Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don't You Get Lonely?

That is the usual question of me when questioners find I travel alone? What! I don't even have a dog for company. No doubt they conclude there is something wrong with this guy. Probably a psychopath.

Recently that same conversation resulted in an unusual question, "Don't you get bored?" That was a strange question regarding traveling solo. I was stumped for an answer. Somehow traveling alone never equated to boredom. My response to the questioner was that I didn't get bored. There was always something to keep me busy or drive my curiosity. Always found something to do -- either physically or mental challenging. Sometimes it is the maintenance of living.

Since the question was posed, I could not resolve how to equate loneliness with boredom. However, that may be the attitude of the extrovert. The extrovert needs an audience and becomes animated and alive when surrounded by others. Without others with whom to share or talk to, the extrovert becomes lonely and -- perhaps -- bored.

However, I am essentially an introvert. I can make a very comfortable and enjoyable life with solitary activities -- physical such as hiking or mental challenges such as crosswords.

Earlier this year, I happened to cross paths with a long time road acquaintance. As we chatted catching up on each others' travels and plans, my acquaintance advised that I really needed someone to travel with -- or at least in a tandem rig. When I responded that was not going to happen, he suggested that I should have a dog. I asked how that would change things. Don't recall the response, but no doubt a comedic exchange followed when I responded that I was not a dog person. My road acquaintance (an extrovert) was projecting his needs on me. The extrovert needs an audience. The introvert is happier alone. That introvert is who I am.

Nope. I am neither lonely. Or bored.

To quote Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma–which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -- From 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford given by Steve Jobs


  1. I haven't been bored since I was a child. Though, now that I think about it, that might be because my mom would give me extra chores if I couldn't keep myself entertained!

    I peg the Myers-Briggs meter on introversion. It's extremely rare that I feel like I have had enough "alone time." Luckily, my husband understands and doesn't worry that I'm angry when I closet myself in my office.

    I'm sure that extraverts think that my need to be alone is as odd as I think their need to be with others is.

  2. I want to be a hermit when I grow up.

  3. I'm in my cave with my music and imac listening to good sounds and reading good posts, like yours. Just another introvert, happy alone. Yearning to travel, but when the time is right I'll go. Peace!

  4. Like you, I really enjoy travelling alone, and never get bored while on the road. Plan to go solo full-time one day. The best part is not having to accomodate to someone else's schedule, tastes, life rhythms.
    I enjoy your blog very much. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with all of us !

  5. Another introvert here too. I also am never bored when traveling or rarely any other time. I think you pegged the difference with extroverts - they need company while we introverts need our alone time. There is always plenty to do or think about.

  6. I too am a solo fulltimer who does not have a dog. I am also amazed at the number of people who think I am lonely. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    That was the main reason I was drawn to your blog many years ago.

  7. Good to see this. I'm taking off April 1 on my full-time journey and often wonder about this issue. I don't know why it concerns me because I'm fiercely independent, adventurous, and enjoy my time alone. But still, seeing this is encouraging...

  8. I have been told, if you go to the party and say it was alright,then go home drained, your an introvert. If you go to the party, have a super good time and go home super charged your an extrovert. I guess I'm an extrovert. I always have a super good time, although I am very content when I am alone. Mary B.

  9. This is similar to the remarks that a lot of stay-at-home-Moms get, "aren't you bored all day?" It seems like choices are scrutinized no matter what walk of life a person is in.
    I think it's fabulous that you've set your own journey and are enjoying life. Peace and quiet can be fulfilling and divine -- and by the way, a person can be a in room full of people and be quite lonely. Conversely, a person could be alone and not the slightest bit lonely.
    I totally get it.


Anonymous comments are no longer allowed. Regardless, comments are appreciated. Sometimes there may be a response from Wandrin Lloyd. Sometimes not. Regardless. Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts. Leave a comment or send WandrinLloyd an email. Note: Ads disguised as comments will be deleted.