I've mentioned this here before, but as of this year, I've spent a lot of time thinking the ways in which loneliness can manifest when I travel by myself. Considering that a large portion of my solo travel is spent observing the people around me and the ways that they relate to others, it comes out in my photos. Yes, this is a cliche, but it's still true: sometimes spending time with others can be lonelier than actually being alone. Just as solitude is not equal to loneliness, companionship doesn't always equal fulfillment. Learning how to be alone and learning how to make meaningful connections with others are two sides of a very crucial coin, especially in today's world of social media. Being able to establish genuine communication and connection with others can be difficult.
I was in Portugal over the weekend (more photos to come), and although I was alone, I certainly wasn't lonely. That being said, I did a lot of thinking on the subject (maybe, as I've written before, it comes with the territory of traveling by oneself). Being able to identify when I genuinely need my space vs the company of others has become important to me as I get older. Everyone has their ideal balance when it comes to companionship and solitude, and I'm trying to be as mindful and intentional as possible in order to find my own. So, with that in mind, here are some of my Portuguese observations on loneliness and the strange, subtle forms it takes in both our day-to-day lives and our relationships with others.