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3 minute read

You’d think going through a worldwide pandemic and national lockdown would have us all chomping at the bit to get out and about. But that period of time only served to exacerbate the issue of loneliness, and it’s not a pretty picture looking back, is it?

In the period between April 2020 and March 2021, 7.2 million adults (13.7% of the adult population) in the UK reported experiencing loneliness.

As human beings, that lack of social interaction created somewhat of a hurdle for those of us who became incredibly isolated for months on end. And we’re only now seeing the repercussions on our mental health, now we’re out the other side.

A step outside our comfort zone

We might have our freedom back, but that doesn’t mean we can turn our desire to escape on and off like a tap. After all – those same four walls were our safe haven for such a long time. They made us feel secure and protected, from an unpredictable and volatile outside world. And even though the world has opened back up and we have some sense of normality, it’s only natural we sometimes doubt our ability to step outside our comfort zone.

And then there’s the grey area. Because loneliness isn’t just black and white. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and you may not be experiencing it in the physical sense. Maybe you’re living with a partner who doesn’t share your hopes for the future. Surrounded by individuals who don’t quite make your colours shine brightest. Or caring for a family member who needs 24/7 support. Maybe you feel guilty for feeling they’re a burden. Or have fears that you’ll become one. You might even feel isolated at work.

Hope

But there is hope. And our incredible community proves it. From the customer that finally took some respite from being the primary carer for her Alzheimer’s stricken husband. To the widower that has never so much as left the house without their other half. And then there are those that found the courage to leave a relationship that left them lacking in self-esteem and confidence.

It’s not lost on us how completely debilitating our life circumstances can be. But our stories shape us. They build character. And most importantly, day by day, they strengthen us and help us to move forward.

Small steps

It’s just a case of taking small steps to get us there. We each have our own boundaries, sense of selves, fears, and dreams. It’s about digging deep to figure out how you want to live your life. Because when we have that end goal – it makes it a hell of a lot easier to work out how to get there.

So what’s your first step? Striking up a conversation with a stranger at the park? Joining a local group that helps you to meet new people and focus your energy on something you’re interested in? Or booking your first solo holiday? However wild and free (or small and humble) your dreams are, if you put enough energy into making them happen, they will.

And remember, you might be solo, but you’re never alone. So step small, dream big and know that sometimes to find yourself…you might have to get a little lost.


“It gave me the confidence to holiday after becoming a widow, always made me feel welcome and I enjoy the friendship it offers.”

– Heather

Join our community

Taking those first steps towards solo travel can be one of the hardest parts…

Why not join Heather and lots of other solo travellers in the ‘Solos Travel Circle’, our Facebook community – a place that’s known for taking the sting out of being lonely. Let’s open up the conversation and support one another – because we’re all in this together.

Click here to join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1549078692107199

 


Have a story that could encourage other solo travellers to take that leap? Tag @solosholidays on social media or email us at marketing@solos.co.uk. 

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