Travelling might be fun and thrilling as you visit wonderful, breathtaking places. Hitting the road alone is challenging and you get to know a lot about yourself as well as about the world. But in reality it has never been easy especially when you have nothing to do and feel lonely. This is what happened to me during the past few days. Suddenly I felt 24 hours are way too much for a day. What exactly happened?
When boredom hits you
It probably started in Gyeongju when the weather turned to be rainy for the whole day so I couldn’t go anywhere. Staying in the hostel the others invited me to join them but I didn’t feel like to. I would rather write my blog than playing with others. Because after a while that was boring as well. I realized when there are no more challenges like places to go or exciting things to do, everything becomes meaningless. I spent 24 hours being in the hostel, looking at my phone and writing. Of course I survived. Days after that in Seoul wasn’t much more different.
As I was in Seoul last year and suddenly I had a shock attack due to the city environment I didn’t feel that safe and didn’t feel like going out. I mainly only go out if I have a clear purpose of why. Just to sightsee I have no fancy.
Closing myself in the room is not better either. I don’t only face boredom but loneliness as well. If my friend don’t write me I feel like as if I’m ignored. Which is probably only my imagination. Changing the TV channel is not fun either unless my known, favourite film is on.
The weather is rainy so I don’t feel like going out either. How do I handle that?
Facing your inner self
I eat. Yesterday in the evening I just suddenly went out to have a kimbap. One wasn’t enough so I ate one more. I was so full still I ate one more peach. Being full makes me sleepy so it’s easier to fall asleep. I know I could have spent my day writing blog or posting my pictures out. But even that bored me out.
I realized that this time I was bored because I was alone in different country and I didn’t work or study to keep myself busy. However the image of one year ago appeared in front of me when my ex-boyfriend (Panda) left me when I had a flight ticket to the US. I had almost the same feeling of loneliness and boredom.
There are many times in our lifetime when we are alone or we are left to be alone. Usually how do we deal with it? Painfully. Travelling solo showed me I should learn how to deal with loneliness. I still haven’t fully figured it out yet. One thing is for sure. I need to keep myself busy and always come up with a new mission, new challenge or new situation.
You can see if a human being always have to find new challenges like that then when can they get a rest? At the moment of writing this I would say having a rest is unneccessary and just a waste of time. On the other hand I also have to admit that I would string myself to death if I don’t give myself a time to relax and to face my own inner self.
This is the time when things that I wish to have or that I’m afraid of come up to surface. Identifying them might make me feel discouraged and lost. But I think it’s also an important moment for me to stand up and do something towards my future. Running mindlessly around to keep myself excited is not the only way to reach success. But slowing down and stopping for a while to reorganize my thoughts is. It’s a good time to rethink how I behaved when I was with people, how I organized this trip and what I have done to achieve my goals. A good time to reflect on how to go on.
People usually ask me if it’s not boring travelling alone. My answer is that sometimes. But I don’t travel solo for enjoyment. I do this as a challenge to train myself to be independent. This is an easy way to experience many situations including loneliness and boredom. It prepares me to face the real loneliness. I know beside the break up last year there will be more situations in the future when I have to stand on my feet and rely on myself. I guess these lonely times will be the times I can reflect on myself and decide which way to go on.
It might be uncomfortable for a while but not a lifetime. Learning how to handle situations like this will make it to be another challenge so I don’t have to feel lonely and bored anymore.
Solution: connect to people
In reality we are never alone. During the solo travelling if we are willing to connect to people, we can always find someone we can talk to and spend time with. The main point is that we need that courage to talk to people or ask our friends to hang out.
I spent the day doing nothing as I had to check out but the weather was rainy. I stayed at the lobby of the hostel to write a blog until 4pm. Then I wrote to my friend if he had time. Fortunately he said yes. The hostel let me leave my bags there so I could travel freely.
We went to Hongdae to have dinner in a buffet restaurant. It cost 20000 won. Then we walked around, saw some busking and street dance, and went to the forest walk, which was a simple road with some grass and tree. It was 10pm so I said goodbye to my friend and went to hostel as I had to go to the airport.
Arriving to the hostel I asked the owner how to go to the airport since it was already late. He gave me some advice but somehow it was complicated for me. I wanted to end it with “thank you” and leave but he asked me which road I would take. I was surprised he asked me that. Because after that we started to talk about many things until 12am, literally an hour. It was way too late so he had to find me a route to the airport.
The metro, bus only run until midnight. After there is a night bus but the arrival time is not too often. In the end the owner gave me a lift until Seoul station and from there I took the N6001 bus straight to the airport.
So if you go to the Incheon airport at late night you can take the N6001 bus from Seoul station. It runs until 3:20am. The bus fee is 9000 won.
I was so thankful to the owner. Despite the daytime wasn’t eventful the evening was amazing as I met my friend, had a meal and I also talked to the owner and got to know a new person with lot of informations.
Whenever you feel lonely or bored during your solo travels, make energy to talk to people around you. It might be uncomfortable but if you find a good person it can be a pleasurable experience. Of course trust your intuition when you talk to people.
Did you ever have a similar feeling? How did you deal with loneliness and boredom?