The Feeling of Being Alone

The following blog post is not me begging for pity. I promised to blog about the good and the bad of my trip, and this is the first tough blog post… Perhaps this will be read by someone who is feeling similar emotions one day, and it will comfort them to know that they aren’t alone!


And it has finally happened.

My trip, so far, has been, yes, amazing. I have seen so many wonderful things in Cornwall and Cambridge, and I am so thrilled to be here. But, I must confess, I have struggled over the past couple of days with the feelings of loneliness and isolation.

I’m traveling to Paddington Station tonight where I will arrive at midnight and wait for roughly nine hours until my train departs tomorrow morning for Amsterdam. I’m sure I will be fine, and I’ll make sure I’m in a safe area, but the trip has been hanging over my head for a couple of days now, and frankly, I’m scared.

I’m not scared about getting robbed or the like, because I know that I’ll get myself into a safe place. I’m scared about sitting there, in the quiet and the cold, alone, with my thoughts to entertain me. I have already thought about coming home early because of so many different reasons.

I feel like I’m wasting my time here. I definitely feel like I’m wasting my money. I love traveling so much that I get way too excited about it. Seriously. But I’m coming to realize that I really only love traveling when I’m sharing the experience with someone. I’ve travelled a lot with my parents, and I do love sharing experiences with them, but now it’s time for me to share it with people close to my heart (not that my parents aren’t close to my heart, but you know what I mean… People close to my heart that aren’t my parents).

I know that this is going to sound freakishly weird and annoyingly sappy, but I really want a family. I want my own home, a life partner, kids, a safe car, insurance to cover my family, a nest egg in the bank, not an expensive and showy, but a quality and cozy home with everything my family needs… You get the idea.

I’m struggling because when I have nothing to do, I freak out. I get all weird and everything. But right now, having nothing to do, I’m stir crazy but completely unmotivated to do anything at all. I need a goal. I need to be working towards a long term success that I can be proud of. I need a family that doesn’t smother me yet still protects me and is proud of me. I need a better relationship with my parents, and I need more friends. I need people who want to be around me and who are interested in me, and I need to be less focused on myself and my needs. I need to be more proud of who I am, emotionally and psychologically, and less worried about appearances in this moment.

I need a hug. Europe is great, but it is so hard to be on my own. It is so hard to be alone.

10 thoughts on “The Feeling of Being Alone

  1. Hang in there, Zach; even as you feel lonely, remember that the prize is learning to value and enjoy your own company. Many of us, enjoying your super blog, are there with you, enjoying both your company and your/our solitude.

    A big hug,


    • Thanks, Penelope! You gave me similar advice when I was in Toronto and on the phone with you in Oberlin, and it continues to be entirely true. I appreciate your enthusiasm in reading my blog! It’s so nice to know that I’m connected back home!

      Many hugs,

  2. Dear Zack,

    Hi :-) I just wanted to say that everything you are feeling is completely normal. It’s normal to want more out of life and to have some goal to be striving towards. It seems that your trip in Europe is helping you to figure out just exactly what is important in life and that is awesome! I think that with all things in life there are, like you said, going to be low points and high points. The low points may seem hard, but it usually is during those times that we learn the most about ourselves and grow the most and it seems like you are doing a lot of both. Just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and that if you would like more close friends I would love to be one. I’m looking forward to reading more about your trip and to read about all the things you see and all the things you learn. Keep in touch! And if you ever want to shoot me an e-mail just to talk my email address is:

    • You rock, Kate Paul. Thank you so much for such a dear message! It is so cool knowing that you are following me along my journey! I really enjoyed seeing you when I was in Savannah, and I’m so happy we are still in touch!

      Thanks again,

  3. Hi Zach,

    I’m wrapping my cyber arms around you. And so is Tom. There, two hugs! Tom said to tell you how much he admires you for having the courage to do what you are doing. I suspect while in the thick of it, it is easy to think “what the heck am I doing?!” but that in looking back, you’ll discover that the lessons learned and the life skills gained will open doors to a natural next step. The dots, seemingly scattered, will connect over time.

    We enjoy reading your posts and have learned through your descriptive writing. (hmmmm…there we go again…did I hear the word “teacher” whispered in the background?). Sounds like you’re doing some good thinking. Do you realize how many people are so busy “doing” that they never stop to think? And come to think of it, do you realize how boring Dorothy would be if she’d never gone to Oz? Be safe; keep us posted; know you are loved.

    • One of the best comments ever. Thank you, Dottie, so, so much for everything that you do! You are always able to step in right when it’s needed the most!

      I’ll be in touch soon!

  4. Definitely happens to all of us – I continually struggle with the “wait, what am I doing here again?” and the “wait, what am I going to do with my life?!” and the “wait, who am I going to share this with?” feelings. However, I find that someone drops me a kind line just in time, or the sun comes out from behind the clouds, or I force myself to wander alone and end up discovering the coolest place (and often discovering cool people to share it with along the way). I’ve been trying to start each day with an open mind, no matter how lonely I’ve felt the day before. I know there are more lonely days to come, but I repeatedly force myself to get up and moving, knowing that if I don’t leave the door open (potentially letting in loneliness and hurt), I won’t have the chance to meet good people and have good experiences.
    So: though not every moment will be enjoyable, keep on trucking! You are doing something so admirable and so brave. You have an amazing spirit, and good people will be drawn to you. All we can do is to do our best to do better. Good for you for embarking on that journey! Sending hugs your way,

    • Thank you so much, Colleen! What a nice surprise! How are you doing over there in Turkey? Haha I just realized you are in Turkey on Turkeyday. Sorry :) You have a special gift for brightening someone’s day. You did it to me so many times at BU, and you’ve done it again, through the Internet. I’m so lucky to have you as a friend! Many hugs your way too!

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