Do you "vant to be alone"?

Old May 6th, 2002, 01:41 PM
  #21  
Mina
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Lorie:

I am passionate about this subject, so I am posting again. While I certainly agree that many women would love to go on vacation with a man they care about and have it be a “romantic” get-away, it is hard to find that someone. Even a man who is great when you’re home often isn’t the best travel companion. And even when he IS a good travel companion, there is always some degree of compromise and of “what do you want to do” that occurs (if you’re a considerate person) so it’s not always 100% liberating and relaxing.

I LOVE to travel alone. No, it is not always fun. Yes, it is sometimes lonely. If it gets lonely enough, sometimes you might cry…but fortunately, no one is around to witness your embarrassment. And if someone IS around, he/she usually has a sympathetic word to say, and maybe a good story to tell that you would have never heard otherwise.

Traveling alone is not for every woman. Eating alone gets easier, but is never 100% easy. I personally enjoy it when things don’t go perfectly on my trips…I write about them to an audience, and it’s a lot more fun to write about a misadventure. If you go with an attitude that there is humor in everything, you’re that much better off. Women/men who are observant and love to people watch are also ahead of the game.

I have noticed certain women who travel alone are really never alone for very long. They can be of any age (as you can see from Lynn’s post) and are not always “conventionally” attractive. These women have a certain “je ne sais quoi” about them… you are curious as to why they are alone, and she’s more than just a passing thought. Some are effervescent, others are more mysterious…but the aura is still the same. These women know when they truly want to be alone, or can easily smile at a stranger and make friends.

I’m not trying to romanticize solo travel. But I can honestly say I enjoy being alone, eating alone, sleeping alone, and walking the streets alone.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 02:26 PM
  #22  
XXX
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I don't think that people traveling solo equates to wanting to be alone. The circumstance where one find oneself alone may come out of choice, out of necessity or perhaps both. One can travel solo and not be alone for one can think the whole world is their companion. On the other hand, one can have a companion and yet feel alone. I personally think it's an individual feeling or circumstance.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 02:31 PM
  #23  
Mary B.
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I have felt more alone with someone I didn't want to be with than if I were by myself. At least I don't pout or argue with myself. And yes, when your travel partner has no original ideas, but critizes yours, is the worse. My friend's cousin was the bad addition to our trip a few years ago, she was such a pill, I would rather have been alone.
Yes too the best circumstances and partner isn't always available, so you can sit home or go on your own. But remember life is short and there are no guarentees of the future.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 02:32 PM
  #24  
Neil
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I'm another male that has discovered solo travel. I finally got tired of waiting to find that special person to travel with (the ultimate compatability test), and my friends either seemed uninterested in going where I wanted to go or couldn't actually afford to travel. So last year I just decided to enough was enough and planned and booked a trip to Japan for two weeks by myself. I had a great time! In fact it was very liberating to go at my own pace and do all the things I wanted to do. Next week I'm off to France - also solo. I get a little nervous just before I leave wondering what unexpected problems I might run into, but I'm learning that there isn't very much I just can't handle.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 02:33 PM
  #25  
Betsy
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I traveled solo the first time because if I didn't, I wasn't going to go. I travel solo now because never do I feel more confident in myself or more "me" than when I am in a foreign country on my own. Like many other posters, I have met wonderful people along the way that I would have never met otherwise,(including men, Lorrie) and I am a more enriched person because of those people.
I can almost always find a companion for dinner or other things if I want to.
Traveling with others is hard and can break a relationship. There are some people I would travel with in a heartbeat but not many. I have to compromise every day in my job and of course with family and friends, I enjoy the total control I have over what I do when I travel alone. And if I want to hang out with someone for a while, I can always meet someone to share a meal or spend time with when I choose to.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 03:03 PM
  #26  
Luanne
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This is all fine, but I think you are very strong women, not all women are that strong or capable. I think I must be in a circle of very weak women in comparison, they would not even think of traveling without their spouses.
I thank the men that posted here on this thread too, it is nice to get a man's take on traveling alone.
Time for new friends, I guess.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 03:14 PM
  #27  
Mina
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Luanne, I don't think that because your friends wouldn't think about traveling without their spouses necessarily makes them weak...it's to each her own.

Keep your friends...you'll need some ears back home to listen to all your crazy adventures. <G>

I'd love to meet a man someday that I wouldn't DREAM of traveling without, but I'm a bit cynical about that...or of meeting someone who would never DREAM of traveling without ME.

 
Old May 6th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #28  
mark
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Luanne -
My first trip solo was fraught with self doubt - my second less so - third a little bit less - and so forth and so forth. I've discovered the joys of solo travel slowly but steadly. You grow into it.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 03:23 PM
  #29  
Luanne
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Yes Mina, weak was the wrong word, scaredy cats is better. They won't even go to the market after dark in our own city. How could they walk around Europe alone? Not that I am Xena, myself, I shouldn't talk. Just that my friends seem to not travel anymore after they
are widowed or divorced, they seem to be lost souls, waiting for, what?
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 03:35 PM
  #30  
Mina
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Luanne, scaredy cats is a great phrase! Haven't heard it in a long time and it made me laugh.

Some people are perfectly content never to venture outside their comfort zone. Maybe your friends will start small one day...like going to the market after dark!

At some point, something just makes a lot of potential solo travelers say "@#*%&! this! I'm not going to wait anymore to see the world. I'm going!" For me, it was a USA Today article on Australia...I had always wanted to see Australia, I knew I had plenty of unused vacation time, and I had the money. I booked everything (in three days!) without analyzing too much, and figured I'd muster up the balls later.

