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Will anyone here admit they have wouldn't want to travel alone or had a rotten time traveling alone?

Will anyone here admit they have wouldn't want to travel alone or had a rotten time traveling alone?

Jun 11th, 2001, 06:10 PM
  #41  
kimberly
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What's wrong doing anything solo? I've had the best trips solo...I will admit I've had friends in most cities but was alone more than 75% of my trips! I think it's sad if people don't do the things they want to do because they are so self-concious of the looking lonely or what they may think a "loser with no friends." Traveling with people is fun but so can being solo...
 
Jun 11th, 2001, 06:23 PM
  #42  
loner
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The key factor is whether you are an outgoing extrovert who can't bear to be alone, or an introvert who is more comfortable being alone. Even though I prefer to travel alone, I've never had a rotten time traveling whether alone or with others.
 
Jun 11th, 2001, 07:01 PM
  #43  
@@@@@@
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It seems that people are *afraid* to be construed as odd because they are alone. I, for one, take the opposite view. What's up with people who can't seem to stand their own company? You've seen them- even their immediate family is not enough of a crowd, they have to have ANOTHER family or two plus hangers on. I just love it when I get a hotel room in amongst a group like this- the constant running from room to room, loud partys, arguments, I could go on for an hour. If only MORE people would give solo travel a try.
 
Jun 11th, 2001, 07:22 PM
  #44  
noname
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Ain't that the truth. I especially love it when the "adults" hole up in one room and leave the kiddies to their own devices.
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 05:21 AM
  #45  
Laura
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I was thrilled to see this topic. I have been a traveller for years but always have managed to have a companion - sometimes not the ideal one either. Later in the year I am going to try my first solo trip. Only a few days but I am so keen to see whether I enjoy the experience, or whether I just feel lonely. Such an adventure!

Laura
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 06:00 AM
  #46  
m
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My husband and I always take opur vacations together. Although most of the time we would see things together, we've also gone on our own to see other things and then just meet up again. I've eaten alone when on business trips and each time has gotten better.
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 06:36 AM
  #47  
Beth Anderson
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you know, it's all in the perception (self or otherwise...)

being alone - you can view it as a fun, courageous, mind & self expanding thing to do, adventurous, etc etc.

or you can feel like a loser for having to eat a meal alone.

it's all in the attitude!

sure, we all get lonely sometimes, for a variety of reasons.

but oh, the memories!

it all evens out.

last but not least, make your plans to travel, if you can go with someone, great - if not, don't let it slow you down one bit. I've made so many friends traveling solo - and I now go visit them!

Not only would I have (maybe) not met these people... even if I had, there maybe would have been less of an impetus to get to know them better - spend that day/afternoon with them, sit a spell drinking that beer with them (as opposed to saying, hi, nice to meetcha, and moving on...)

Attitude is everything!!
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 11:16 AM
  #48  
michele
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Great to see so many people comfortable with their own company. You aren't a loser when you travel solo-you're an adventurer. Although, I confess that I haven't traveled alone outside of the USA. And while I'm not the least bit concerned about going to NYC solo I do worry about other countries. I am curious how other women feel about that?
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 11:45 AM
  #49  
maven
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Funny, people from other countries have voiced fears of traveling solo in NYC, not in their areas. Perspective! The reality is usually better than the fears. I have travelled solo and not, and it is a tradeoff--but very often better alone. And it sure beats not going, as so, so, so many people wind up doing if they are not with others. Go, in any case. I love to read about spirited people who are gaining so much from the experience of traveling alone.
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 12:20 PM
  #50  
ALW
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Traveling alone is one of my premiere joys in life. You go at your own rate; you decide what you do -- and don't -- want to see; you aren't reliant on someone else's view of what, for example, Paris "should" be; you eat what and when and where you want; and so forth and so on! I recently traveled with a family member with whom I am very close, but we have completely different schedules. Morning would come and I would stumble down to grab the last croissant at breakfast, whereas at night, she had to be tucked in by 9:30 p.m. We both ended up tired, cranky, and disillusioned.

I will add that the one HUGE plus of traveling with someone else is, after splitting up and going it along all day, having someone to eat dinner with and share all your adventures while they're still fresh. A daily journal works almost as well when you're traveling solo, and it gives you something to do while you're eating alone

Best advice I have for those who are just beginning to travel solo (women in particular)? Do everything at your own pace. If you're tired, sit and refresh yourself, if you're bored, move on. You are in charge, and you only have to satisfy yourself! Just remember to be savvy about where/when you wouldn't want to be walking about on your own -- especially in your first few days on location, as it were. A cab is never too expensive at night.

We have all had "a rotten time traveling alone" at one point or another, but in what appears to be 100% of the cases here, each bad experience has been overwhelmingly outweighed by the positive ones.

Go! Enjoy!

