The loneliness of travel…

I just returned to my home after several weeks of traveling in Australia. I absolutely had THE time of my life and wouldn’t change anything for the world. But I did notice that traveling alone internationally was surprisingly lonely. I didn’t have access to communication with friends or family back home unless I had wifi, which wasn’t very frequent. That mixed with an extreme time difference left me in the dark and cut off from home for most of my trip.

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I am about to embark on several tours and trips this year, and while none of them (so far) are international, I fear that loneliness setting in again. So here is my question to my loyal readers… How do you battle loneliness? This could be while you travel, while your partner travels, or just in general. I think it would be really awesome and therapeutic share sesh. Go!

16 thoughts on “The loneliness of travel…

  1. Michelle Drinkwater

    A good book that you can loose yourself.

    April 10, 2014 at 3:51 pm
  2. Belinda

    Hiya lovely..I moved from Australia to the UK a few years ago…never lived out of home before and I was there for a year. I found that having a little soft toy (mine was a cow with a cape) which I got from my parents, with my grandmother making the cape for it. I would carry it everywhere and take pics of it at various sights and things. I also carried a photo of my family. It’s never easy travelling alone…you always feel you wish you could be sharing the moment with that special someone. The soft toy won’t be nearly as great as having your husband, family or friends…but I always found when I was a bit lonely or homesick I would give it a snuggle and it made me feel a little bit better :) xx

    April 10, 2014 at 4:14 pm
  3. Meggan Rose

    Hey Cherry it’s Meggan! I was in the west coast pinup tour on day 1 in el cajon :) The WiFi thing makes it kind of tricky but my boyfriend and I are (semi) long distance so we often have weeks apart, or more days apart than we’d like. We always send eachother silly pictures throughout the day, and we ALWAYS finish the day with a phone call to talk about our days (and how much we miss eachother hehehe). But my sister lived on the east coast for, oh gosh, 14 years. It was a lot harder to talk to her as frequently but we got really good at sending care packages and “I love you packages.” Whenever something big happend we’d send a package with the necessities. Like when my first boyfriend and I broke up I got a package of chocolate, tissues, pictures of her and I when we were little “and boys didn’t matter.” And my favorite, a blow up baseball bat, when I just needed to smash something, but not actually ruin anything. When she got a new job I sent her lined paper, pencils, mints, hair clips, chocolate, and pictures of perfect “first day” outfit ideas. They’re completely silly but they helped a lot just to know someone out there far far away was still paying attention to the small details that I’d often overlook. She moved back home for a little bit cuz she and her fiance Christina recently broke up. She’s back on her own two feet and recently moved to Oakland for a new job. Her babies (2 cats) are still at home with my parents, me, and my babies (2 cats and a puppy) so now I send her mass pictures of her cats or funny stuff that mom and dad do in their old age. I’m sure you already do a lot of these things with your loved ones too, and it does get lonely when they’re/you’re away, but honestly the littlest of things always helped the most!

    Hope Australia was fun! Super jealous! Can’t wait to see how that tour came out! Jackie and I really bonded over that tour and we’re hoping to go to some car shows together this summer and the event in August for Retro Bettie Bazaar :) I can’t thank you enough!

    April 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm
  4. Eve

    Well I always like to FaceTime my boyfriend everywhere I go :) sometimes that’s not always the case because of our time difference. So I thought Hey maybe making new friends internationally would be a good idea so now I have my besfriend/ boyfriend who lives in Ohio and I also have my penpal who lives in England, and I hope I can make more awesome friends internationally because I know I will be traveling frequently! I always try to meet new people because I absolutely loathe the feeling of being lonely. Or sometimes when I’m feeling extremely lonely I talk to Siri on my iPhone haha and look like a noob in public. Another idea I thought of to combat loneliness was to maybe get involved publicly with the locals while your traveling and possibly attend a festival or community event. I always believe the more friends you make the better! Maybe bring a bestie to travel along with you :) Hope those tips helped because I know atleast everyone in their lifetime feels the aching feeling of loneliness, I know I have.

