Solo travel is a great way to see the world and get to know yourself, but it can be lonely.
On Mondays, the museums in Taipei, Taiwan close, so I got a massage. It started off with a foot massage, then a full body massage that was heavenly. They gave me hot tea before and after the massage, too. Then I went home and watch “From Scratch” on Netflix and rested. I used to judge myself for not making the most of each day, but guess what? None of us are being graded at life any more. I used to be all about cramming as much as I could in the days when I traveled in my twenties, but now I feel less of that scarcity. I also have created a life for myself in which I can spend much more time in a place without feeling the time scarcity of having to leave.
The day before this, I got my first foot massage ever, and the day before, I got a Mani Pedi. Being in a country in which I don’t speak the language (Chinese) well has made me realize how much I value having deep conversations with strangers, so the natural feelings of loneliness and isolation have started to creep in. I don’t know how people, especially Americans, can just move to a different country and never learn the language 👀. I’ve barely been here a week and a half and am craving having deep conversations with locals. Duo lingo has helped me understand when people say numbers and “America” so that has helped me.
At the nail salon, I couldn’t really communicate with the technician other than introducing myself and counting to ten. She said “I love you” in English and we burst out laughing. On my way out, I blew kisses to them all and said “I love you” as a reminder to not take myself so seriously.
Last night I stumbled upon this vegetarian restaurant, which according to Google maps is called 來欣素食手工水餃, and a sweetheart named Kathryn explained the menu to me in perfect English. She had lived in the UK. I’m not vegetarian, but felt like having veggies. The dumplings are all colored with the natural vegetable juices, like carrot. My favorite were the pumpkin dumplings. As a biz owner, I am all about promoting independently owned family businesses and left them a five star google review. Definitely check them out when you’re here.
Traveling has ups and downs, but just getting out of the house and trying new things helps! Using the meetups feature of the Couchsurfing website helps too. I’ve also been told that searching for events held by your local embassy is a great way to meet people. Just remember that loneliness is a normal part of solo travel. Be patient with yourself and just be as intentional as you can about human connection. Watching Netflix some days is okay, too. Solo travel has its ups and downs but I love how I have been to 30+ countries solo because I experienced them on a more intimate level.