Daily Life

Reflecting on solo travel and loneliness

It is about enjoying the status you have right now…….

A random line I read on the internet as I research the topic of being single and longing for touch. I long for touch, but I am also enjoying the status I have now.

After my recent break-up my body adjusts to being single as well as my mind does. The reason for the breakup was because this guy was overwhelmingly needy and his behavior sucked up all my energy.

Somehow I liked the way he loved me, but the intensity got me burned. And his controlling mindset which sometimes got uncontrollable was too much to handle for an introverted free spirit like me.

So the choice was mine and I chose to be single again, but I would be lying to you if I said I have no adjustment problems. God, I long for a hug, a caress, a touch…….

JC from Holland, Bantayan Island,
Lazy day on Bantayan Island Philippines

Being single is a lifestyle choice, feeling lonely is not

It is nice to have someone in your life to share your special moments with, to share sex time and affection. To eat together and walk hand in hand. As a romantic soul, I will always have a kind of craving for stuff like that, no matter how much I enjoy being single.

In the world of travelers, most travel together, so you are confronted with couples a lot, and sometimes that rings a bell to those times you were one of them, to those times you had this togetherness. and that is not only about romantic relationships, that is about having a person in your life with the same goals, the same vision for a future. Long-term or not. It is about friendship.

Somehow couples that travel together seem to have a balanced relationship and a togetherness that shows. Especially when they travel a long time. If it is best friends, romantic partners, or just travel partners, they have a bond.

I do see holiday stress among couples, arguments on the beach, sad husbands and wives in locations they do not want to be, like the fitting room of H&M or a sports bar with bikini waitresses. Or even the location in total, I once heard a man hiss to his wife: All those drug dealers, what are we exposing our kids to? You choose this destination what has gotten into you?? He clearly was not enjoying himself on that vacation.

It must be horrible to spend two weeks of your holiday in misery.

Most of the time I feel blessed being single and being a solo traveler. For it offers me a chance to

  • do as I please (f*ck waxing shaving and eating at a certain time)
  • go as I want (left, right, backward, it is all up to me)
  • have the whole bed and shower to myself (I love that!!)
  • stay as long as I like (be flexible and change plans without disrupting his life or have to plan for two)
  • there is no social obligation (from his family )
  • have total financial freedom (dating in developing countries sometimes comes with a lot of bills from a poorer partner)

I enjoy being alone and when in a relationship I need a lot of alone time. That does not mean my heart is closed or I am selfish, that means I am me and I know what I need to be the best version of me. When true love or a lasting friendship comes along it has to accept that best version of me with all its boundaries and wishes and leave it up to me to decide where I add some water to the wine. So far no luck!

Good for me for that gives me a chance to be utterly selfish and spoil myself

Jeanette Slagt on leaving Holland
Still looking for Mr. Right……hahahaha

It is the loneliness that can easily spoil the fun

The hard part of being single and a traveler is that you very easily can become lonely. And that is not something I chose for. Loneliness is a feeling inside of you, there is a void, behind your chest bone, that seems to grow and shrink depending on daylight, diversion, social contact, and alone time.

And sometimes it seems to grow so big it takes over my being. Those are the nights I long for a touch, I long to listen to someone’s heartbeat to get mine in rhythm with it to feel alive. Those are the evenings I want to sit with a good friend and watch the stars together and let the night breeze take our conversation to the horizon.

This void feeds on the realization that you are nobody’s first priority ever. People around you are busy with anything and anybody, but seldom you.

Believe me, the grass in the life of single people or when traveling solo isn’t always greener, sometimes you lack water to keep it green. That does not mean you are unhappy, that just means you are human and you have a longing that is hard to ignore.

afspreken in Mexico met Jeanette Slagt

It has nothing to do with being horny

And it has nothing to do with being horny, that is easily solved, it is deeper than that, it is core…….something…..profound…..and it fluctuates. It is not always there but it simmers in the background and is never really gone. It is heard in your laughter, seen in your eyes, spoken of in your behavior. Even when you try to hide it and show a strong version of yourself.

There will always be that one person that notices, and if they are willing to sit down and have a coffee with you, talk, walk the beach with you and make you their priority for a while, hopefully without feeling pity for you the void is filled up. And it will last sometimes for weeks depending on the quality of the time spent.

Chetumal fun things to do

I struggle most with loneliness after a relationship ends

As a constant traveler, I am always the new girl in town and the first one to leave. I have no basecamp, no one waiting for me back home. I have no home.

I am happy traveling with my son, and sometimes traveling alone, I need alone time. I am happy being single when I outweigh the benefits that come from a life without a special person. But sometimes, not often, but sometimes, I have this hunger for touch, for meaningful conversation, for sharing……..

Those are the moments I start dating, and with dating comes the need for being alone and the frustration and,………..and …..

Do you see how complicated make my own life? Because after the dating, no matter how bad it was, there is again this loneliness. This adjusting to being alone. And every time I swear to myself I am not dating again…..ever……till next time.

I am happier alone but I am profoundly unhappy when I feel lonely, just like you probably. 

I am not jealous of people together, but when they are in my face I envy their bond, I know that touch is for other people and seldom for me. And you have to know my kind life, with endless travel and stuff like that,  might be a lifestyle choice but feeling lonely is not a choice, that just happens……….

Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites Currently, she lives in Mexico. She is an emigration coach and works online.

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