    April 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm
  5. Melissa

    I battle loneliness almost daily. Wether it be physical loneliness or mental it can be quite challenging. I recently moved away from my friends and family for my partners job (he’s in the Army) and he is away a lot so it can be hard. I also suffer from anxiety and depression so that doesn’t help, lol. So to battle and keep the loneliness at bay I try my best to keep to a routine which can be challenging but even if I just make sure I go for a walk everyday an matter where I am or what I am doing it helps. I spend a lot of time watching and reading things that I love doing (your YouTube channel is my saviour) to keep myself distracted. I take whatever opportunity I have to let my wonderful friends and family know how much I dig them! I put myself in situations where I have to talk and socilize with people (strangers) on my own. So scary but fun too. And lastly I try and take something positive out of my day, which can be the most challenging. It can be as something small like “I got to cook whatever I wanted for dinner tonight” or “I made someone laugh” or just a random nice thing I did for a stranger. But I give myself permission to cry and miss people too, cause I am human and it’s ok to have a bad day.

    April 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm
  6. Erika

    I think a good way to stay connected back home, especially without access to the internet, is through post cards. I collect post cards from the places I’ve been so it serves two purposes. It’s and ode to the traditional way of being seperated by loved ones. And you get to keep them as memories for yourself.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:04 pm
  7. Chantal

    It really depends on whether you are an introvert or an extravert. Introverted people might feel better simply by listening to their favourite music, reading a book or things of the like. Extraverted people will most likely feel better by seeking out social activities: going out for food or drinks, hanging out with other people, et cetera. I don’t know you personally, but I’d guess you’re somewhere in the middle (ambivert), so any of these activities might appeal to you. The key is to do those things you would normally do to feel comfortable. And maybe try to call home when you miss Trevor.

    April 11, 2014 at 12:39 am
  8. Hey hun, I know exactly where this photo was taken! You needed only put a post up and you would have had all of you Australian friends would have been there in a flash! Lol. But I do know what you mean, I have done a fair bit of travelling and although America doesn’t seem that far away, it can feel like miles and miles when you cant contact your loved ones. Definitely need to come back to Australia soon! Had a wonderful time at your tutorial at Charlestown on the 5th! Was an absolute joy to get to finally meet you. Wish you were permanently in Australia! Come back soon xx

    April 11, 2014 at 6:04 am
  9. Kensey Baker

    So I live 8 hours away from my family, and while that isn’t too far away- it still gets lonesome. My mom found this cute little ornament from Hallmark. Your loved one can record a short message on it- and when you get lonely- you just press the button and you can hear their voice. They come in a bunch of different patterns and styles, it has a loop so you can hang it from your keyring or handbag. It’s a small thing but really helps me out in tough times. The ornament is fairly cheap aswell.

    April 11, 2014 at 8:06 am
  10. Johanna B.

