Traveling on my own or with friends?

Nov 8th, 2000, 12:07 PM
  #1  
mark
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Traveling on my own or with friends?

I was wondering how other travelers feel about traveling alone or with friends? After traveling to Budapest in May by myself and then traveling to Barcelona with a friend this past October, I realized I much prefer to travel by myself - it's more relaxing and just plain easier. I always bring along a book to read - one of my favorite's is "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gaberial Garcia Marquez. I was wondering if other travelers have a favorite travel reading book?
 
Nov 8th, 2000, 12:36 PM
  #2  
Ess
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I don't have a favorite travel reading book, but traveling alone is a great time to read. I've never minded traveling on my own, been doing that since I was six or seven years old believe it or not, and having been an "only child" was used to entertaining myself. However, I do mind dining alone. I find that lonely, since to me a meal is to be shared.
 
Nov 8th, 2000, 12:44 PM
  #3  
Bob Brown
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I have tried it both ways, alone and with someone. If the companion is a good one, then I had much rather not go it alone, particularly in a foreign country where I am not familiar with the
language and customs. Two heads are always better than one in an unfamiliar place. On the other hand, there are some real travel horror stories out there to be read.
 
Nov 8th, 2000, 01:11 PM
  #4  
Heather
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Mark, this is a great question and there are a few threads that reappear from time to time with great book recommendations. I'll look and top them if I can.

I'm guessing that you've read other books by Garcia Marquez, including "One Hundred Years of Solitude" ... fabulous book.
 
Nov 8th, 2000, 01:24 PM
  #5  
mark
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Dining alone is difficult - that's one of the reason I like to bring along a book or two. I found out in Barcelona that my friend has some food hangups - not allergies - hangups. He sees nothing wrong eating KFC in Europe and doesn't understand how I can sit in a restaurant for 3 or 4 hours an eat. I was mortified by his lack of taste / adventure and thus had numerous meals by myself. My friend also couldn't allow us to get comfortably lost - he almost always had a map clutched in his hand. I love roaming - which is easier done by one self. I thought my friend was a bit more sophisticated (do I sound like a snob?) Do you have any horror stories? Any romantic meetings as a lone traveler?
 
Nov 8th, 2000, 04:05 PM
  #6  
feherefekete
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Depends on the friends, doesnt it?
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 07:27 AM
  #7  
Heather
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Mark, you sound like you and I traveled with the same friend. He wouldn't even relinquish the map from his clutches in Munich even when I pointed out that he couldn't find where he was going because he was holding it upside down. When he wasn't planning what we would do next (why enjoy what were doing at the time?), he was quoting chapter-and-verse from Rick Steves' book. I'm going to be traveling alone next Spring before and after I meet my friends in Europe, so your tip on bringing a book to meals will help. Tho' people-watching always entertains me, too.
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 09:30 AM
  #8  
Annette
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mark, if you like South American subjects, you might try the memoir of Lisa St. Aubin de Teran, The Hacienda. About her years in a derelict Venezuela Hacienda.
I agree, travelling with friends can be a trial, especially if the others get their way and you don't!
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 09:35 AM
  #9  
mark
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My friend finally capitulated on our second to last night in Barcelona and joined me for dinner. He agreed to try the taster's menue (mainly because it worked out to be 8 dishes for about 8,000 pesetas, $40 - a pretty good deal). Much to his horror - the fifth dish was frog legs. Understand, my friend is from Louisiana - they eat all sorts of things from the swamp. He reluctently tried them and really like them - "they taste like chicken" he said. My next trip, either to Lisbon or somewhere in Italy, I'm traveling alone - but I like your idea of hooking up with friends midway for a few days - how cosmopolitan. Where are you going Heather?
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 09:47 AM
  #10  
Annie
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Hi Mark:
I have traveled alone, with my Mom and with friends, with then spouse. That is also the order in which I enjoyed it! Even traveling with someone you really like can be a chore. The only part I really dislike is dining alone. I use to eat in my room. Then I decided to be adventurous. I found that maitre D's will be especially careful with solo diners. I have also had them ask if I would be willing to share a table with someone else willing to share. I have met some wonderful and interesting people that way. I sometimes want to eat alone, but not too often. I have also found that people are really willing to talk to me when I am alone or with Mom. Not so when with friends or spouse. I wonder why that is?
I recently spent a few days in Malahaide, right outside of Dublin while waiting for friends to join me and I was really enjoying myself! I then spent 2 days in Galway after they had gone home and I was never lonely. Enjoy your travels!
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 10:47 AM
  #11  
penny
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i'm all for travels alone. i love solitary road trips. i think that i tend to miss things if i'm busy talking with someone or worrying about when we're meeting up. i prefer to go alone so i don't have to worry about these things. i'm traveling to london in january and am debating about asking some friends to come for saftey reasons, although i think i might regret it once we're all there together.
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 11:21 AM
  #12  
mark
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I agree with Penny - I found my experience, my ability to foucus on the present was diluted with my friend along. Please don't misundertstand me, I'm not blaming my friend - I just think it has to do with group dynamics and the human condition. I prefer as little inteference with things I enjoy. I hope I don't sound like a misanthrope - I loved walking Vaci Street in the afternoon while Budapestians were going home but I also loved walking around the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona early Sunday morning when there was no one around. For now I'm going to travel by myself - and consider hooking up with friends for a meal if we're in the same city.
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 11:56 AM
  #13  
Karen
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Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I find that traveling alone seems to signal men that it's "okay" to approach and solicit me. This has made me uncomfortable traveling alone especially during the evening when I want to dine out. I'm lucky to have found several friends who have similar travel styles to mine.
 
Nov 9th, 2000, 12:41 PM
  #14  
mark
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You're not doing anything wrong Karen - there are a lot of stupid men out there. Some of the sexist attitudes I've witnessed in my travels has at times made me so angry - there are many more concerns that a women has to think about when traveling alone than a man.
 

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