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Opinions/experiences regarding traveling alone to Europe

Opinions/experiences regarding traveling alone to Europe

Jan 18th, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Opinions/experiences regarding traveling alone to Europe

Hello I have been posting about my upcoming trip to London and paris and have gotten so much help on this board. I will be going alone, and was looking for others opinions and experiences going to Europe alone. I have gotten so much negative comments from others due to the fact I will be going alone. I hear are me and my wife having marital problems, to aren't I scaredd, to do I have a mistress. My all time favorite is what if something happens to me while I am there and I am all alone! It is very annoying. My wife is fine with it and is encouraging me to go for my birthday she knows it is something I have always wanted to do. We have always gone together places and since we have kids have taken them with us all over the US. They are still in my opinion kind of young for Europe, plus at this point we can't afford for all of us to go.I know I will miss her and the kids, but epsecially after the comments I get from others I feel blessed that she is excited for me and encouraging me to go. She know I was supposed to go two other times once in High School and once when I was graduating college and was not able to go. I am getting her a day at a spa to use when I get back as one way to say Thanks. I was just wondering if others who travel alone get these types of comments, I know I was floored by them.
rd1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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Yes, I had friends who were completely incredulous that I, a middle aged woman, would travel to Paris alone. From the same circle of people – some were quite proud. One thought that if any of us did it, it would have been me! Either way, I've never cared for people's advice much anyway. I prefer my self-bumbling ways, thank you! I had the most wonderful time!!! The freedom! The joy of my own company. Yes, there was 1 moment in a whole week where I was stunned (the lighting of the Eiffel Tower) and for that brief moment only, wish I could have shared it. But that was that… 1 little moment. Otherwise, I have no trouble at all dining alone and do it all the time when I’m here in the States, so that’s not even an issue. My safety…I just keep my wits about me anyway when I’m by myself here in Wilmington, Delaware. We HAVE pickpockets…we HAVE beggars…we HAVE people who steal purses.

But it is a time of self-discovery, self-education, maybe opening up and peeking into corner’s of one’s life…(I won’t bore you with the mystical magical psycho-babble…)

Since that trip, I met a wonderful man. I look forward to our life together. I hope I still can manage to travel alone, once in a while. I enjoyed the experience that much.
SuzieC is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Do you really care what others think? They're not going to Europe - you are. Might be a bit of jealousy involved there, you think?

I've traveled alone, with husband and kids, just with kids, with friends, all kinds of combinations, for 25+ years. If your spouse is ok with the concept, what the heck difference does it make what anyone else thinks?

StCirq is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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ira is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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I know exactly how you feel. Lots of people travel alone, but I think the majority of them are single so they aren't having to deal with the stuff you describe. I am married, with three kids, and my husband doesn't always go with me - some trips he does. But he doesn't have either the interest or the vacation time that I do. It's really hard to explain to people (like my parents) that just becaause I want to take a vacation alone doesn't mean we are about to get divorced or that something is going on. I finially decided I really didn't care what other people think, I try to explain it and if they don't get it - too bad. I LOVE traveling alone. It doesn't mean I don't love my husband or kids or that I don't like traveling with them, I do. But there is defiilty a very good experience to be had in traveling solo.
isabel is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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I know some of my friends think my husband and I are wierd because we try to take a vacation once a year without the kids. And then sometimes my husband has to return and I continue by myself. They don't understand it. Most of these friends have traveled very little or not at all outside the US. It's not a lack of money but lack of interest on their part.
And that is THEIR problem, not mine.