    Well, to quote a very special person for all of us: Hello everybody! 
    And to keep this conversation going, cause I think this is really important for almost everyone. This is my very own opinion but I still want to share with you how I see things cause maybe there’s someone out there who feels the same or this is helpful for. So, I guess it’s a personal thing but there’s people who like to have other people around and talking and are more open, and then there’s people who rather like having their own little cosmo going on around themselves and basically with themselves. And also I guess that I can include me to the second group. I don’t mean it in a negative way at all, but I don’t have any sisters or brothers so I’m kind of “used to” spend time with myself and keep me entertained when I was little. But I also always was the one in school who was that incredibly homesick on school trips or whatever, and got picked on by class mates cause I cried a LOT. I was honestly worried about how I could ever live without my family around me when I was probably going to collage later or simply living all alone. Buuut It’s really not that bad and I managed everything pretty well so far. So luckily growing up helped me with that.  So, I sad that I’m that kind of a person who’s mostly comfortable with being alone. I’m currently living with my roommate and she’s way different than me, so she accepts when I’m grumpy in the morning and I accept that she’s almost always like a chatterbox. But we get along very well though, maybe cause we’re just as different. And sometimes when I feel not well and she’s coming home, we sit down together in the kitchen, talking, eating and laughing and I feel so much better. What I want to tell you is that I know how it feels to be lonely, really lonely, of course. So this is also for MELISSA (and all the other secretly soldier ladies!) I do have a long distance relationship for almost two and a half years now. My boyfriend is working and living in my hometown and I moved for my education. He was also in the army and is going to join again in July, when I will be finished with my education, which means we have no clue how or when or if we see afterwards. If we’re lucky we see once, maybe twice a month right now. I don’t think it makes us weaker as loving partners or kind of reduces our relationship, it rather makes it/us stronger cause you decided to love that person no matter if there’s space and time between the little moments you’ve got together and you know that you’re that important to someone out there, so he or she takes what it takes to love you back!
    To make a long story short (again). It may sound easy but a lot of you guys will know: it’s not! I simply know, that missing my boyfriend just after he left for the next weeks again, makes me feel the loneliest person on the whole world over and over again. I definitely know how it feels like, even I’m quite ok spending time on my own. So, my advice for people like me: I think you know that it will get better as soon as you start working for yourself again and clear your mind when a little bit of time went by. For the others: Maybe try to look a little further. Don’t be like: Omg! It’s still soooo long to…. But more like: Ok, it’s kind of long till… but what else might happen in between? Or, what was it the last time what made you feel incredibly happy? Maybe a kiss? Maybe a compliment from someone who means a lot to you? Or (my personal favorite): How will it be to see him again, hug her again, talk to them again… Mostly a situation is getting worse by just thinking it is worse than it actually is. And in any other situation, try to enjoy the time with yourself! I think it’s so important to have not only a good time with other people but also being able to have a really good time with your own person. And who knows? Maybe you start enjoying it and learn something out, you never knew about yourself. With this in mind I hope you had fun reading this and maybe it is useful for some of you.
    And a huge thank you to the amazing Cherry Dollface making me feel better in loneliness and making me laugh when it seems darker than it obviously is!!! <3
    P.S.: And just in case, sorry for any grammatical mistakes, it’s not my native language. ;)

    April 11, 2014 at 9:58 am
  11. Caboose

    Hello; to THE one and ONLY Cherry Doll.

    Thank you for opening up such a great topic of discussion.

    In my experience; when my Military sweet<3, now Veteran, was in Afghanistan it was no "walk in the park."

    Luckily; we are both fairly tech savvy, social media platforms allowed contact to be pretty consistent. We experienced his emotions together on a near day to day basis. If I wasn't at school, work, or roller derby; I was soaking up every moment with him I could.

    Let's be honest; who knew what could happen?

    When he was stationed somewhere with no wifi, I would worry. Sometimes it would be 1-2 months before I could hear from him.

    To combat that; I got involved with roller derby. That way I was surrounded by strong, accepting, and caring people. They only wanted who to help everyone shine, and give back to the community. It felt good to know that all my training and pain, not only made me healthier. The community became healthier and stronger with me. It made me feel like I was fighting to make sure my sweetheart had a reason to fight. Those of us who stayed "home" had to hold down the fort for our soldiers.

    Cause when they come home after all that travel; it's another "ball of wax."

    Thank you :) that helped.

    April 11, 2014 at 11:33 am
  12. Alie Summer

    I live on the Gold Coast in Australia and your question is a good one. I travel alone often and find taking videos of what I am doing or where I am helpful, as I can chatter away my thoughts at the same time. Then I have my memories to come back to on my return. As I am an Artist, I always have a journal on me to jot down things of interest to me or to stick in any literature I may wish to keep. I find being able to communicate what you are doing with others helpful…which is why I love facepack, my name for facebook. Communication is key in this life of ours and that will always be the case. I find a tour mascot fun. I usually chose some small relevant soft toy or the like and attach it to my handbag. Many people cannot be alone in themselves, let alone being alone travelling, so congratulate yourself on having courage and a can do attitude. Safe and happy travelling, Alie

