amazing as my actual friends. And I hate traveler conversations about ‘getting off the beaten track’ and all that nonsense. The most fun I’ve had is when I’ve befriended locals, so I think that I need to put a bit more effort into that – perhaps a spot of Couchsurfing to force myself upon the local population wherever I happen to go!

NomadicMatt

How do you know if you don’t give them a chance? Let people stand on your own two feet and give them a chance. They’ll surprise you.

Sam

Couchsurfing really is great for that. I totally understand your point. There are days when I feel like if I have to have the same travel conversation with another person, I’m gonna get majorly stabby. And so often, those conversations just turn in to pissing contests about who is travelling ‘better’ (be that, cheaper, slower or, dare I say, more ‘authentically’).

The more I travel, and also read about others who travel, the more I believe travelers are more introverted as a group than mainstream society. I think it has something to do with the willingness to completely drop everything at home, and take off in search of new adventures and new possibilities. Extroverts tend to be much more relationship-oriented with close friends from high school and college.

So thanks for writing this up, and sharing your tips on how to deal with introversion while on the road.

I also found that the more you travel the less lonely it gets. Meeting people gets easier and conversation just happens instead of making a huge effort.

I think travelers have some of the best hospitality.

Gladys

I would love to travel far more than I do but for the loneliness of the road and doing most things alone. I’m no stranger to doing things alone as I live alone and have traveled alone for most of my life, however it gets a bit harder the older I get as there are fewer people my age traveling the world, and it’s not as much fun seeing the world alone. There used to be a website that matched travelers and destinations but in the past year was dissolved, even though it was an active website.

Well said Matt. I’m going through a similar such feeling. I’m approaching the 5 month point of my travels after backpacking 29 countries and am craving the companionship you mentioned early in the article. It would be nice to be able to share this amazing experience with someone, but for now, I’m trying to focus on the experience and what I DO have as opposed to what I don’t. Thanks for sharing and hope all is well with the new place and less mobile living arrangement for a while…

MJ

Hi Gladys….was that website TravelChums? I used to use that, but it disappeared.
Great article for us solo travelers. And yes it can be more fun when you have someone to travel with.

Diane

This is a great point of view. I’m really shy, and about to head to SE Asia for an indefinite amount of time. Due to unfortunate circumstances, my boyfriend is unable to go. I read this blog faithfully, and it’s comforting to see so many others with the same concerns.

NomadicMatt

We’re hear for you!

Emily

In a way I agree with some of the above comments: it would be brilliant to have someone to share the memories with and have a ‘safety net’ of company … but if none of your nearest and dearest have the time/cash/inclination to go and do exactly the things you dream of doing and seeing, then what a shame it would be if you let that hold you back! You would regret missing out on all those great places and experiences yourself. You never know when you may get the chance again so if you can go and want to go, then go! Getting on that first plane on my own is the scariest but best thing I ever did. I’m soon to set off for a year around the world on my own and yes there may well be lonely times, but if after a while it really does feel more lonely than being at home (unlikely), I will find a way to come back early. But at least I will have given myself a chance!

Dan

I’m an introvert and find socialising a challenge so travel always gives me the opportunity for solitude but you’re never far away from finding like-minded people when you need to be around others. Like Shaun says, conversations tend to just happen and can often lead to friendships with unforgettable people.

NomadicMatt

Very true.

NomadicMatt

I totally agree. I love the site.

In Asia, I started walking up to people and asking to join their groups, and was always genuinely welcomed. I would NEVER do that back home in LA, but people are different when traveling. It’s actually quite awesome as an introvert, to realize that you don’t have to be anymore.

Elizabeth

I totally agree that travel is a wonderful social opportunity and people are definitely more open. However, when I connect with people I find it so difficult to say goodbye to them when we go our separate paths. And then having to start all over again with new people becomes exhausting after a while. For me travelling is an intense emotional experience where close friendships develop in days, not years, and eventually are spread over different continents and time zones, with precious memories connecting you.

NomadicMatt

That’s one downside to travel. The constant starting over.

