Do you "vant to be alone"?

Old May 8th, 2002, 04:26 PM
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Susan, eating alone is boring! Except it did allow me to keep up with my travel journal !

Diana, I'm so glad you had a great time in Paris and London; it was good to meet you, and my feeling about NYC is exactly the same as yours!

There's a lot to be said for independent travel, being able to do what you want, when you want and how much you want. I enjoyed my trip to Paris. That said, I think the goofs and funny things are better shared. (and meals, too) But I would certainly go alone again.
Old May 9th, 2002, 09:35 AM
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Hello again all you solo and solo "wanna be's"; I could not help chiming in again when I saw the "conversation" turn to this dining alone issue.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've had a great deal of practice at this and I offer up three tactics that I found useful over the years.

#1. The Avoidance Gambit- Don't eat alone. Try to meet someone in the breakfast room of your hotel in the am with the specific intention of meeting up for a meal later "to compare your day"...remember, many singles are even shyer than you are and will welcome the idea and, frankly, many couples are bored with eachother and will also be pleased at the distraction of a new face. Give it a try, the worst that can happen is a "no": few people are truly rude.

2. The Picnic Option- dinner is often a good time to go to the pretty garden or interesting zoo you just walked past something delicious to eat, sit on a bench or, if you are more flexible than I am, a newspaper and enjoy the sunset. Its much harder to feel sorry for your solo state outside in the midst of nature's beauty than sitting next to an amourous couple at the next table.

3. The I'm Far Too Busy to Eat Trick- do your correspondence, postcards, letters over a meal. This has the added advantage of letting your friends back home share your taste in food: "Martha, that splotch just there is the most delicious ragu...I wish you were here to enjoy it with me". (PS. you don't really, your own solo act is much more fun than catering to her picky indecisiveness which is why you are on your own in the first place...)

Grab your courage and have fun!
Old May 9th, 2002, 09:59 AM
another Susan
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To answer Susan's question... When I am in my hometown I often go out to eat with my friends. I am not a "loner". I happen to be a single woman, who likes to travel, and sometimes takes a trip solo. I think married people often have trouble understanding the concept that some of us just never got married. It's not a temporary situation, I'm 48, so I don't think it's probably going to change anytime soon!
Old May 9th, 2002, 07:43 PM
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Am a single guy leaving for France again (not sure if it is 8 or 10 trips to Fr) solo. Always have a great time, but the dinner as a single is not my preference, however several trips with female companions were at times a real test of compatability! Best experience is with someone who can be independent at times and who you are romantically involved with.
Old May 9th, 2002, 09:33 PM
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I met a nice man from London once when we were dining in Venice at adjacent tables. It got all the way to dessert before either one of us spoke, I was way too shy, then I said something about the food and he was very friendly. We met in the same restaurant every evening to share our days, he was happily married and on a business trip. That was all it was, a companion at dinner and it was fun!
Old May 12th, 2002, 06:31 AM
solo traveler
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I'm another woman who travels alone. Initially I went alone because I couldn't find a travel mate with the same interests, money and vacation time. Trips with others can be very stressful, with too many compromises. It's nice to just do what I really want to do. I have no problem at all with eating alone; dining alone makes it much easier to find what works, whether it's a snack on the run or 3 course meal in a restaurant.
My first trip alone was to England, Scotland and Wales for 3 weeks. I wasn't comfortable with driving on the left and navigating at the same time, so now I just use public transportation. I usually go for 2 weeks at a time and generally stick to English speaking countries. But, I went to Spain for 6 weeks alone, and when my son joined me he was more bothered by my poor language skills than I was.
As someone else mentioned, I often notice how miserable couples are, openly bickering with each other, and am glad to be alone.
Old May 12th, 2002, 10:55 AM
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I've traveled solo and with friends, most were wonderful; there was one who is no longer a friend. Traveling solo gives one freedom to do as one chooses, be spontaneous, and meet people in a way that just doesn't happen when traveling with someone else.

As I've been traveling for business a long time, I've grown comfortable with being on my own.

My only objection to traveling only is at dinnertime. My preference while on holiday is that dinner be a "dining" experience rather than just eating. "Dining" would include conversation, and not just with my server. When alone I write in my journal or read a book, but I will still eat at a decent restaurant. My preference would be to have someone to discuss the adventures of that day. Sometimes I meet people along the way and have company for dinner.

Old May 31st, 2002, 04:27 PM
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to the top for Kira
Old May 31st, 2002, 06:13 PM
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Luanne, such a small world. Your friends are my sisters! All 4 of us were planning a trip to France and Italy (recent modest inheritance) and, one by one, they all backed out. They say they want to go with their hubbies, but, fact is, they'll never go.

So I'm headed to Paris solo. (Driving around Lake Como/Tuscany didn't seem like a solo trip to me). This isn't new for me, though. In my career I moved to 11 different cities by myself...good training for solo travel. As for eating alone...doesn't have anything to do with what the other diners think. It's that, with no companion, there's nowhere for your eyes to wander except to other tables. That's why a book or journal is more comfortable. The only thing I avoid is high-end, trendy restaurants...not because I would be uncomfortable, but because OTHERS would be.

