Am I nuts?

Old Aug 10th, 2000, 05:13 PM
  #1  
Joan
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Am I nuts?

I am middle-aged and a first-time traveler. My kids and friends think I'm nuts for "going off" to London by myself. But, I'm going anyway! I have discovered that half the fun is in the research which will hopefully prepare me for my solo. I believe I will be comfortable in the Bloomsbury area of London (Arran House to be specific). I am so excited but also a little scared. Any suggestions about anything at all?
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 05:21 PM
  #2  
sistah
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Joan, YOU GO GURLFRENNNNNNNN!
3 cheers for you.
The best "plans" are made by the seat of your pants! Be careful but have funnn!

Have a jolly old time!
Sis
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 05:36 PM
  #3  
Art
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Good for you. I've done a lot of travelling by my self. My ex would only travel in the lap of luxary (she thought that roughing it was a 5 star hotel with slow room service) so I did some by myself and now travel by myself all of the time. I always meet people when I travel and would not give it up for anything. So far I've visited approx 21 countries and 47 states.
Great travels to you.
Art
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 05:41 PM
  #4  
adrienne
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Joan, Good for you. You want to travel and are not held back by going on your own. The part I like least about traveling alone is eating by myself at dinner and not talking to anyone in the evening. But there are many advantages to traveling alone...you get to see what you want to see and stay as long as you want without feeling that you're holding up someone else who isn't as interested as you are. I found some good ideas on this forum about traveling alone, especially in London. One of them was to take an evening walking tour, that way you'll have others to talk to and might meet some new friends.
Have a great trip!! Adrienne
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 05:53 PM
  #5  
jan
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Joan, I think that you are right on target. I recently took a trip on my own just to make sure that I could do so comfortably. It was a great success. One thing that I like to do is to have at least one great meal... I make a reservation at my selected restaurant (keep up the research) and I always make sure that it is understood that I am dining alone. I like to arrive early and have glass of wine in the bar --- make sure that you dress for the occassion and have a great time. I find that if I do this once in a while on a trip I feel like I am truly celebrating an occassion. Getting dressed, visiting with other travelers while waiting for my table - and never ever feel like you should be reading or making some sort of notes during dinner. Order a bottle of appropriate wine (you can take the remaining wine to your room) and just enjoy the dinner. I just hate the idea that if you are traveling alone you must eat "cheap". Have fun. jwg
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 05:58 PM
  #6  
Becky
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I think travelling alone sounds like a great idea, but I am in a situation kind of similar to yours, Joan. I'm 25 and single, and every time I mention my ideas for a solo trip to my family and friends, they act like I have mental issues. It has kept me from travelling to Europe alone (although I have gone with a friend). Anybody have suggestions on how to get past the discouragement from my family?
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 06:00 PM
  #7  
Martha
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Joan -
Go for it. I traveled by myself (at age 47) for the first time overseas to London last June and had a great trip. My friends and family also thought I was nuts - but I didn't let that stop me. England is a very friendly place, where they speak your language - even if it is hard to understand sometimes with the accents. My experience is that I had a great trip by myself - so I'm betting you will too. By the way, this year I ventured to the Greek islands by myself - so don't let this be your last trip.
Martha
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 06:18 PM
  #8  
texasgrrl
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Joan, congratulations on what will surely be the first of many great trips. i have traveled alone a decent bit and am always a bit nervous at the start of a trip, but then that makes the trip even more satisfying when i realize i can figure it all out! think you've made a good choice in bloomsbury, that is where i stayed on my only trip to london and found the area very convenient and safe. (i think it might even have been arran house _ sorry those details escape me.) In any event, have a great trip....
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 06:30 PM
  #9  
Shirlene
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Hi Joan, have a wonderful trip! Im doing the same - going to Italy by my self, and a little afraid too. But it is not the first sollo travel - Ive been in USA before (I am from Brasil) and I had wonderful walkings and fond memories. As Jan said, getting dressed for a special dinner in that beautiful (& expensive) restaurant is something to remember forever!
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 07:26 PM
  #10  
Diane
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There nothing nuts about traveling alone. One benefit is that it is easier to meet people when you are by yourself. You get up when you want, you go to bed when you want, you see what you want, you eat when you want. True, dinner time is the only time I minded being by myself. I am thinking about traveling alone again soon as I enjoyed it so much. There is a thread somewhere on this board that talks about travel partners from hell. Read that and I'm sure you'll want to plan a trip for one.
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 09:33 PM
  #11  
elvira
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I started traveling alone, and still do from time to time.

