11/26/2016 – with a few edits.
Felt a bit lonely wandering the streets of Camdentown tonight.
Being alone is part of the human existence. We are born alone, we die alone, and ultimately we spend a great deal of the time in between searching for human connection.
Sometimes, under the guise of this noble quest for connection, what we actually are trying to erase or minimize is loneliness. However, if one of our most basic human instincts is to connect, it seems inevitable that we will fail occasionally. No one is perfect.
The temporary sadness of being alone, or sadness for whatever reason, is normal as long as these moments don’t dominate our whole day, and in turn, our whole lives I’m lucky enough that I don’t suffer from depression because that’s a trickier situation.
In general, it’s better to confront these feelings instead of drowning them out in drugs, booze, lying, shopping, meaningless sex or whatever your distractor of choice is.
I spend a great deal of time alone by choice and very rarely do I feel lonely. (Introverts, unite!)
But in that moment, the feeling of wanting a (romantic, let’s be honest) companion struck me. This comes and goes but the concerning aspect is that I might feel like this while I’m in Thailand because I’ll be solo.
At times, traveling with a friend or partner seems more comfortable than being by myself in a foreign land. However, when I actually imagine the following scenarios, it’s much more complicated.
What if I was dating someone and they didn’t want to or couldn’t go on this 2 month voyage? I would still be solo. Or what if they were here in London, pleading with me to go to that loud ass metal rock club I just passed? Or even worse, they wanted to go home (shuddering)?!
The irony is that I do currently have ‘suitors’ including a couple of people who I suspect want an invitation to my trip. And I’m choosing to be solo.
Challenging times ahead. As I write, I don’t feel lonely. Mainly sleepy (#jetlag) and content. Writing and being in a different country feels therapeutic, relaxing, and releasing.
Solo travel creates the space to define your adventure exactly as you want. No one to cater to, compromise with, and no peer pressure. And this allows you to define yourself by getting out of your comfort zone.
There is no one to blame getting lost upon, or get annoyed with for booking the shitty hotel or restaurant. But there is no one with whom to later reminisce. The sharing aspect of social media kind of meets this last criterion but the curation element degrades the authenticity of the shared moment.
I may need to come up with activities to help me get through the lonely moments in Thailand. However I don’t really mind, because I’m really, really looking forward to sleeping in!. Doing that without someone bitching at me to wake up to go look at stuff plus all the other activities (or lack thereof) that I can control will make solo travel worth it.