Traveling solo does not necessarily mean you have to be lonely.
There are always friends to be made and fun to be had, but what about family? Is there a way to find a family away from home?
Well, if you ask me, the answer is yes.
You just might have to redefine your idea of family. Family can be parents and siblings, or it can be a group of people who look out for each other and are comfortable together.
As an expat, I can attest to the importance of finding a makeshift family when you are traveling.
I feel as if I have found a couple of families here in Buenos Aires. One of them is more traditional, a family including a mother, father and two children, ages 4 and 9. I started out as a babysitter, but quickly became a more important part of their lives.
Yes, there is a business dynamic to our relationship, but I also teach preschool lessons to the younger son and sit down for meals with the family. The youngest boy has started calling me “Auntie” and I find myself simply hanging out at their house after my work is done, to play Wii with the 9-year-old or have a coffee with the parents, who I consider to be my friends.
It’s comforting to know that I have a family, here, in Buenos Aires.
Of course, not everyone is an expat and travelers don’t always stay in the same place long enough to develop a relationship like the one I have with my Buenos Aires family.
That is where my second type of family comes into play – my online travel community family.
Yes, it’s a stretch on the word family, but I really value the relationships I have with fellow travel bloggers and even travelers outside of the blog world. Online relationships can quickly develop into strong bonds, just like the instant friendships you make with travelers you meet in person.
Just think of how many times you have needed to know something about a city and you have gone to your blog subscriptions and twitter first. Sure, there is information on the internet, but isn’t it better to hear something from a friend?
The more time I spend diving into the online travel community, the more I love it.
You don’t have to be a well-known blogger or a blogger at all, all travelers are welcome and everyone is ready to trade knowledge.
I love getting emails from people who want to know about Buenos Aires or have questions about making an international move. I also enjoy that I have a solid base of people who can give me advice on destinations throughout the world, not to mention friends waiting to meet me in all of these places.
So next time you are feeling lonely or homesick just log on and talk to someone in your family. (Also, check my post for more info on battling homesickness while traveling.) With all the time differences throughout the world, you are bound to find someone no matter when loneliness strikes!
Have you found yourself a family away from home when traveling?
I know no one compares to your friends back home, but what are your thoughts on online friendships? Share, we’d love to hear!