Do you "vant to be alone"?

Old May 6th, 2002, 07:56 PM
  #41  
rand
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crazymina.
Your response has me howling with laughter. The scene you describe at the bar has happened to me so often in my life. The dificulty is always trying to convey that 'yes I am here at a bar dressed in leather, but sorry I am not that way inclined'. It has also happened that a woman approaches but I am married and it always brings to mind that old song with the lyrics...'three steps towards the door'. Anyone remember the name or artist?
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 08:02 PM
  #42  
Vanessa
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Neil,
I loved the last line of your post, "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."
That is what you get from solo travel, confidence in what you learn and realize you can handle.
I have traveled alone once to Edinburgh and London (last year)and loved it. My friends were broke at the time, and I realized that I had the money and the vacation time and was dying to go to Europe. So, I said would I rather be miserable here at home, or try something new. So, I worked up the nerve to tell my family, I was 23 and they thought I was crazy, but then they accepted it. They were mainly worried that something might happend and I would be there all alone. But I realized told them, I honestly know that there isn't anyone I trust more than myself, and I can do this.
This year, I just got back from a trip I took with a friend to Madrid. While I loved this trip and having her there to share this experience with, there is still something special about my solo trip. There is something special about seeing a place on your own and at your own pace. Although it may sound selfish, I feel like my trip to Edinburgh and London was "mine." It made me stronger and more secure about myself. It made me know myself better, and feel proud that I could do this on my own. I was also able to meet people from all over the world when I was on my own rather than with my friend, which also made the trip special. The hardest part--yes, the times I had to eat dinner alone. Hate that!!! There should be some kind of International dinner partners available in every city, then the whole problem would be solved.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 08:03 PM
  #43  
Marlene
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I like to travel alone because I can do what I want, when I want and for how long I want.
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 08:21 PM
  #44  
Mina
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Rand, that's amusing. I should rephrase my statement and say that men who are not "that way inclined" or not assumed as such, are not approached by other men. =P

Maybe you have a very approachable face?
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 08:29 PM
  #45  
faith
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I really enjoyed this thread--just thought I'd add my own 2 cents worth.
I think that tours and cruises are a great introduction to a newbie solo traveller.
Usually I tack on a couple of days on to a tour at the beginning. Loved bumming around London a bit before heading out with the tour group.
Love walking the decks on a medium size cruise ship and being with the sea on sea days. Usually on port days I do a shore excursion and bum around a port on my own later in the day.
Each trip I get a bit more adventurous and 'bold'--isn't that what travelling is all about.
Faith
 
Old May 6th, 2002, 08:30 PM
  #46  
rand
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crazymina.
Ah yes, that is it, my 'face' is approachable.
Anyway I found the song on limewire.
Lynard Skynard. Gimme three steps.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 02:28 AM
  #47  
Chris
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Rand, you had to look it up? Wow, guess I AM old. Not only do I know that song, but I can (and do) sing along (loudly -- at home, which you'd thank me for).

Traveling alone can be better for me -- my husband causes stress (he loves to get to the airport with enough time to run to the gate). No arguments about when or where to eat, what to see, etc. But I do miss him when there's something he'd love (Venice).

I've heard just as many female travel companions arguing as I have couples. But I think women tend to recognize when to schedule some time apart better than men do.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 09:10 AM
  #48  
Mary Jo
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Rand, when you are used to being part of a couple I suppose it would be hard to be on your own. But in my life I haven't been able to get the good relationship and the ability to travel to happen at the same time. So I am on my own again and after reading this thread contemplating traveling alone.
Of course it would be nice to be part of a perfectly compatible couple, but it doesn't always happen and when it does it may not last long.
So I am beginning to think, who is living my life anyway if it isn't me?
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 09:55 AM
  #49  
freecia
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Since I haven't gotten to the safe age yet (Hey, I'm only 22!), being a girl, and having parents that worry about her, I tend to travel with a friend.
Luckily, she's my best friend and we've lived together for four years so we know each other's in's and out's. (yes, it's like being married, or so I surmise)
However, I would like to travel alone some time. Perhaps visiting friends who live abroad or meeting up with some others. It is very well and good to be independent but being molested and worse does not fit into my itenerary.
I'd probably go to China on my own because I have friends and family there. And Japan, where they have women only hotels and such. I'll wait on Italy and Spain. The men there are quite nice but very aggresive. Being nice and flirting seem more synonymous over there.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 10:05 AM
  #50  
Luanne
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Wondering, yes they are reluctant to travel without a man. It would be the height of daring for them to travel even together. I think there are more women out there like them than sophisticated people, like you all, realize. After their marriages dissolve through death or divorce, they pretty much throw in the towel and resign themselves to stick close to home, waiting for their grown children and grandchildren to visit. And I am referring to relative healthy women, perfectly able to travel, some may have bad knees, etc. But I tell them, and now they avoid me, what are you all waiting for? Death? Miracles? I think they think they owe it to their dead spouses to live the rest of their lives as meek little widows.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 11:22 AM
  #51  
KenCT
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I'm a guy who often travels alone.

I had never been outside the US soon after getting my first job, a school friend and I made plans to go to London. A week or so beforehand, I learned that if the trip was going to happen, I would have to go by myself.