Hey Matt,

I really liked this article. I have high hopes to travel after college, whether it be by myself of with others. I guess what I can take from this is when you step out of your own cultural boundaries, you must also step out of your own personal boudaries. I hope you dont mind that I am going to reblog this post on my website!

Thanks, Camille

Although I travel alone I’m never alone. Easiest way to meet people is in hostels though, it’s a little more tricky if I stay in a hotel. Generally when you’re traveling everyone is in the same boat and I have no problem with walking up to people and saying “mind if I join you?”.

When you first start out, you may not realise it, but the truth is everyone is in the exact same boad as you. Once you get over the initial hurdle, it is the most fun you will ever have.

Lenah

I’ve never met more people on the road than when traveling alone. I’m not exactly an introvert, but I’m pretty cautious as a female traveling alone, and still haven’t had any problems meeting people.

Having a travel companion obviously has advantages but also, one can get too comfortable and not open herself to new experiences and contacts as much as if alone.

Approaching a stranger is a little intimidating the first time, but once you realize that they’re as open to you as you are to them, it becomes something you look forward to doing every time you step out the door.

Great post – sorry I missed you in Denver! David Burns, M.D. who popularized cognitive behavioral therapy says that…you are never truly alone because you are always with yourself. But, talking with yourself in public may be counter-productive to meeting new people! Thanks again for inspiring travel!

Yep–totally is sink or swim. You really have to put yourself out there, and it’s a strange thing to do at first because I think it’s not something we’re really used to (most of us anyway). When I’m at home, I hardly ever go beyond the basic social pleasantries with strangers–I’m just too much in my comfort zone. So once I get back on the road, it’s something I have to fall in the habit of doing again.

Wow, this is so interesting. I think you’re right – you shouldn’t make it harder or more complicated than it really is. All it takes is to talk to people. That step can be a tough one to take, but after a few times it gets easier. Most people are friendly and super nice!
As a Scandinavian I feel quite introvert, and when I’m in the States I feel like people are so super friendly. I love it. But I just can’t seem to be as talkative as them… I’m just awkward. I got better at it after 4 months in San Francisco, though. It’s just not normal behavior here in Denmark! If you go up and talk to a stranger they’ll think you’re some kind of a freak… :(

I can’t wait to go traveling later this year! I’ll be traveling with my boyfriend so I won’t get lonely. However, maybe that will cause me to not practise being more friendly and talk to strangers?? This post has really put a lot of thoughts in my head and I will try to focus on talking to strangers when we hit the road!

Thanks for an awesome post, Matt, and for not making it more complicated than it really is! Good luck making lots of new friends. :)

NomadicMatt

Thanks! Same to you.

andy

great topic! u struck a chord with me when u said “it always seemed that when I was lonely and wanted to meet people nothing ever clicked, but when I was completely content doing my own thing that’s when I would meet people”
so true, neediness is a killer and restarting over and over can be disillusioning and sometimes I let jadedness seep into my body language. this is kryptonite for meeting people. everyone is attracted to the outgoing so i think it’s key to try and forget the groundhog day existence, live in the present and try and stay positive. i find body language is really crucial and when i’m feeling down or unsociable i become invisible but when i’m giving off positive vibes i become a social magnet before i even say anything. sink or swim indeed :)

Such a great example of how when situations are out of our control, how we react to them is up to us. People who travel alone have to be gusty, I admire them.

Theresa

I believe this is one of the reasons solo travel builds character. If there is always someone around, a person doesn’t have the time or is not forced to look inside oneself. Being alone on the road is uncomfortable at first, but like many things in life, once a person changes his/her perspective, the load is lifted and things that seemed uncomfortable change. I have a lot of difficulty relating to people who have not traveled a lot. I just get bored very quickly with their conversations. I know that sounds snobby, but once your world is expanded, it’s impossible to have it contracted.

I’ve yet to set off an epic RTW trip, but I’ve never really experienced this type of anxiety while travelling solo. When I was younger I really wanted to get out there – meet new travellers, find people to experience things with and so on. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m finding – as I get older – I’m more interested in spending time away from other travellers while travelling solo and learning to enjoy my own company in solitude. I’m not sure where you would stand on this Matt, but it seems the best experiences happen when you follow your own path instead of just chasing down guidebook recommendations along with the hordes of other travellers. It’s not always easy to break away from the pack, especially in hostels, but if you manage, it can be pretty rewarding!

