Top 6 ways to beat loneliness and thrive on your travel assignment
“Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” – Jacqueline Boone
Working as a travel dietitian opens up the world. You can go anywhere and see everything. But most often, you find yourself alone. Even the most seasoned traveler feels lonely now and again. Here’s how to beat the lonelies and live your best life.
That’s right. Even if you’re in a slump, get up, put on your sneakers, and go do something cool. Spend your days off taking day trips, hitting the spa, exploring the local shops or farmer’s market, staking out the state fair, or trying that new cake bar. Staying in by yourself fuels loneliness. As my mother would say, “Get up and get the stink off of you!”
Be a local, but stay a tourist.
Especially on extended travel assignments, you’ll start to feel just like a local. Sure, you’ll be running errands, getting groceries, the usual. But seek out the “must-see” attractions and restaurants. Ask your co-workers where to go and what’s worth a visit. Some of my best adventures just happened to be quirky local favorites.
Try something new.
Now this seems like a no-brainer. You’re a traveler … you’re always trying something new! Take a fencing class. Join a yoga group. Volunteer at a church bazaar. Learn to golf. These activities will get you socializing with other people who enjoy similar things. While on assignment in West Virginia, I took a watercolor painting class. It gave me something to do every Tuesday night, and I painted a pretty awesome pumpkin. Win-win.
Switch up your accommodations.
Some of my absolute best lodging accommodations have been bed and breakfasts. The owners lived at the B&Bs and basically adopted me from day 1. They shared refrigerator space, invited me on family outings, let me pet their dogs, and allowed me to join family dinnertime. During my stay, I became part of the family. And it’s easier to be away from your own family when you are lucky enough to find a warm and welcoming replacement.
Complete a project.
During your assignment, set a goal to start a task and finish it. This could be anything — reading a novel, journaling every day, binge-watching a new series, training for a 5K, or trying every donut place in town (just saying…). Find something you can do on your own, but will keep you engaged and your mind busy.
Invite your family and friends to visit!
This is one of the best treats while on assignment. With your lodging already paid for, they only need to find a way to travel to you! Can you say, “free vacation?” I have been fortunate enough to take trips with family and friends while on assignment (hello, San Francisco, St. Louis, Graceland, Oklahoma City, and Wilmington, NC!) and spend holidays with extended family.
Take advantage of every opportunity while on a travel assignment. Spend your days off seeing and doing everything you can find. And if your co-workers are cool, don’t be shy — invite them along! Embrace life on the road. In my experience, you will meet the warmest people who will welcome you with utter kindness.
To learn more about being a travel dietitian, click here.
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