    April 13, 2014 at 7:45 am
  13. ImogenT

    Heya hun :) I studied in Italy for a year (I’m English) and found it really difficult for the first few weeks until I settled down and found friends. I took DVDs from home that I could watch on my laptop, series that are on the TV a lot at home that just made me feel more connected to life back in England. I also spent a lot of time in an Irish Pub that was popular with both Italians and foreigners, as it just made me feel more at home (I live in a place where those sorts of pubs are the norm). Travel is always very difficult and intensely lonely, regardless of the unique life experiences you gain from it. Just try to keep and focus on the positives of the experience and remember that it won’t be long before you’re back home with your family and friends! Hope that helps :)

    April 13, 2014 at 7:48 am
  14. Kerryn

    Hi folks,

    It can be lonely, exasperating and isolating not having your partner and buddies around you – physically or at the end of your fingertips, whilst on the road. (And it can be easy to over compensate in the Present Department)

    As for tips to help whilst travelling, it may sound bonkers – but two phones, one is your usual phone (switch off whilst asleep, with your pricey international calls, hopefully not so pricey international texts/SMS/messages). If you can borrow a second phone (with triband) and get someone at your destination to pick you up a cheap sim in advance, you can circulate that new mobile number to your chosen friends/family/partner, and this phone stays on whilst you sleep, so you only get woken for important calls/SMS. And hopefully this has cheaper international SMS/messages/texts, so you can be quite impulsive with your little comments back home. In the past, $20 spent in a travel sim has done the trick for messages – and a bit of WiFi for Skyping back home.

    And then there’s the trick of sleeping in one of his tshirts.

    Sorry that you didn’t get as much WiFi as you would have liked whilst in Australia (I write to you from Melbourne, Australia and yes, looking forward to a visit here from you Cherry, had a busy April or the girls and I would have meandered up to Newcastle, sounds like a brilliant festival). Alas there’s not quite as much free wifi here as there is in other parts of the world, it’s getting there. Still get shocked when hotels in Australia charge for it, don’t they know that it’s considered to be a standard free item/service in hostels and hotels overseas? Hopefully it’ll be better next time you visit.

    I’m pleased that you and your man got to travel together to somewhere brilliant on your honeymoon, so you had a nice holiday together – and so that you have some ‘travelling together’ stories, so he doesn’t get reminded of HIS isolation when you get home, bubbling with stories that start with ‘oh when I was in…..’

    Best wishes and hope you all have an amusing and safe time whilst travelling.

    April 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm
  15. Sarah

    Darling Cherry,
    You’re definitely not the least attractive person in Newcastle, or probably Australia for that matter!
    Travel is hard, with or without family, but you’re very lucky to have the chance to travel and experience with no ties. I wish for you to be able to enjoy your experience- what you’ve done and the name you’ve made for yourself is so great that you should just take it all in- now!

    April 28, 2014 at 6:23 am
  16. Jackie Riffle

    Hi Cherry, My Manfrien(I Feel Silly Calling My Grown Man Boy) Travels For Work. There Are Some Months He Is Gone More Than Home.I work FromHome And My FaM Is In A Diff. State So I Too Get Hella Lonely. I Just Do Self Empowerment Things You Can Only Do Alone. Going To Dinner And A Movie Alone Makes Me Feel Like A Goddess! IKnow So Many People That Say I Wanted To Try That Restaurant Or Go To That Movie But No One To Go With Blah Blah.and To Feel Closer To The Man I Send Emails That Just Say Hi In Japan Most Of The Time He Is Basically In The Future So Knowing He’s Gonna Get The Email When On Most Lilly Sleeping Dreaming Of Him Is Well BRILLIANT! When The Loneliness Really Hits Hard I Try My Hardest To Go Out And Do Something Even If Just A Walk Because It Can Turn Very Evil Very Fast If You Let The Depression Get A Foothold.I Talk To Everyone Too. And I’ve Even Made A Few Friends. So Basically If Your Feeling Lonely Do Something Outside Your Comfort Zone. Something You Can Only Do Alone To Empower Yourself. Because Although It’s Great To Have A Partner It’s Even Greater To Be Fabulously In Love In Your Own Company.

    February 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm

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