Last Thursday afternoon, I woke up alone in a king-sized bed in the center of Rome, Italy. I picked up the trip the morning before and I had created a list of things that I wanted to see while on my 24-hour layover in this beautiful ancient city.
But, I couldn't get out of my bed. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and I couldn't move. It was an undesirable combination of loneliness and depression (and a hit of anxiety) that sneaks up on me every once in awhile.
Depression while traveling is something that is often taboo. Mum is the word about depression and loneliness and anxiety, though, it is something that every single person will feel when traveling alone.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think there are a lack of posts on the internet that acknowledge this and give answers. I want to do that, because your demons are still your demons even if you are in Rome.
Get out of your bed.
This will always be the hardest part if you are feeling lonely or depressed or filled with anxiety. You have to do it though. You have to trudge through it.
Get up. Take a shower. Wash your face. Get moving.
Put on an upbeat playlist
Music is scientifically proven to help your mood. Seriously. Make a playlist of your favorite artist - pick their most upbeat and happy songs.
My go to is always Taylor Swift. Obviously.
Carry some memories
Behind my phone case, I have a few polaroids of my friends from home. I keep them there so that they are always with me. Pictures of me and my roommates, of my family and friends back home.
Anytime I feel sad I can pull them out for a guaranteed smile.
Eat something sweet
Just for because.
Remember why you are here
What is the reason that you are traveling? Why are you here? What are you running from? What are you looking to find? Make a list in your head of every reason that you have landed where you are?
If that doesn't motivate you, I don't know what will.
Call your momma
This always works. No one can make you feel special like your momma can.
10/10 would recommend.
Try and make a friend
It can be scary when you are alone in a place that you have never been. So. Incredibly. Scary.
Make small talk with the person in line with you at the coffee shop. Ask the person working the front desk at the hotel what their favorite place is. The first hello will be difficult, but then it get so much easier.
Say hello. Make a friend. People are nice.
Like I said previously, traveling solo will always come with an amount of loneliness - that is inevitable. I have found in my time as a flight crew member that traveling solo teaches you so much. I hope this list will help you beat it just enough to want to do it again.
Have you ever felt
Three years ago I made the bold (and crazy) decision to drop out of school, quit my job and move across the country to start my life as a cabin crew member. With my suit freshly pressed and my shiny wings pinned to my heart, I was ready to take on the world. ....read more.
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