Once again Matt, you hit the nail on the head.
I found it very hard at first to strike up conversations with strangers. Now it comes naturally. As you say, us travellers are a friendly bunch. In fact I would go as far as saying we are the friendliest bunch!

I think this fear that one has, is a big reason why a lot people don’t go traveling. And I had that problem too, but I think if you travel for an extended amount of time, you naturally get more used to it.

Are you an only child Matt? Not that I have travlled much by myself but when I have I can see your points! Im an only child and I tend to enjoy talking a lot! its hard when there is no one to talk to.

NomadicMatt

Nope, I have a younger sister.

Travel alone some time very bored.I have seen a traveler alone. When has lunch alone and hasn’t anyone to talk. Very bored. It is best to travel with friend (girl friend maybe).

You know what, I have to admit that some of my funnest traveling adventures have been when I have gone alone. I find that my first few days can be a bit lonely and then I end up forcing myself to meet people and try new things. This usually turns into great adventures. It is nice to have someone with you, but I don’t think people should shy away from traveling alone. It’s a great way to make new friends all over the world.

NomadicMatt

I totally agree with you.

I’ve heard it said that “Half of the world is just waiting for the other Half to say hello.”
They’re just as scared as you are…

Avery

So being alone and feeling lonely isn’t what I’m necessarily concerned with, it’s more of me being alone and safe since I’m a young, small female. What advice would you have for this?

NomadicMatt

Use the same common sense you use now to get by where you are as a young, small female! And just be extra careful of situations.

Kristin

Love this post. I should definitely start drinking your kool-aid. Although I’m not sure about the introverted part. You traveled the US meeting up with strangers :)

Matthew

I have been traveling for nearly 20 years on and off, and now am in my 40′s…I have to say, it’s not as sociable when you get a bit older….I still feel the same 20 something person I was when I started traveling, a passion for exploring new lands/cultures, meeting new people, having fun, etc…..but I have to say I certainly don’t get the same level of socializing I used to when I first started out traveling.

Part of it seems to be that some younger people seem a little unsure of what to say to older travelers I guess…although I can’t remember, but I probably felt the same when I was their age.

I used to travel a lot alone earlier and although I am quite sociable sometimes it was a bit hard and disappointing. Lately I always find someone to travel with and the trips are just so much better. The difference is also in the language, if you are not native English it takes some effort to speak English and you can’t play with the language as much as you can if you travel with the natives. So although travelling alone can be pretty cool too and you can meet lot of new and interesting people, going in a group (not too big) feels so much better to me…

Charlene

I totally agree. I took the plunge and went alone to Thailand a couple of years ago. It was only for a short period of time but I gotta admit it was bloody lonely! I felt so vulnerable.

Sitting at a beach bar with a bear on my own like a sad fuck, having to watch groups of friends laugh with each other was so difficult to bear. The more minutes passed that I was sat alone the more I felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. No-one approached me and the thought of approaching a group and asking to join in was just not gonna happen.

After a couple of days I was sat alone at the beach bar having sunk a few and was scanning to beach for people sat alone. I eventually spotted a girl and plucked up the courage. She was friendly enough when I asked if I could sit with her but she didn’t seem very enthusiastic about talking to me. I felt like I was bothering her….

The whole thing was shambolic. I wasn’t my most comfortable self because the thought of needing other people made me on edge.

Anyway, i’m going back in a few months with friends and I can’t wait. If you want to travel and have absolutely no-one to go with then don’t let being alone stop you. But maybe try travbuddy.com to try to find someone else going alone who you can hook up with. It really is much better with people. The people that do this alone deserve a medal!

NomadicMatt

It’s not easy and difficult. It took me awhile to get used to it and find the right people.

very well-written.

Brent Griffith

I think this is probably the biggest fear factor that has been holding me back from traveling by myself. I know I just need to power through it, but it’s definitely challenging for a naturally introverted person like myself. Thanks for the inspiration to know that you’ve been there and prevailed.

