Make Time for Normal Feelings
This means that whenever you feel sad or lonely, you let yourself actually feel those things. I like to call it “traveler’s guilt,” when you are somewhere amazing, yet feel sad so you stuff it down and try to carry on happy go lucky anyways. This is no way to live your life let alone travel. Just last month I found myself crying while watching Time Traveler’s Wife alone in the movie theater of my hostel, and guess what, it felt awesome. After a week of travelling I needed to just be alone and feel my emotions.
Talk to People
Talk to family and friends during downtime on your trips. I find myself calling those friends I haven’t talked to in a while, and catching up on an extended amount of time. I believe traveling puts you in a lighter, more objective state of mind, which is perfect for having those conversations you have been putting off (like calling your high school best friend to see if she is engaged yet). This point also includes talking to people you meet during your travels. Responding to some guy at a bar might be the last thing you want to do, but if you truly listen and are invested in people, you’ll find most of them have pretty good stories to tell. Talking to a stranger might give you insight into the town you are in, or fate may place that person in your path to help you make a life choice. Give people a chance, you’ll be amazed how much better it will make you feel.
Make New Friends
While in Budapest I met two American girls who saw me trying to take a selfie with the Chain Bridge and offered to take my photo. I happily let them and we went on to talk about school, traveling, and our lives in general. It was the first extended conversation I had had with another American while traveling in quite some time. The next day we ran into each other again at the thermal baths. We ended up spending the whole day together, meeting the owner of a pub, getting free beer, watching the sunset, and going to ruin pubs. It was one of my favorite days of the whole trip to Hungary, and it is because I decided to let my guard down just a little, and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with meeting fellow travelers.
Even if you can’t commit to writing every single thought or happening down, bullet journaling is a nice way of recapping how the day made you feel. Reflection is a main bulletin of travel, and this should always include reflection on yourself, not just your surroundings. I have learned that at least writing down the best and worst part of every day, and how I subsequently felt, has done wonders for my emotional intelligence and overall happiness while traveling. This can also be a useful tool to gauge how you are doing physically. If you are exhausted or worn out, it will show in your writing, and you can take some time to relax. The best part is, you are alone, so no one will be disappointed.
Have a Hobby
Travel can become aimless and mind numbing if you lose your passion in it. Having a hobby such as drawing, photography, or writing will help you add a purpose to each day. Pursuing passions while traveling keeps your spirits up and your interest piqued.
Treat Yo Self
I have found that traveling is the best excuse to be selfish and do exactly what you want, especially solo traveling. If you want a gelato at 9AM, you go get the gelato. If you want to take take some time off and watch your favorite movie or show on Netflix, you can do that too. Solo traveling is the perfect time to find what brings you joy, and to hold on to that.