I still have a copy of that article, and it's quite sentimental!
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 03:41 PM
  #31  
Single girl
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Well my answer is really extremely simple... I AM single (48, female, American)... I live alone, always have. So when it comes time for travel certainly if a friend(s) or relative is interested and available, well off we go together. If not, then off I go alone.

I think it is easier for single people to travel alone (than those normally part of a couple traveling solo). I LIKE and am used to my own company. For me to eat dinner at a nice restaurant solo is no big deal, and certainly won't be the 1st or last time it happens.

Another perk of traveling alone (male or female) is you have no one to compromise or argue with. I do exactly as I want. Heaven forbid you take the wrong train, get lost, take the vaporetto in the opposite direction, whatever. You fix it yourself. Or you find a cafe and drink some wine. No blame. I am ENDLESSLY amused eavesdropping on couples fighting and blaming each other about the silliest little things when they travel together.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 03:54 PM
  #32  
Jim Rosenberg
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I travel both ways and both have their unique qualities. For me, traveling alone is a far more introspective experience. I take in more of my surroundings and observe more. It is easy enough to meet people, if one so chooses. I can waste time on something that may not turn out to be too exciting, since I'm not wasting anyone else's time with it. There are no compromises to make. Interactions with other people take on a different significance when a person is alone, since one is focused entirely on the interaction vs. dividing it with a companion. If I want to concentrate on something like getting some great photos, going alone is definitely the very best way to go. On the other hand, it is a lot of fun to be able to share experiences, too. Traveling alone may represent a more substantial barrier to most women than it would for many men (I'm in a poor position to evaluate that.) But to me, it speaks volumes about those who enrich their lives that way! (I LOVED Lynn's post!)
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 04:08 PM
  #33  
Georg
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I agree with you all. I still remember to this day the places I have skipped or been rushed through because my traveling companions weren't interested.
On one hand it is nice to share things with and have an extra pair of eyes for signs, etc., especially at the train stations. On the other hand it is nice to come and go and stop and eat and sleep and sightsee when I please.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 05:03 PM
  #34  
Wondering
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Luanne -

Are you saying that your friends wouldn't even travel with other single friends, but would only travel with a husband, and now that they are widowed or divorced, have simply given up travel?
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 06:50 PM
  #35  
rand
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Reading these inspiring posts raises a big question to me.
The question is, for how long do you travel on your own.
I am half of a couple that travels ridiculously well together because we are both capable of laughing at ourselves over the mistakes we make.
I do travel on my own every year (but not to Europe), because for some reason my wife does not enjoy riding on the back of a motorbike through the rain to pitch a tent in the mud for bedtime. Since I am used to being part of a couple, I find that talking to myself becomes boring after a few days, and I start to miss the companionship.
I am wondering if those who live alone are able to travel alone for longer periods. Also what is the added stress if any of travelling alone in a country where communication with locals is limited to 'phrasebookology'.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 07:03 PM
  #36  
Greta2
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As a female scuba diver without scuba diving friends I sometimes travel for diving alone. Its either go it alone or don't go at all. I don't want to drag a non-diving friend with when I will be gone for about 5 hours or more a day on the dive boat. Ya it gets a little boring at night but I enjoy the peace and time to myself.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 07:04 PM
  #37  
Christina
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I love reading about all the people who don't mind travelling alone. I haven't done it, but it looks like I'm going to have to. It's something that's very important to me, and it's hard for me to meet people who feel the same way.

I do believe that in general, more women are comfortable traveling alone than men. Very few men seem to be able to do well on their own. Take, for example, how quickly men tend to remarry after divorce. I think women stay single longer. Maybe men settle for someone much sooner than women, whilst women are more comfortable waiting for the right person. I haven't seen that many men travelling alone.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 07:31 PM
  #38  
Mina
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Rand - I have traveled alone for 3.5 weeks in Australia, and will be in Ireland for two weeks solo. Also am working towards staying in Spain alone for two months. I love not to have to hear my own voice for days.

I don't have a significant other to miss, but if I did, it certainly would be harder to travel for long periods away from him. You are certainly lucky.

As you can see, I started "easy" by going to English speaking countries. Spain will be my first foray into a country where English isn't the "first" language. I'm brushing up on my Spanish (semi fluent, but can't hold a long conversation) now, and hope to learn Catalan as well. At some point, I believe it will be interesting to travel solo somewhere where English is hardly spoken. But I'll work up to the challenge a little at a time.

Greta, I feel your pain...I'm certified and none of my friends are. I keep begging them to just fork over the money and do it!

Women have an advantage over men when traveling alone (except for safely, and those issues). I don't remember the last time I saw a solo male traveler sitting at a bar, and some other guy approaching him and saying "Dude, I see you're alone, let me buy you a beer." Solo men travelers tend to have to make more of an effort, while women usually have to fend off some of the more forward men!
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 07:37 PM
  #39  
Amy
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I've travelled all kinds of ways as far as companionship goes, and I have to say....
I LOOOOOVE solo!
I've had great travel companions, and it's been a lot of fun, and I've had (ahem) other kinds of travel companions, and I've had fun anyway, but there's just something special about making your own way and soaking a place in through all of your senses.
The longest I've been so far is two weeks, but I'm eagerly anticipating my three upcoming weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia...all by myself.
(And no, I don't work in a solitary kind of job or live alone; that's one of the reasons, I think, that I really, really enjoy travelling alone. ;-)
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 07:45 PM
  #40  
Holly
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I discovered the joys of solo traveling after taking my first trip to Europe in 1980 with my mother. It's been solo travel ever since. Thanks, Mom, for breaking me in early!
 

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