I always travel alone with my paddle board. You can’t really have 2 people on paddle board, so in essence, I am traveling alone on my SUP. I have inflatable board that I keep in my car, and go alone to explore waterways.

This is a huge help. Just like you, I’m a huge introvert and it isn’t easy for me to approach people and be friends with them. But I often travel alone and it isn’t easy especially if loneliness hits you.

Thanks for this post!

Andy Watt

I remember landing in Perth, Western Australia almost 2 and a half years ago. I was alone, tired and lost in the middle of the city. I couldn’t find a wifi area – even a Mcdonalds. I must have stood outside the train station trying to decipher the route and area of my hostel. However I was so tired I couldn’t even work the drinks machine without some effort. I’d nailed my foot on the flight and was hobbling around with 20kg of gear.
Eventually I got the train to near Scarborough. I then had to work out which bus to get. Someone noticed this. He asked me if I was ok and needed a ride. I told him I was trying to get to my beach hostel. So he offered me a lift and even found the correct address of the hostel on his phone and let me phone them to confirm. It wasn’t Scarborough but Cottesloe. (I’d been misinformed at the airport) and he then said he’d take me there, out of his way. On the way telling me of his own travel in the UK and how people helped him out. From then on it has become my mantra to help any other traveller if I can. Particularly given help is most of the time quite easy. A number for a job. Good websites, tour companies, hostels to stay at. How hard is it? Even seeing a fellow backpacker in the street and asking if they’re lost if I’ve been in the city a while. If they appreciate it half as much as I did then I’m glad I could do something.

Now I’d arrived in the hostel. somehow sprained my ankle on the flight (mix of it being folded in a most unnatural position in between bags, my 6’3 frame and long haul travel) I was tired and didn’t know anyone on the other side of the world. I felt extremely alone, wondering if I’d made the right decision travelling. Was it me? I seriously contemplated booking a flight home momentarily. (Though I think the fact I’d never live it down with my mates quickly ruled that out).

It all changed when I met my 1st room mate. With a quite simple “Hi I’m Andy, but everyone calls me Watty” From then on it clicked. I’m quite a social character. Can talk to anyone, though I know exactly what people feel when they are just standing there in a room full of people who all seemingly know each other (You’ll find out half of them probably only met that week, even the day before). It’s the most awkward feeling in the world not knowing how to strike up a conversation. And who with? It’s much easier in a 1 on 1. I’m still working on the group chat. however I find a “Can I sit here?” or ” Can I join you?” whilst perhaps feeling a little intrusive at 1st, work fairly well. Especially in a hostel. Every there is in the same boat. Looking for friendship.

And for the worse piece of health advice ever… social smoking.

Lilee

I’m a big introvert and don’t mind traveling alone. I don’t have a problem talking to other travellers that I might meet along the way, always interesting to hear other folks stories of where they’re from and so forth but I don’t actually mind leaving it at that – quick conversation and moving on. It might interest you to know Matt, I’m planning a trip to Vietnam this year, rather excited. Have read your thoughts on your Vietnam experience and will certainly take some of your comments on board. Thank you for putting this web site together, it’s great. Cheers.

Josephine

Matt,

I love your blog.

I am a serial solo traveller, having travelled to Italy, UK China and soon Saigon on my own. You meet some amazing people which changes your pespective in life and usually for the better.

Keep this going, you are an inspiration

Niel

I have a few circle of friends back home. Now for the past 2 years, i have been working and living in a foreign land and it hasnt been easy integrate with the locals. I have no problem with my fellow countrymen though who are living and working also here. I travelled and met travellers alike on the hostel, train station, restaurants etc… and it feels really good to interact with them. It makes my journey more fun and worth sharing :)

Love what you say that: We are never alone when we are on the road. I’m an introvert myself. A third culture kid too. So I don’t really fit into any given box. That’s why I find solo travel truly releasing. Never could understand group travel. Sometimes I wonder that I spend so much time on my own, but I like it. It doesn’t mean I don’t strike up interesting conversations, but generally speaking – it’s solo travel for me.

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