Nothing feels like home. Even if you’re going to one of the most beautiful cities in the world such as Paris, expect loneliness to creep in whether you’re just staying there for a few days, weeks, or months. Don’t worry. From visiting the best museums in Paris to exploring new places, and staying connected with your loved ones, there are things you can do to never feel lonely while travelling for work.
The first few times you travel for work or business will surely make you feel excited and thrilled. But as it becomes more of a regular thing or when you have to stay there for an extended period, you start feeling isolated and lonely.
Work travel can be lonely at times. Getting homesick is a real struggle. Check out these suggestions to not feel lonely the next time you travel for work:
Check out the best museums in Paris
If you’re visiting France for the first time, take the opportunity to explore this beautiful place to combat loneliness. Instead of isolating yourself in your hotel room and watching the clock ticks (anxiously waiting for a call from your spouse or your kids), why not go out and visit Paris art museums? Paris is home to some of the most beautiful and fascinating museums in the world, such as:
- The Louvre – the world’s largest and most visited museum. Pass through the iconic pyramid that features a multi-level maze of galleries and passageways. The Louvre is also home to the world-famous masterpiece – Mona Lisa along with 35,000 works of art and artifacts.
- Centre Pompidou – this is one of the best-known sites in Paris. The museum features the largest collection of modern art in Europe. It also has this huge, huge library that has a free entrance.
- Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais – originally constructed in the 1900s, you will be amazed by the beautiful architecture of this art museum. When it reopened in 2005, it has put on huge exhibitions from famous artists like Marc Chagall, Irving Penn, and Paul Gauguin.
Aside from the lovely museums, there are plenty of sites to see in Paris, such as the Eifel Tower, Disneyland, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palace of Versailles, and the Moulin Rouge. After filling your eyes with the wonderful sights, head to one of the numerous patisseries in the city and fill your tummy with sweet and delicious French pastries. Yum.
Keep in touch
Business trips can feel hurried and rush. It can be challenging to coordinate calling home. Luckily, in today’s digital world, nothing can keep you away from the people you love. In just one tap, you can reunite with your kids, have a sweet conversation with your partner, or touch base with your friends. Even if you have a tight schedule, you can squeeze in time to keep in touch with your friends or family.
Here are some great ways to stay connected with your family and friends even if you’re in a faraway place:
- Make a quick call. You don’t have to engage in a long conversation with your loved ones just to feel reunited with them again. Quick, random calls can do wonders. It could be during transit from one place to the next, while you put on your makeup or dress up for the day, or during lunch breaks. Even if it’s just a 10-minute chat, it’ll surely help ease the loneliness.
- Go live. Whenever possible, go for a video call instead of a phone call or chat messages. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your loved ones face-to-face, even just virtually.
- Utilize apps. Technology has made it easier to stay in touch with friends and family while travelling. With apps like Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Google Hangouts, you can stay connected with your loved ones without the need for expensive long-distance or international calls. Most of these apps have features like group calls, call forwarding, chat, and video calling that makes communicating a breeze, no matter what the distance.
- Don’t forget to give them a daily update. Email them some pictures. Surely, your family and friends will be interested to see how your day has been.
Connect with others
Another factor for your loneliness is the lack of human connection. You’re in a strange place with strange people. And in situations like this, it’s easy to feel alone and lonely. But here’s the thing. The human connection comes in many forms. Check out these simple ways to meet people while travelling solo:
- Suggest lunch with a client at a nearby cafe instead of having your meeting at a stuffy conference room.
- Instead of ordering a takeaway to your hotel room, consider dining out. Skip the high-end restaurants and go to popular local food hubs where you can freely chat with friendly locals.
- Start a conversation with your Uber driver. Better yet, take public transportation. Sometimes, you meet people in the most unlikely places.
- Don’t work in your room. Check if the hotel has a co-working space. If not, take your laptop in a nearby coffee shop. If you need a quiet environment for some deep work, invite a colleague who’s on the trip with you to your room. At least, you’ll have someone to chat with when you take a break.
While these might sound small efforts, meeting new people and building rapport are great ways to beat the loneliness while travelling for work.
Travelling is exciting. But at the same time, it can be stressful. To combat loneliness and homesickness, you need to enable your mind to focus on positive thoughts and emotions.
Many people tend to disregard this but practising self-care is one of the best things you can do to overcome unwanted feelings like stress and loneliness. Here are some self-care practices that will make your business travel a more enjoyable one:
- Think about committing 5-10 minutes of mindfulness each morning or evening to feel more energized, balanced, and ready for any work or any travel surprises that can come your way.
- Connect with yourself. Just as you want to connect with people back home and meet new friends during your trip, you should not forget about connecting with yourself. Focusing inward, even for just a few minutes each day, leads to reduced stress, increased feelings of happiness, and more calmness.
- Hit the gym. If your conference goes on for an entire day (with some more activities after such as client/group dinner), wake up early so you can have time to exercise, even for just 30 minutes or less. Working out is a great way to boost your energy and focus, and take your mind off being away from friends and family.
- Get a massage. If your schedule permits, book a massage. It’s the best way to relax and ease the stresses of the day.
Enjoy your alone time
It may sound counterintuitive but one of the best ways to make business travels less lonely is to appreciate the solitude. Back in your city, you could be juggling with a very hectic lifestyle that you no longer know how it feels to be alone. Take note, however, that being alone is different from feeling lonely. Instead of pining for what you are missing at home, take the opportunity to enjoy your alone time.
- Get on board with your hobbies. When was the last time you engaged in your favorite activity or hobby? Use the silence and solitude to knit, sketch, read a book, or do whatever you fancy. Take advantage of the empty hotel room and the stillness of the night.
- Enjoy your own company. Splurge in a bubble bath while sipping wine, watch your favourite childhood movie, sing your heart out, or snack away on whatever you want. Being your truest self is what “me time” is really about.
- Enjoy a cup of coffee. You deserve it.
Experience life, wherever you are
Lastly, enjoy the fun of travelling! Of course, you are there for work. But business can be mixed with pleasure too, yes? If you are going to be in an area for a while, take the opportunity to learn more about the culture and local activities. Most business hotels arrange social events in the evenings, such as group tours to a local park or a museum. They are not just a great way to enjoy the night and ease the loneliness, they also are a great chance to network with others. Take note – you never know who you will run to.
Traveling for work can make you feel lonely. Luckily, there are ways to cope with such unwanted feeling – from exploring museums and enjoying the sights to keeping in touch with your family back home and meeting new people.
Don’t forget to practice self-care, enjoy your ‘alone time’, and experience the fun and beauty of travelling.
It’s hard to be away from your home turf. But you’ll get through the loneliness.
And the next thing you know, you’re already home.
So, worry not.
And enjoy the adventure. You can do it!
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Richard Cole is a Marketing and Content Manager at MustGo.com and has been working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2002. He writes about marketing, lifestyle, travel and everything else in between. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.