NOTE: My favorite "wallflower" story: I was travelling alone in London when a girl friend arrived in town and came to see me at my hotel. After we had dinner she insisted I walk her to the Underground station because she was afraid to walk alone at night. When I pointed out that I would have to walk back to the hotel alone, she said "That's're used to it!". Ha! Cracked me up! She definitely fell into the "wall flower" column in my book.

Old May 31st, 2002, 09:55 PM
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I just went to London and Paris by myself for two weeks, left the husband at home to remodel the kitchen. I didn't think twice about the ramifications of traveling by myself for my very first time to Europe, but everybody else seems to think it is a big deal. I had a great time and no regrets.
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 05:08 PM
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I have traveled alone overseas since I was 17. It just started out that way and it has always been the easiest way to travel. I always meet people while travleing, but I don't have to acquiesce to anyone else's idea of a good time. I am now in my early forties and still travel alone by choice. Many times I don;t know what I feel like doing until I start the day and if something is not to my liking I can chnage it without pissing off companions. If for some reason I am traveling with a friend, it's always fun to split up during the day, then meet for dinner and swap stories. Generally, I think if you are not the kind of person who enjoys going to the movies alone at home, you will probably not be comfortable travelling alone.
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 02:47 PM
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Hi, I know this thread was abandoned months ago, but I just had to say how much of an inspiration all your posts are! In 2 1/2 months I am leaving my native Boston to live for 4-5 months in Britain, Edinburgh specifically. I, of course, don't know a soul over there, and am terrified out of my head. But living/working abroad has been something I've dreamed of doing for a while, and as I am 19 and in the midst of transferring colleges, I figured my second semester would be the best opportunity. Again, just wanted to say how meaningful it is to hear all your stories.
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 02:58 PM
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Good for you Jess, start out young before any fears creep in and start to grab hold of you. I admire you and wish I had done the same thing at your age!
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:10 AM
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I didn't see this thread when it was fresh and new as I was busy hanging out on the Australia board planning my July solo trip.

Let me tell you, travelling alone is fine. As a matter of fact, it's better than fine. I love it. I agree w/many of the posters here about the benefits of going it alone. I enjoy meeting others and being by yourself makes it so much easier than when paired up. One thing,I don't love is having nice dinners alone because to me eating is a social activity...If I don't meet someone to hang out w/at dinner, I catch up w/my travel journal or read. I don't give a hoot what others think and more than once, I've been invited to join some nearby diners. Some of those unexpected happenings turned out to be one of the best parts of my trip.

I'm waaay more friendly and outgoing when I'm away. Part of it is probably because I'm relaxed and not rushing around like I do at home. Another reason is because I don't have the safety of my friends to rely upon. It's a big deal to pick up the phone when you're 15 time zones from home...

So girls (and guys) go for it. Don't sit on you're butt wishing you could go here there and everywhere. Save your money and go for it!

Old Nov 22nd, 2002, 01:51 PM
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I do like to travel on my own,but would like to have some new friends to travel around Europe with this Spring/Summer.Please e-mail me and I'll tell you more.I will be working in Germany in December and hope to get awaay once in awile.
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 03:14 PM
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Well, you have all given me inspiration. My friend is going to cut down on her time on our trip to Europe so I will be own my own for a while and flying alone, too. I have never done this and I am what you would call middleaged. I was losing my nerve, but if you all can, so can I!
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 06:48 AM
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I am blessed with the perfect companion, my husband. I do most of the research for upcoming trips and almost all navigating in foreign lands. He says he's related to "Wrong-way Corrigan." With 15+ years of travel under our belts, hopefully, we would continue to go it solo if/when we ever have to. We both love it too much to ever give it up because of lack of travel companion. The only thing we would really miss would be the "Wow! Look at that!" factor.
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 01:17 PM
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How about taking a mini tape recorder that you can speak into, and say "wow, I am looking at the best fountain, the .....". Then when you get home you can play it back and relive the experience complete with neighborhood soundtrack.
Old Dec 7th, 2002, 08:34 AM
Nancy H.
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Legs, of course you can do it! I began traveling alone about five years ago, and since then all my leisure trips have been solo. I haven't taken that many trips, but I do have wonderful memories of my trips to Vienna (3 months pregnant at the time), Berlin, London, and Arizona. At some point I would like to find the perfect travel companion, but I love travel too much to forego it in the meantime.

I must echo some of the comments above about dining out in the evening--that's when I really feel the lack of company. By nature I'm a very reserved person and I don't tend to feel comfortable striking up conversations with strangers. One thing I have discovered, though, is that the communal breakfast room in a hotel is a great place to meet fellow travelers who might like to dine with me.

One website I particularly like is Check it out for inspiration and travel tips. Lou, I love the audio-recorder idea.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 12:19 PM
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I just got back from a week in London by myself. It was great! I chose to go by myself, because I knew I'd be free to follow my own agenda. I saw what I wanted, when I wanted, and at my own pace. I had a wonderful time!

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