 
Jun 12th, 2001, 01:05 PM
  #51  
judith
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Now that I am retired, this is the third year I have driven from Michigan all around northern AZ for two or three weeks, this time also southern Utah. Alone with my Honda wagon and Tony Hillerman and geology books. I absolutely love it. I feel as free as Thelma and Louise without driving off the cliff. I live out of my suitcase and stay in inexpensive motels. Dining in restaurants alone is not a problem - after a day of seeing as much as I can, I go to a drive-through or the local grocery and eat in peace at the motel.

The roads are great, weather in Sept.Oct. perfect. I only get lost in Santa Fe, but see so much more that way.

The only time I have not had a good time was at an Elderhostel before I went solo. My hostel-picked roommate drove me nuts for various reasons and the couples were beyond boring.

There is so much going on out there. Don't be afraid to do it alone. It really is an adventure.
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 01:10 PM
  #52  
judith
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Sorry, didn't realize this was Europe forum. I still say don't be afraid to go solo. You'd have a better time west of the Pecos though!
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 01:38 PM
  #53  
Shanna
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Michele, I always get a panicky, sick feeling whenever I think about trying anything new or going anywhere. That's just biology. And being afraid just doesn't jive with my picture of who I am, so I go and do anyway; maps and planning helps. Knowing what I want to do when I get there, whether its sightseeing, working, or just lazing about on the beach, also helps - having a focus. I'm considering Germany in the fall, no problem, but I want to rent a car and drive. You can't imagine how dreadful the thought is. Over and over I say "Oh, god, I must be crazy. Why would I do this to myself." Even my heart rate goes up. But I'll learn enough about driving in Germany and it will lose its ability to scare me. I've found that when I'm in the middle of making something happen, I'm not nervous; I trust my brain and my instincts. Afterwards - WOW - I did that! Sometimes I think it might be better to just not think about it - don't plan, just do it, jump in. "It might be a big pool, but it's not very deep." But to respond to lonewolf about being alone, that isn't a problem. There isn't anything I see or become aware of that I don't analyze and find a place for in my philosophy, so my mind is always busy. Sometimes it's great to talk about those ideas with someone, but often enough I get a blank stare. However, I spend so much time on the road for work, that often I weary of being by myself. Still, it takes just one day filled with people who have expectations, and I'm happy to be alone again. I agree with Christina about being able to go your own way. So much of traveling must be incredibly personal if it is to have meaning. And at the end of the day: Ahhhh, a long bath, warm jammies and socks, a little snack, a cup of tea, a book, and me. Paradise, wherever I am.
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 02:15 PM
  #54  
mark
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Feeling as if eating by yourself equals being a geek smacks of high school trauma. And let's face it - for many of us high school was horrible. As a Bjork song goes: "...it takes courage to enjoy yourself..."I have no problem eating solo while on vacation but I have to admit that here in NYC I have the tendency to get things to go and eat at home - not sure if it's because I feel a bit self conscious or that most restaurants here are so boisterous (sp?) that it makes every day dining out unpleasent. Loud people, loud music, the push to turn the table - and did I mention how crowded it gets. Mind you - if I could afford to spend $100 a night on dinner at an elegant restaurant here I wouldn't care what people thought.
I just spent 2 weeks in Europe and split my time up - solo in Budapest and met a friend in Rome - and it worked out great.
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 03:41 PM
  #55  
Diane
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Lonewolf, I have had some rotten moments traveling alone. Two days before Christmas, alone in a drizzle in Norwich, England, as deep night settled in around 5pm -- and I realized it was too late for tea, too early for dinner, going into a pub as a 21yo woman alone was Not Done (at least in the early 80s), stores in England didn't stay open late even for Christmas shopping, and going home to my B&B was impractical. And it was *cold*.

So I sat alone in the beautiful church of St. Peter Mancroft for a couple hours until I could legitimately eat dinner & go to the movies. Problem solved, in a way I'll never forget.

Since then, I've travelled alone and happily in England, Italy, Ireland, and the U.S. My only real problems are (a) dinner (I wind up avoiding some fancy restaurants I'd otherwise try, because pulling out a book feels uncouth and not having a book or companion makes the meal less fun for me than just eating someplace cheap & cheerful) and (b) hiking (safety issue -- I've turned back on several trails that I'd have continued with a companion).

But those drawbacks are nothing compared to my pleasure in, for instance, spending three weeks tracking down virtually every place Michael Collins ever even *thought* of going in Ireland. No way I could have dragged someone else along on that. Sometimes it's more fun to delight in something alone than to worry whether your companion is enjoying/tolerating the experience (which explains why I've been to see the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton alone, too).

I've also traveled overseas with a companion, both for business & for fun. Good trips, too, but different -- although the trip with one friend to Vietnam was sort of like traveling alone, in that people were incredibly friendly and outgoing toward us.

Finally, I've traveled with a very small, high-quality adventure travel company to Morocco. And that's the only form of travel that I'm unsure about trying again. There just wasn't quite enough . . . coping . . . left for me to do, so that I didn't quite feel like I was fully having my own experience. Guess I actually *like* standing on a street corner completely turned-around and lost.

