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Christmas For A Solo Traveler: How To Avoid Feeling Lonely

Christmas For A Solo Traveler: How To Avoid Feeling Lonely

In winter, during Christmas for some, it can be where the pain starts. Family celebrations, laughter and the clinking of glasses can all bring upon nostalgic memories. It’s a beautiful season, the city lit with the glimmer of Christmas. The trees decorated, people wrapped in their coats and scarves, walking around sipping on warm drinks and watching this can make a lonely traveler’s eye water.

How can a traveler cope with the feeling of loneliness during Christmas? Can something keep you from crying?

As an avid traveler, I’ve managed to put together a few things based on my experience that can help any traveler during Christmas. In this festive season, this article can be great company for any traveler.

1. Embrace Nature and Find New Food

If one is continuously focusing on the negative, it becomes difficult for one to focus on the positive. As a traveler, you are responsible to constantly keep your emotions in check. This is because you’re solely responsible for motivating your mind and body to look at the best and make the best of the situation.

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The two best elements for any traveler is to be one with nature and enjoy different delicacies. As an avid traveler, I usually take trips to rural villages, visiting undiscovered landscapes and enjoying the best nature has to offer. Sometimes camping is a great idea, if the weather is right, you’ll be able to isolate yourself and regain your balance.

On the other hand, food has been a great companion too. I personally enjoy local foods, fast foods tend to create a negative ambiance as it’s both unhealthy and depressive. The ingredients in fast foods affect a part of your brain that gets your mood as well as your energy down. So if you’re traveling especially during the festive season, make sure to enjoy some fine food.

2. Find Unique Places or Warmer Places To Travel

Winter is a season that can make an active person hibernate like a bear, so if you’ve been on the road for long and feeling nostalgic, make sure your next destination is a warm one.

Warm countries are constantly bustling with people and life. You’ll find people laughing and screaming their heartiest desires. Therefore, being surrounded by a buzzing ambiance can take your mind off it. On the other hand, some warm places are rather secluded and are usually filled with just a handful of tourists. In such a close-knit community, you’ll be able to make friends more easily and create your own routine.

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For example, one of my favorite places would be the Canary Islands. Lanzarote is a small island and one of the farthest of the Canary Islands, they’re usually filled with travelers and adventurers who’s looking for something unique. Being there during Christmas can allow you to enjoy the Christmas and also meet others who’re up for some adventures too.

So what are you waiting for?

3. Adapt With CouchSurfing

CouchSurfing has been an amazing tool for any traveler. A place that connects strangers all around the world who’s just looking for friendship and globalization. It’s one way you can meet citizens from the country and enjoy the country from their point of view.

If you’re feeling lost and find it hard to understand the culture or adapt to the country, then opt to Couchsurfing. Plus, if you’re a budget traveler you’ll find it much cheaper to bunk in with a local. If you’re lucky, your host might even take you around town and highlight the best places you could go around the country.

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Personally, I’ve traveled most of the countries using Couchsurfing. It gave me a different perspective and allowed me to have a sense of direction in a strangers nation. Plus, these days, even my partner prefers to travel by Couchsurfing and we have always had a great time.

So try CouchSurfing out.

4. Skype Your Family With Your New Strangers

Finally, nothing beats loneliness than talking to your family. Hearing your mom going on and on about your annoying cousins and enjoying your dad talking about all the delicious food. The family represents a warm blanket sometimes when it gets too warm all you need to do is stick a foot out.

So make a small Skype call to your loved ones and introduce them to your strangers. Being in a foreign country never be afraid to talk to talk to strangers. By sharing your side of the world to them, you’ll create a brand new tradition.

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Your family would enjoy having you be part of their festivities as much as you would enjoy sharing yours with them.

In Conclusion

Traveling alone can be challenging, especially during the festive seasons, so all you can do is making the best of it through improvising, appreciating and enjoying your life as it is.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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