How to beat loneliness when you’re travelling alone

Ah, solo travel. For those born with intrepid blood running through their veins solo travel is a no-brainer. But for many of us, the idea of hitting the road on our own can be a somewhat more daunting prospect...

Solo travel can push you out of your comfort zone and give you a chance to spend some time alone, reconnecting with yourself. But that’s not to say that it’s always easy. There are times when loneliness strikes, when you doubt your own judgement, and when you just wish you had someone to share a giggle with. While making travel besties abroad is pretty much a given for any solo traveller, there’s one thing that can turn those moments of loneliness into super fun opportunities for reflection: music. 

Music and travel go hand in hand. Why? Because it’s the soundtrack to your adventure. Once your travels have concluded, there’ll be that one song, or that one playlist that will transport you instantly back to the time you drank too many pisco sours in Peru, or danced till your feet hurt in Berlin. No matter how down or stressed you’re feeling, wack on your travel playlist in your head and voila! You’re (mentally) back on holiday. 

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When it comes to solo travel, music can work absolute wonders, and can even feed into the planning process to keep your excitement at an all-time high. Do some research on the artists of the country you’re visiting, and collate them into a playlist that forms the soundtrack to your trip-planning period. You never know, you might just discover your new favourite artist!

On the trip itself, make a playlist full of uplifting and refreshing songs for moments of solitude while you gaze out at lakes, or wander around backstreets.

You’ll feel so much more relaxed with music playing as you take in the architecture and smell the aromas of street food, and far less panicked about feeling vulnerable as you walk around on your own. Bonus points if the playlist includes some of your all-time go-to favourite songs, as it will give you a calming sense of familiarity in unfamiliar situations. E.g, the slightly worrying experience of getting lost in the backstreets of Marrakech can become a chance to discover some new buildings, mosques and markets while the sweet sounds of Feist play softly. It can turn any stressful situation into a positive.

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As a woman, music forms part of my identity, particularly when I travel. Make a playlist with total bangers from fearless female artists to belt into your ears whenever you’re able to navigate a tricky situation, try a new type of food or generally step out of your comfort zone for the first time. While you may not have some of your besties behind you to cheer you on, you’ll hear the lyrics of these amazing women and remind yourself that solo travel is brave AF, and you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to! (Side note, Beyonce’s ‘who run the world’ is a solo female travel anthem. Fact.)

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If you’re embarking on a solo trip, make music your priority. The playlists you make while you travel become their own form of memorabilia for the life-changing experience you had – and every time a certain song plays in a cafe or shop, you’ll remember how awesome it was, and how much it changed you. 

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