So go and enjoy your time. As long as your wife is Ok with it you shouldn't care about anybody elses opinion.
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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SuzieC,StCirq,ira,isabel Thanks so much for the feedback! I am really looking forward to going and It is something I have always wanted to do and thought I would not be able to do. Amazingly some of the same people who critized me for going alone are the same people that go away several times a year with out their spouses and kids, but not alone! isabel as far as parents and their comments go, It was mother who asked if I was going with a mistress! Thanks again, you are all correct it does not matter what others think and this trip alone does not mean i don't love me wife and kids. I also think it will prove to myself that I can do it alone and yes the whole self discovery thing is also something I thought about and am looking forward too!
Thanks again!
rd1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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Thanks to you too cruiseluv. Alot of the people I get the comments from are those who have no interest in travelling outside the US.
rd1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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You are welcome rd1!
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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rd1....I have only one word for you....ENJOY!!!

P.S. Happy travels...just think of the great reunion you and the wife will have when you return!

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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I get comments when I tell people I am traveling solo too. But then I consider the source, these people will not even go to dinner alone in their hometowns or go to a museum alone or well, you get the point.

If you are comfortable with a solo trip do it, it might open up a new life for your "friends" if they see that you survived intact and, hopefully, had fun!
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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People will be extremely nice to you. Don't assume they are coming "on" to you. Be nice back. Dress conservative unless you are going to a wild nightclub. I see so many American women walking around showing inches of belly fat. You don't see that in Europe--except on the beach--and usually there is no fat. Enjoy. Don't try to tell others how to live their life in Europe.
wally34949 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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wally, rd1 is a man (with or without belly fat).
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 09:38 AM
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rd1 -
May I say that I think it is very loving of your wife to understand that this is something that has always been important to you and to be so supportive!

I am going to Italy next month without my DH (altho' with my sisters, so not completely alone). I know he has always wanted to go to Italy but because we are self-employed, he simply can't take the time from his new business right now. When the opportunity came up for me to go however, he was extremely supportive and encouraged me to go ahead. I told him I would gain experience and ideas for when we can go together!

So, here's to loving, understanding spouses everywhere! Believe me, they are rewarded for being so!
LCBoniti is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Go and have a wonderful time. You'll love every minute of the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Maybe keep a travel journal so you can share everything with the family when you get home. And bring that understanding wife something really special from Paris!
Cherie is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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I have traveled solo once, with boyfriends (including one with whom I fought so often I should have just gone solo!), with friends, with family, etc. No one has ever commented on my trips, other than the "You sure do travel a lot, don't you?"

The only difficult part of traveling alone, for me, was trying to decide *where* to go each day. It was strange not to consult others about where to go when, when to eat and where, etc. Once I got used to that, it was fantastic. And dining solo doesn't bother me a bit. But that may have to do with what an incurable eavesdropper I am.

Have a wonderful time. You are lucky to have a wife who supports your desire to travel.
Leely is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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I often travel solo and love it. Probably I don't get as much flack from people because: 1) most of my friends are avid travelers themselves, and 2) i'm single.

People like to talk negative about what they don't know for some strange reason. These people giving you are hard time have never traveled alone themselves, I bet.
suze is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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Thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement. I know I just need to ignore all the negative comments! It will be nice to eat when I want to, see what I want to see when i want to see it. That will be a treat for me!
Thanks again for posting your comments and experiences
rd1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Just make sure you have health, medical evacuation, and body transporting insurances - just in case something happens.

Once that insurance is paid, don't think of it any more, go and enjoy yourself and all Europe has to offer.

My husband doesn't like to get off his coach, so what? I travel, why not? He supports me in that, and so do my children, anybody else doesn't matter.

Yes, I get this kind of comments a lot, the bottom line is: it's all comes from envy. Just offer to teach them how to get a mistress
FainaAgain is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Rd - every trip I have taken to Europe I have done solo. I love not having to compromise with anyone on where to go, where to eat, what time to get up, what time to go to bed, etc.

On a few occasions I have felt moments of great lonliness but soon it passes. For me traveling solo far outweighs traveling with someone.

By being by myself I have met many wonderful people, more so than had I had a traveling companion. Anyway to each their own.

Have a wonderful trip and what an understanding wife you have.
Madison is offline  

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