Solo Travel: 17 Signs You’ve Had Too Much Alone Time

alone timeWhen you travel solo you can do what you want when you want. Being alone, that independence is one of the good things about solo travel. But can there be too much of this good thing?

So that you don’t go too far on the solo side of travel I thought I would write a lighthearted post on the subject. But every time I tried, it came out serious. Fortunately, my youngest son is quite the comedian. He just rattled these off.

I give you…

17 Signs That You’ve Had Too Much Alone Time

1… You’ve gone about as far as you can learning the harmonica.

2… You’ve worn the same shirt across 3 borders but think: “well, it’s new to them”.

3… You step into a cab and “that smell” is you.

4… Your internal dialogue becomes your external dialogue.

5… You find deep meaning in country music.

6… When you finally find an engaging conversation, the only response you can muster is “uh-huh”.

7… You spend more than 20 minutes talking to your mugger – and he doesn’t speak English.

8… You catch a fish and find yourself just petting it.

9… Calling cards become a major budgetary item.

10… You pretend to be lost just to talk to someone.

11… You see Sudoku when you close your eyes.

12… You sleep in your clothes.

13… You go to the hotel lobby in your pj’s.

14… It takes more then 10 minutes to ask someone the time.

15… When you speak you only vaguely recognize your own voice.

16… Fingers become appropriate utensils for just about any occasion.

17… You’re so desperate to communicate in some way that you write a post for Solo Traveler.

That last one was a personal dig. “Sorry Mom, I couldn’t help it.”

If you find yourself exhibiting any of the above, it’s time to use some of the techniques found in these posts.

Finding the Freelance Hub: Great for the Solo Traveler

Solo Dining? Try Restaurants with Communal Tables

Tips for the Shy Solo Traveler

10 Tips for Clubbing and Pubbing Solo

Solo Travel and Yes, Talk to Strangers

8 Ways to Find a FREE Local Travel Guide

Travel Alone and Love it: 50 Tips

Five Ways to Enjoy Restaurant Dining  – Solo

How to Crash the Club Scene Solo

  • Raymond Andre Hagen

    I liked #5 :)

  • Charlotte Gedney

    You know kids going through life alone when you have a family is no picnic. No dig, but my dream was to be a travel writer and photographer. No matter how lame I do not believe that anyone needs to get anymore digs in and coping the best I know how dealing with cancer and a variety of diseases that cause excruciating pain and if you want a punching bag go to the gym. Truth is you can help yourself by being kind despite how you really feel. I know you do not like my lectures but it will help you get along with others something that is a challenge for me which is why I travel solo.

  • Charlotte Gedney

    to me a piede la questa on a beach in Mexico. I was with a friend but he buried the money in the sand out of sight so he went to get some money while the robber held me at gun point. I spoke with him in Spanish about me and where I was from and I do not even remember the entire scenario but he lft peacefully after getting a small amount. I have no idea how much but we were students and would not have taken up residence on a beach at dawn if we had a travel budget. Then we stayed with a small group on the Ocean in hammocks at Puerto Vallarta for spring break and had a fab time. I really think about those crazy adventures in the 70’s with mixed emotions.

  • Terence

    No ‘Deep Meanings’ in Country music? Sarcastic ignorance. Travel supposedly broadens the mind…

  • Wanderlust

    I remember when I did a bike trip alone (just for a week though) – I ended singing all the songs I know and telling myself all the poems I’ve ever learned

  • Sharps Containers

    This is the most awesome post.


    how did you find Jordan?

  • Janice Waugh

    These are great Jaryd. Thanks so much for adding to the list. :)

  • Jaryd Krause

    haha stepping into the cab and “that smell” is you – love it

    18. letting your facial hair grow and telling people that’s it’s usual length

    19. talking to people on facebook chat you never normally would

  • Bonnie J. Speeg

    What can I say, I also have a son named Dylan who does stand-up, and these tips sounded like my own inner voice (or well, I guess a son’s voice). Getting lost just so you can talk to someone would be a huge sign and I laughed out loud.