Turned out to be one of the best moves I've ever made - got me out of my shell, met lots of new people over the years, and have been able to spend time where I want.

I don't exactly love eating alone, but I've found that many casual restaurants will serve food at the bar, or I bring a book.

The only aspect of single travel that makes me nervous, especially as I've gotten older has been the "What if....?" As in "What if I rent a bike, as I sometimes do, and get into an accident?" Hasn't happened, but there have been some close calls. So now I'm more careful about carrying multiple identification and informing people back home where I'll be.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 12:50 PM
  #52  
Marnie
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In all seriousness why don't you all want to eat alone? I eat alone in restaurants in my own hometown all the time. Is it because you are on vacation and think people are looking at you? I guess I am missing something, but I don't see what is wrong with eating alone.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 01:26 PM
  #53  
Linda
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I began my solo travel years ago by extending business trips through the weekend. I never felt uncomfortable dining or doing things alone, because my mindset was that "I am on business".

I have travelled with companions (both male and female) on a number of occasions and have not had as much fun because of the compromises that have to be made (I am an early riser who wants to get up and out to see the sights or do something active - many of my companions wanted to stay out partying all night spending the day in bed or on the beach).

I guess it is selfish on my part but if I am going to pay a few thousand dollars to go someplace, I'd like to follow my own agenda and make my own memories.

Most of my friends don't understand, they feel bad for me and always try to think of someone who might be available to accompany me....

Things may change if I met a soulmate.... I did travel to Disneyworld once with someone who was perfectly happy with us separating for the day to do our own things and then hooking up for dinner. I am hoping my future husband will want the same....

I am thinking if I can find myself a golfer, I can send him out to do 18 holes a few days while I explore then we can also spend a few days together doing something that we both enjoy.

The advantage of traveling alone is that people feel bad for you and lots of times you get special treatment. A few years ago I was at Disney for New Years Eve solo. I attempted to eat dinner at one of the better places and was told that reservations were made a year in advance but that if "we" wanted to wait she could probably fit us in in about 3 hours. When the hostess heard that there was no "we" and that I was solo, I was seated immediately.

Being alone I find that I meet more locals and other travelers, allowing me to meet new friends and have some interesting conversations that never would have occurred had I been a couple.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 02:56 PM
  #54  
Susan
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I think people don't want to eat alone because they think they are being perceived as losers or peculiar loners, that is why they read books, so as to look intellectual instead.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 03:45 PM
  #55  
kind heart
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For Luanne, Your posts seem so honest and sensitive but also make me feel very sad. BUT then again, I'm sure your friends would think I was the big loser for never being married or having kids. Maybe there are many conservative women, as you mention, who live as you describe, but there are also many many other kinds. Look at the "Older Travelers" bulletin board on the Lonely Planet site for a real eye-opener. Or read "The Unsavvy Traveler" or "A Woman Alone" short story collecitons. If YOU are interested and IF you want to you CAN change your life experiences... start small... join a book club, subscribe to a travel magazine, etc.).

We're all gonna get old & die, but my personal dream is doing it in Mexico, among friends young and old, not cryin' in my beer (oops i mean tea) sitting at home alone alone alone.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 03:59 PM
  #56  
Luanne
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Kindheart, thanks. I am planning on starting out slowly, thanks for the encouragement. Now don't talk about dying, you get out and about too! Anybody can die, we have to get out and live! I am on a roll now, tomorrow I will get to the bookstore and buy my first travel guide, maybe for Paris!!!
And I am no youngster as you can tell maybe.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 04:56 PM
  #57  
Diana
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I agree with most of the posters above.

No compromise required. I set my own schedule and change it at my own whim without having to coordinate with anyone. I normally have a list of things I'd like to do during my vacation and select from the list when I get up in the morning -- and frequently change my mind after I leave the hotel or as I walk down a street.

If I wait for someone to go with, I'll stay home the rest of my life. I mainly did that for the first 45 years (with the exception of a couple of trips with my Mom on "Hell tours" when I was stationed in Germany). Two years ago, my Mom suggested I go to London -- by myself. I only went for 4 days then. Last year I went to Paris for 8 days; this year I spent two weeks between Paris and London. Now I'm trying to figure out what next. (I may even eventually try a place which has long seemed very scary, terribly intimidating, and extremely foreign to me: New York City.) Both London and Paris are so easy to get around and certainly documented well enough that anyone with basic research and organization skills can plan a trip on their own. And a good place to start to build up your confidence.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 07:10 PM
  #58  
Vanessa
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Regarding eating alone:
No, it's not being perceived as a "loser" that bothers me about eating dinner alone, it's just seeing other people with friends and/or family that leaves me feeling kind of homesick. Usually by the end of the day, I want to share my experiences with someone and that usually happens at dinner. That's really the only time that I felt alone on my solo trip. If I could just get over that, my solo trips would be perfect.
 
Old May 7th, 2002, 09:11 PM
  #59  
kevin
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Im a man who travels alone,I am taking my first trip to Euorpe.When you travel alone you are free to do what you want.The thing that scares me the most is the language barrier,other than that I am just going to have fun.
 
Old May 8th, 2002, 03:44 PM
  #60  
Susan
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Are you all loners when you are in your hometowns too? Just wondering...not criticism.
 

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