Picture this: terrace in Rome: there you are, you feel the sun on your face and you taste the sharp bitter taste of the espresso and you watch the crowd. You hear people around you speak Italian, and maybe you pick up some of their words, but you cannot understand their conversations. You see them connect……and you do not connect.
Ah, yes, maybe that one moment the waitress asks you if you are okey, but in generaL; you are alone, disconnected from everything you know and everyone you love. And there is it…..your bubble feeling, you against the rest of the world.
Feeling disconnected occurs when you focus on the differences instead of the similarities.
doing so you create a separation that can cause fear and resentment.
When traveling solo the disconnected feeling happens out of the blue.
Sitting on a terrace in Rome drinking your espresso, standing on a mountain in the Himalaya overlooking the landscape or walking on a beach in Hawaï, alone, under a starry night.
All of a sudden you feel disconnected from the world you are in. Not because you focus on differences, but because differences present themselves with every new street you cross.
You roam in a different culture, among people that speak a different language even and the smells in the marketplaces do not remind you of anything familiar.
You life in a different world, coming from a different world. And being a solo traveler you are your own world while embracing the world
As an individual traveling solo you emphasise the disconnected feeling without even realising it until it hits you.
You can feel emotionally alone while also being physically alone.
As solo travellers you can experience both, you are physically alone, and although being in a crowd, sleeping in a dorm with lots of people around you, you are in a foreign country which can make you feel emotionally alone as well.
Feeling shut out of all the happiness and connectivity around you. Watching other people being together can emphasise your aloneness.
Feeling connected to other people is a basic human need
Everybody wants to feel connected, it is a basic human need. That is why social media is blooming and apps like Skype, Whatsapp and Messenger have become a necessity. It is only an handful of people that live a successful reclusive life but that is mostly by choice. They choose solitude based on experiences in the past, as their a safe haven.
Solo travellers get energy from doing things alone, they love to be alone, but that does not mean they feel disconnected. But when you do, being a solo traveller can be a miserable thing. And I write this from experience. Always the new girl in town, always the one to leave soon, makes people hesitate to connect with you. And those back home pick up their normal live after you left and you disappear in the background.
How to overcome that disconnected feeling?
Let go back to Rome again, shall we?
So you feel disconnected, sipping your espresso. Or maybe it is already your second one, since this article is getting a bit lengthy. You watch the crowd and you get this feeling of aloneness, of disconnection. How to overcome that?
- Stop focussing on contradictions. Yes, people around you are with someone, but they also are themselves, like you. And yes, they have a conversation, but they also enjoy being on the terrace, like you. They speak Italian, but with the help of Google Translate, so do you (a little)
- Stop judging. We separate ourselves from others by judgement only: look at them……
By judging them, you disconnect.
By judging you, for being alone, you disconnect.
- Remember why you wanted this solo trip, and find your joy again.
The solution for not feeling disconnected (while solo travelling) lies within yourself
What is inside is also on the outside. The more you feel connected with yourself, the more you will feel connected with the outside world and the people in it.
Be positive about yourself and you will be positive about the people around you and feel connected.
Even when solo travelling.
Open heart, open mind
You can only connect when you open your heart and yourself to the world. When you started to travel solo you wanted to embrace that world. And now looking at this world you feel disconnected.
Maybe because you let something hold you back from really enjoying it?
The only thing that stands in the way of making things happen is you
Accept the fact you are solo (again), overcome your fear, anxiety, loneliness, or whatever is holding you back from truly enjoying your trip Open your heart, and you will connect with yourself and with other people.
The days I feel great about me and what I’m doing, those days I step open minded into the strange world I call home, those are the days I meet the most amazing people, in the streets, in the shops, where I stay.
If you unravel the twisted mindset of being a solo traveller and feeling alone, than you can connect the wires again.