  • chriscr

    in the hotels in Jordan, whole families came to breakfast in PJ’s and slippers :-)

  • Alexandra Kovacova

    I go to my friends’ houses in pj’s, does that count too? 😀

  • Aleah |

    So funny! Number 8 is so cute. 😀 I can relate with 11 and 12!

  • Erin Nire

    10, 11 and 15 are all symptoms I’ve experienced once or twice on solo travels before!

  • Robertkho

    “you step into the cab and the smell is you!”…hahahaha LMAO! Been reading your post and wanting to take the leap to traveling solo.

  • Jada Novic

    lmao… very funny and unfortunately, true….

  • subra mani

     A few points suits me also, nice points, Since most of the time i travel solo only

  • Florine Foulon

    Love it, the 2nd one made me laugh so hard ;)!

  • FisterraTravel

    This post really makes laugh, after just finishing an extended detour back from Umbria to Amsterdam, I really like the one 

    2… You’ve worn the same shirt across 3 borders but think: “well, it’s new to them”.” I did take showers everyday, eventhough I was just using my own car and not a cap. :)I believe that all of the above can happen when not taking care of social activity while on solo travel.

  • solotraveler


  • Irene Haidner

    Too cute …. I have always travelled with a partner but YES I could see how this is an experience. Love your post.

  • KOhsAMuI

    You spend more then 20 minutes talking to your mugger – and he doesn’t speak English. This Cool funny read :)

  • Spinster

    That is absolutely hilarious!!!

  • solotraveler

    That’s hysterical! What an amazing story.

  • mr Samui

    “Talking to your mugger” – ha! I laughed out loud when I read that one. It actually happened to me once in Bangkok. When the guy realized how I had so little cash on me he took pity and we actually ended up going to his favorite noodle soup stand together. He thanked me at the end and even walked me back to my hotel for safety!

  • Natalie – Turkish Travel Blog

    Very good. I like the one about spending more then twenty minutes talking to your mugger. Not sure if that is as bad as petting the fish though. Good and funny read.

  • Spinster

    A few of those apply to me. Cool list.

  • Pat Deese

    You’ve worn the same shirt across 3 borders but think: “well, it’s new to them”.

    Well it is NEW to them so what is wrong with that?

  • Connie

    This is really funny! And sadly, kind of true for me. “Dressing up” for me these days is changing into an actual clean shirt instead of one that could possibly pass for “clean” if you don’t get too close. =) Hmm, maybe it’s time to clean up my act a bit!

  • Kevin

    16… Fingers become appropriate utensils for just about any occasion.

    10… You pretend to be lost just to talk to someone

    These two had me LOL.#16 Especially when your in a third world country…

    #10 I’m a backpacker, I’ll know exactly where i am & where to go. But ask several Local’s directions, just to spark a chat & practice my “Spanglish!!”

  • James Cole

    LOL, I ticked off 7. 10 more to go…
    Nice post :)

  • Cailin

    That is indeed a pretty fabulous list!! I have definitely worn clothes repeatedly because “its new to them” haha and I am guilty of wearing my PJs in lobbies haha

  • Juno

    Haha you made me LOL on my way work. :) how true!!
    Someone speak english, then I go “hm-?” hehe English is not even my first language :)
    nice list! :)

  • Nancie (Ladyexpat)

    Thanks for a laugh. Your son is very talented. Traveling solo since 1980, I relate to many of these :) I’ll be back to check out your links when I have a moment.

  • solotraveler

    Ok, there’s a real story there. Are you going to share???

  • Daniel

    “You spend more then 20 minutes talking to your mugger—and he doesn’t speak English.” Strangely, I’ve actually found myself to be in this position! Thanks for the great list—hilarious!

  • Alyssa

    Haha Oh no!