My friend is traveling the world right now, and sent me this message:

I feel super lonely. Did you ever get that way traveling alone? If so, how did you deal with it?

My response

Of course! Super understandable. You might not be used to spending this much time solo and are used to all your networks in your life. You’ll find that after awhile you’ll enjoy more solo time. Use it to think deep. Journal extensively about your day, your travels so far, thoughts on your life and how you got where you are. Also, make sure you have a good fiction novel with an immersive universe. I read so much while traveling. It’s great.

As far as actually meeting people and not just dealing with it better, you’ll find that other travelers, and not natives, will be the most open to new friends. Go to popular travel cafés and talk with whomever. Get used to being super friendly without expectation. Ask and listen more than talking and telling. Also go to hostels and hang in the common room. Often there are groups of travelers congregating and planning their next adventure and would be open to having a travel mate. Sometimes the hostel bulletin board has a tour that you can take and meet friends. Pub crawls work great for this.

Finally, connect with friends and family at home often over video chat. Make sure not to make them feel too jealous as everyone at home working wants to be traveling as you are. I chatted often with my mom and a few key friends through iMessage, FaceTime, and Skype calls.

And remember this moment when you are doing what you’ve always wanted to do, what everyone always want to do: epic traveling, and you are ever so slightly wishing you were back home with friends, whom are wishing they were doing what you are doing; and realize that the damned old quote is true: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” My advise: look often at the grass at your feet and smile at how green it is. Soak it in brother; these memories will keep you smiling for decades.