When acquaintances (never friends; they know better) start the naysaying, I listen to their reasons - and none of them apply to me. "oh I'd be afraid I'd get lost" (I'm not afraid of getting lost) "Oh I would feel funny eating by myself" (I have never felt uncomfortable dining by myself) "Oh I wouldn't be able to talk to strangers" (!?) "What if something goes wrong?" (what, things don't go wrong when you're WITH somebody??). So Becky and Joan, recognize the well-meaning concerns are for *themselves*, and, babe, you ain't them.

Get a good map so you know the lay of the land, learn how to get around on the Underground, and have a ball.
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 10:32 PM
  #12  
Prue
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I agree with all the above posters and I also think one of the most positive pluses about travelling alone is that people will make much more of an effort to talk to - and generally help - someone on their own.
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 02:11 AM
  #13  
April
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I wasn't there long but I had the best time in London. I think it is a great place to visit alone. The architecture, the shops, the atmosphere are all yours to take in at your own pace. (Just remember to watch the traffic before stepping out into the street!)
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 03:47 AM
  #14  
Joan
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Thanks so much for EVERY post! I am printing these positive messages to show my loving party-poopers that this "nut" is not a "nut" at all--and she is getting ready to jump off the tree!!!!!!!!
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 06:20 AM
  #15  
Anita
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A cautionary note: there is one thing you do have to be very careful of when traveling alone, it's ADDICTIVE. If you can make it across your own home town without incident, then your family should trust that you can travel alone anywhere. Certainly its frightening, but you feel wonderfully self-reliant when you can manage everything on your own.
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 08:53 AM
  #16  
Gina
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Joan, you'll have a wonderful time! And the Arran House is a great place to stay--it's my favorite accommodation when I'm in London. The Bloomsbury area is wonderful for walking, you're right around the corner from the British Museum, and several tube stops are nearby. I like the youthful and intellectual buzz of being near University College London, and if you want to send your Fodor's buddies a post about what a fabulous time you're having, Dillon's Bookstore, complete with internet access, is right across the street.

Aw, man. I should know not to respond to posts about London...I start getting all excited and wanting to go back, like *now*! My first experience in London was as a solo traveler and I couldn't have had a better time. Go everywhere. Take yourself to the theater. Sit in pubs and drink a half-pint while you watch the world go by.

Oh--and Anita's right. This kind of travel is *totally* addictive!
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 09:11 AM
  #17  
Thyra
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Joan, three cheers for you!!! I agree that once you go and find out how easy, exciting and moving it is to travel solo, the only problem will be not enough vacation time!!! All those nay-sayers are jealous!!! Go Go GO!!!
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 10:04 AM
  #18  
GGinSF
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I've also stayed at the Arran House. I was their Jan '99 by myself and had a wonderful time. It's not a fancy place, but it's clean, safe and in a great location. Traveling alone allows you to meet more locals and other travelers and do the things YOU want to do.

As mentioned above, the British Museum is right by the Arran and the tube is close too. I also walked down Shaftsbury Ave to the theatre district a lot (I love seeing plays in London and singles can often get good seats). Enjoy exploring the sites.

I had a very good dinner at Brown's, a bistro-style restaurant near the theatres (great lamb w/ mint). Also try Indian food in London. There are too many great things to see and do to list them all, but a concert at St Martin in the Fields is a unique experience (especially when candlelit at night).
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 10:05 AM
  #19  
Laura
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Good for you Joan! I have traveled by myself on quite a few vacations and have always had a wonderful time. My friends and family also think I'm nuts, but I have never had any problems. Have a great time!
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 10:56 AM
  #20  
Anita
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This thread is making London on my own sound very appealling. I have tried to talk my friends and family into traveling with me, but they have various reasons why they can't go, expense, time, etc. Lately I find myself putting off trips until I have more money or someone with whom to travel. Maybe I should take my own and everyone here's advice and go.
By the way where is Bloomsbury anyway?
 

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