Finding happiness in being alone

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Finding Happiness in Being Alone

Finding Happiness in Being Alone

For a long time now, I've really enjoyed my own company. Don't get me wrong, everyone needs a group of good friends around them, that care and with whom you can have a good time. But I think it's just as important to be able to be just as happy alone as when you're around people. I wouldn't say I'm introverted, but there are days when I like to do things by myself, for myself.

Studying abroad has thrown up a host of new challenges. Like in your first year at university or college, often you begin by not knowing a load of people, which can be extremely scary for anyone who's always had only one or two groups of friends in their lifetime. It feels almost like a taboo subject, because the general expectations of the Erasmus programme are that you arrive in an exciting new country and suddenly you acquire lots of new and exotic friends from all over the world just like that. Of course in reality this is never the case.

It all depends on how much of an effort you make with others - remain within your comfort zone and you remain quite alone unfortunately. There's also this expectation that Erasmus is one big party, constantly having fun and going out. Again, whilst I must say the workload at university is much lighter (because I'm studying half the amount of modules I'd normally be doing), it's most of the time not the case. I go out as regularly as I would back home, the very maximum three times a week but I hardly do that any more!

Loneliness is a funny topic, no one is willing to talk about it yet we all experience the feeling at various points in our lives. We think that being lonely reflects the kind of person we are, instead of the situation we're in and the amount of free time we have to get outside. It is also often attributed to doing things alone, as if we don't have anyone to do something with so we are forced to go by ourselves. But what if we've chosen to go alone? What if we wanted some time to reflect and relax? Does that make us lonely?

The weekends for me in Salamanca are normally pretty inactive, as in no one goes anywhere on Saturday or Sunday during the day, but everyone goes out Sunday evenings to eat out. In the first month it sometimes made me feel lonely and homesick. But last month I decided to try something. I planned things to do by myself. For example, now every Saturday morning after a lovely lie in I'll make pancakes to start my lazy day. It's a tiny action, but the satisfaction is that I've planned to do it and I've not had to consult anyone or invite anyone, I just do it.

Sunday has become my day of exploring. It doesn't matter how long I go for, sometimes I'll walk for about two to three hours, other times only an hour. I'll look for somewhere interesting on Google Maps, and on Sunday I just walk with my camera. I love Sundays here because during the day everywhere feels so peaceful and quiet. I can clear my head, enjoy my surroundings and the fact I have nowhere to rush off to. Every weekend since deciding to do it, I now look forward to it even more. It's my plan, I don't consult anyone but myself and it feels amazingly selfish and completely not selfish at the time.

It's time that loneliness and being alone stopped being synonymous with each other. "Alone" shouldn't be a dirty word, one that we dread to utter, through fear of looking like lonely, miserable people. Having quality time to yourself, and enjoying it is one of life's greatest pleasures.

What do you like to do by yourself? Do you enjoy being alone? Thanks for reading!


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Finding Happiness in Being Alone


  1. Great post. I love being on my own, and I *would* say I'm introverted. I feel very fortunate to have found someone I can share my life with who is very easy to get along with ... so even when I'm not alone - it's not taxing and stressful! And I'm lucky that I get to enjoy the good aspects of being alone [which you're discovering] but there's always someone coming home to me later.

    I've just taken the decision to not go to the next weekend away organised by my friends. It would have been the 14th time I'd gone ... but right now it just feels like I need a break from being with 8 other people for 3 days. [Tough-going for an introvert who likes quiet,reading and one-to-one conversations]. It was hard to make the decision ... but sometimes you have to go with what make *you* happy. You sound like you're getting that sorted for yourself - your solo day trips [and pancakes] sound perfect. Enjoy!

    1. Yeah that's great, my boyfriend makes me feel the same, never alone even though we're in a long distance relationship :) That's exactly what I miss right now, not being able to just pop over and see him right now. Yeah I don't blame you for wanting a little space! I am not a fan at all of big group interaction, I often feel like I fade into the background because I never want to dominate the conversation. Exactly that! Yeah small steps so far but I'm loving having things to look forward to all myself :) Thanks for reading!

  2. Brilliant post, you might be an Ambivert like me. This means a little bit of both! I wrote a blog post about it if you want to go have a read!


  3. I love this. I used to think I was weird for wanting to do things by myself, but when I was in LA for a couple of days and NYC for a day completely alone this summer, I realised how great it was just to explore on my own without having anyone to answer to. Obviously I like having people to do stuff like this with as well, but being completely alone every now and then is good for you. Also, pancakes every Saturday sounds amazing aha

  4. I love the message of this post! I find it hard to explain to people that I enjoy doing things and spending time on my own rather than constantly being surrounded by people (although obviously that's great too). I'm glad there are others who feel similarly. Sunday pancakes sound brilliant haha, the best way to spend a morning! :) x


  5. I really love this post, because I really do enjoy being "alone". A while ago I took myself to blackpool for the weekend, I needed some time away from the big city and I enjoyed every minute of it, it wasn't because I had no one to go with so went alone. I just wanted some me time. And tbh I think I'm quite hilarious. Lol. I'm glad someone can understand where I'm coming from. ��


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