Maybe the key is picking the right destinations for solo travel. Go someplace where you can indulge in idiosyncratic interests; if you don't happen to have any yet about a place, read & develop some! (For instance, read historical novels & track down where they "happened.") Many solo-travel guidebooks will disagree, but I tend to avoid cities & go instead to small towns/villages. I get lonelier in a big-city crowd, and somehow I never wind up talking to people as much as I do in small places. Finally, I pick places where traditional couple-type activities -- fine dining, lounging on the beach -- aren't the main attractions. And so far I've left the places that I was truly too chicken to go alone -- Morocco -- for companion-ed travel, and made sure that I did indeed then do stuff (desert camping & camel trekking) that I could no way have done by myself.

What I haven't done yet is rent a car and drive around alone in a country where I don't speak or, more importantly, read the language. (As long as I can get an automatic, so I have one hand for the wheel and one for the map, I'm perfectly happy driving alone in English-speaking countries.) I'd love to do this in Italy, Spain, or France sometime soon. Any women out there who can chime in on how comfortable it's been driving & navigating alone in such circumstances?
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 08:11 PM
  #56  
Judy
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More about dining solo: I think afraid of being ill treated while dining alone is a kind of myth. Years ago,the first time visiting Paris(I was just a scrawny young person),I had meal alone at"Tour d'argent", they sat me in the middle of the room, right facing Notre Dame. In all my expericences I have never once being sst at a corner or by the kitchen.

The freedom of traveling solo: you could visit 10 gardens in 2 weeks,or 5 museums in one day;walk from one end of city to the other or just sit by outdoor cafe for hours; get off train /bus any stop you want or continuing the journey till the whim takes you; you could picnic with fresh food out of market or have elaborate meals in fancy restuarants; Go to concerts/plays 6 nights a week or go to bed at 10 and get up at 5 to see a city wake up...Thank about all the choices!
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 11:47 PM
  #57  
Lucy
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I LOVE travelling alone & enjoy & revel in the freedom of being able to do/see/shop/sleep/eat when & where I want without a second thought. I am 26 & single & if/when I meet the man of my dreams this will all change no doubt, but for now I would much prefer the freedom of just my own company for my travels than those of my much loved friends & family. I'm going to France in late September on my own & can't wait!! Its interesting as I have an extrovert sister who is horrified by the thought of solo travel & would rather stay home then go on her own which I find very sad. I think, as someone said previously, it is so immensely enpowering & wonderful for your self esteem to travel on your own & I so enjoy the adventure of planning all the details of my trips. Cheers!
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 11:52 PM
  #58  
Lucy
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I also meant to add I live on my own by choice which probably has a big bearing on my preference for solo travel & have been very independent since a young age. I do enjoy my own company but am no doubt a little introverted! ;-)
 
Jun 13th, 2001, 04:51 AM
  #59  
xx
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My wife "traveled"(4 month job assignment) 3000 miles across country, got bored and lonely, dated a guy five or six times (no sex) and almost destroyed our marriage when she revealed her selfish, immature stupidity two months ago. I've since read that stupid flings often occur when one spouse does a little travelling. Just my two cents.
 
Jun 13th, 2001, 05:33 AM
  #60  
Santa Chiara
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I have not been married for more than 20 years, and I currently live alone in Europe (and I moved to Europe by myself). I have at certain times of the year a wonderful travel companion but for the most part I travel all over Europe for business and pleasure by myself. Having said that, I have experienced only three uncomfortable situations, two at the hands of my fellow Americans. One evening in a restaurant a group of four males at a table clear across the room took it upon themselves to conjecture in loud, shrill voices why I was eating along. I don't know if they thought I was deaf, dumb or non-English speaking, but their comments were, frankly, quite bitchy. And it didn't stop in the restaurant. Afterwards, I was walking through the piazza, not aware that they had adjourned to an outdoor table. Again, I overheard loud and spiteful comments as to my single status. At another time, I was at another outdoor restaurant, and a young couple became inordinately interested in what I was reading. They were so close they could touch me, but that didn't prevent the male from standing up to see what I was reading and reporting it back to his girlfriend or wife the book I had, what I was doing alone, whether or not I was Italian . . . . It was if I was invisible.

The third uncomfortable situation was in Madrid, and it had to do with the waiter who thought that any middle-aged woman eating by herself had to be "hot," as he repeatedly kept telling me.

The point is, be careful what you discuss with your travel companion. Americans I find are inordinately loud, for the most part, and many act as if they are the only people in the room. Ninety-nine percent of the time I do not feel uncomfortable traveling by myself, and in fact I am often impatient with travel companions who are not traveling at my pace or who would rather shop than breathe. I do feel uncomfortable when my nondescript, discreet but solo presence becomes the focus of entertainment.
 

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