If you have ever been to a country where English is minimally spoken, you may have felt extremely disconnected. Maybe even just being in a large group, not knowing a single person in your radius. Disconnection can be felt in a lot of different ways and we tend to get anxious when we don’t fit in. It makes us have second thoughts about where we are, even if we spent so long to get here.
Take a step back. Look around. Be an explorer. We forget about these wonderful communication apps such as google translate or even symbolism while drawing on paper. Know your universal sign language! You might look silly in the airport trying to find your way around, but you’d be surprised how much someone will study your movements to understand you. Its always good to learn the basics of the language where you’ll be but I understand in moments of being flustered, words slip.
I remember being in the airport with 3 other girls and we were on the way to the Krabi Life Homestay but we couldn’t find our driver. After walking back and forth in the airport for about an hour and trying pay phones to call the number they gave us, I ended up borrowing a piece of paper and writing “LBW RONG” on it. Immediately two ladies waved us over, called our driver from a different terminal and we were on our way. In moments of panic though I hadn’t felt so lost and disconnected from everything around me because I didn’t use my resources. Everything was okay, there was no need to panic.
I find I tend to get the most disconnected in the most crowded places. Nothing feels lonelier than being in a busy bar in a different country when you are keeping to yourself. Some places bring you into the choice of disconnection, whether you want to be talked to or not. Some places allow us to disconnect from the normal and become someone else (or for once your true self). I try to make these moments of disconnection powerful for myself. I like to reflect on where I was in the past and understand I am healthy and alive here now. Disconnection can be an amazing thing if you find more connection to yourself.
When you feel alone, make friends. Know that there are travelers all over the world in the same position as you. Everyone’s trying to discover where their happiness lies and its beautiful being able to step your life into someone elses to help each other pass through loneliness. Take the time to healthily disconnect. Watch the waves crash for hours or listen to the birds chirp. Take in whats around you because everything is temporary.