From the Heart · Travel

The Truths of a Lone Traveler

img_0428This month has already been pretty intense with a mixture of speaking days and major travel upsets. I have had more downtime than usual to actually take a breath. People always ask me if I get lonely or if it is hard to always be alone. The truth is that there are good and bad to every element.img_5252

The Good: Since I have traveled, I am no longer afraid to ask for what I want. For most of my life I was afraid to tell a server at a restaurant, people I was dating, or anyone the specific details of what I actually wanted. Now I am not afraid of being super direct. That is pretty empowering. I am also totally unafraid and completely comfortable talking to strangers. I make friends pretty easily I don’t feel alone as long as I can get out into the world a little bit and actually see people. Finally, I have grown a strong sense of independence. I am comfortable being alone, it does not give me an anxiety attack… if something goes wrong I do not panic, I trust myself to fix my problems and get me out of sticky situations.

The Bad: I am a natural extrovert, which means when I do not interact with people or any type of sensory stimulating activity, I get a little depleted. So I often get sad in my lonely hotel rooms – not because I am afraid to look at my life in the mirror but more because I just miss people. I try to get out as much as possible, and go discover new restaurants, work out, or get some work done at a coffee shop. When it is frigid and snowing outside I have a hard time getting out, so January can be tough. Also, since it is January, I am missing out on all of the fun stuff because of the Whole30 and trying to keep my resolutions. I cannot lie. It has been a tough month.

The Ugly: In the hardest moments I wonder if anyone would notice if I went missing… that is not a joke! I am gone for days on end sometimes and I just cannot help but wonder. I also do not have an off switch when it comes to work stuff. I am constantly thinking about how I should be working more or all of the things I should be doing. I have not had a true weekend in months and I get nervous that I would not even know what to do with myself. I am BAD at taking a step back. The weirdest part about all of it is that I teach about the importance of relationships, but at times I am constantly leaving and I feel like the worst friend imaginable.  It feels counterintuitive to always be leaving and meeting new people when I teach about the power of close relationships.  Also, things CAN go terribly wrong, and often they do.  I have no one to debrief my day with.  Usually when you had a bad travel experience or when you are at the point of breaking, it is 2:00 am… and you cannot call anyone for love or support (lucky for me, I have people in every single time zone – so the off limits hours are less).  It can feel like the loneliest life that is constantly full of people.  There is some song lyric, ‘Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room?’

I think everything is worth it if you love it. I am lucky that I love my job, but even things you love has it’s drawbacks. I do not expect it to be perfect but I am not going to lie and sugar coat it. Even your dream job has some pretty bad parts.img_5263

** LASTLY: Can we talk about how hard it is to do this BLOG when I am ALWAYS ALONE!  Getting pictures is actually the most challenging thing ever!  The worst part is all of the articles I read about ‘having a successful blog,’ say focus on getting high quality images… So I suppose my blog will never be that “successful,”  because that ain’t happening.

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3 thoughts on “The Truths of a Lone Traveler

  1. Loved this. Needed to hear this today, KJ. I too have had a tough January of loneliness, and it comforted me greatly seeing your vulnerability about how things can be hard sometimes. Even in our dream jobs. I am so thankful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am also a solo traveler… thank you what a good read.. keep working away and your blog will be huge!

    My idea of the solo travel is i love the freedom to do what ever i want at the same time eating by yourself sucks.
    One time in North america i swear laughed at me when i said yes just one please.
    Anyway thanks for the read…

    Liked by 1 person

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