Travel and relocation can be full of amazing memories and experiences. Most people would agree that some things are best when they are shared with others. But how then do you find the balance between enjoying your time with others and getting the alone time you need to stay balanced?

A few weeks ago we touched on the different types of travel personalities and how they can affect our journey and the planning beforehand. One thing I hear time and time again is people struggling that all of a sudden they are meant to spend all this time together with others on their travels, when back home they are used to a fair bit of time on their own.

There are many different profiling tools available online for different personalities and I use some of these myself. The key is to find the balance between your needs and the needs of the group, otherwise your move or journey will not be very balanced.

Some key tips of how to get time for yourself when you’re on the move:

  1. Be honest: explain to your travel buddy/partner that you’d love to have an hour/half day/whole day for yourself. If they seem to take offence, just say that you have a higher need for alone time than they do, that it’s nothing personal and you’ll be much fresher tomorrow if you have a little while to yourself today.
  2. Offer to run an errand for the group: do the food shop, buy the tickets or organise something that needs doing anyway. Sometimes a moment to yourself can recharge any tired travel batteries.
  3. Use the different sleep patterns: if you’re an early riser and your buddy/partner is not – go for a morning walk/jog/coffee and enjoy time to yourself before they get up. If they fall asleep before you, do something just for you once they’ve gone to bed.
  4. Invite new people in: this might sound like the last thing to do for someone craving a bit of time alone, but it’s actually very helpful. For those who travel mainly in pairs, it’s easy to feel that you have to do everything together. But if you invite other people in to go for a run, go check out a museum, have a picnic or a day trip, it’s not as big of a deal if you leave the group to grab a few minutes to yourself. The more the merrier they say! 🙂

Remember, if you look after your needs as well as the group needs, you’ll all have a much better journey. Sometimes we can push our needs aside for periods of time to adjust to others, but it will catch up with you at some point. So make sure to be honest with both yourself and others from the start and as things might change along the way. There is nothing wrong with being who you are, regardless where in the world you are. 

1 Comment

Kylie Bevan · March 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

Very true Emmy. Reminds me of a magnet on my parents’ fridge – ‘retirement is twice as much husband and half as much money’. Having traveled and relocated many times also, I agree, alone time can be elusive – and somewhat puzzling, as even identifying this as the source of discontent can take time.

Good tips how to balance time with others with time alone, thank you.

Another thing might be to identify when what you’d each like to do for part or all of the day differs, and head off in different directions, rather than compromising on the choice of activity.

Kylie Bevan, Health & Relocation Coach

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