Health Life Travel

Solo Travel and Mental Health

plane in sky at sunrise

I come from a family with mental illness. My grandad had depression, another family member has bipolar and I’ve had depression and anxiety during my 26 years of being on this earth.

When I went travelling, I thought it would be partying and meeting new people and having a full calendar.

The reality is sitting in your dorm room alone because your roommate works in a bar, and the rest of the people in your hostel sit on their phones in the common rooms. It’s so hard to make friends, especially when people are only there for a few days at a time then they’re off again.

A week after I arrived, I found myself walking through the streets in the rain, trying hard not to cry. Yeah, it’s a sorry picture, but it’s a real one. I got back to my dorm room, put on Ed Sheeran and sang my heart out while I let myself cry.

You know what. That’s exactly what I needed. There’s no point in pushing your feelings down because when they come back, they will come back stronger than ever.

The thing that really helped me was finding friends.

I was lucky to be part of a Sydney bloggers chat before I arrived and we chatted a little and when I really needed them, Emily stepped in for a quick coffee.

Find Friends

So here’s what you need to do.

  1. Find a Facebook group for something you enjoy (blogging, football, photography etc)
  2. Suggest making a smaller group with people in the area you’re going to. You can arrange to meet up to do your favourite thing; for us bloggers, we’re going to get together and do photoshoots
  3. Talk to them!! Tell them if you’re worried/excited/at the airport, everything!

This is the basis of your new friendship groups. When you need them, send them a message. Someone will be able to meet you for a quick drink. You never know, you may become inseparable!

Other things to do to meet new people:

  • Take part in the activities at your hostel
  • Join MeetUp. There are so many different groups that if you don’t find one you like, you’re just not trying hard enough
  • Join a sports team or gym. Those who sweat together can moan together
  • Buy a bottle of alcohol and start a drinking game (obviously be careful and know your limits)
  • Do a tour. A lot of cities have Hop On Hop Off buses, and other solo travellers might be doing the same thing.

I know it’s scary, but it’s better than sitting on your own!

4 Replies to “Solo Travel and Mental Health”

  1. So sorry it hasn’t all been smooth sailing, but hang in there – no matter how far away you move, it always takes ages to get settled! I’m always available for a Skype date too, even if I can’t be there! x

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