Feeling sad about going solo...can

Apr 6th, 2008, 02:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Feeling sad about going solo...can

anyone give me a lift?
I don't know what's wrong with me...I usually love going away alone. I've done about 12 solo trips. But the last one to New Zealand, I got very lonely..
I was really excited for my Argentina trip I leave for next Monday but now I feel depressed about it -- about going alone. It's supposed to be an amazing city and Bariloche is supposed to be quiet and beautiful...but I feel the loneliness might do me in after 10 days. I'm thinking of shortening my trip a bit..
Thanks for any quick lift a fellow solo traveler can give me...
alexa35 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2008, 05:19 PM
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I'm not sure if this will be comforting to you or not, but you are not alone! Before every big trip, I decide I really don't want to go usually about a week before. After all the excitement and planning there's that moment of "what a stupid idea, this is too much work, I could have stayed home", yada yada ya.

But once I get on the plane and get the trip under way, I'm OK.

How long is your trip planned for? Is 10 days the total time for Argentina? Or longer? How much would you shorten it? Would it cost extra money to change plane tickets, etc. at this late date?

Do you usually keep in touch with someone(s)? Maybe find places to email (both send/receive) with family or friends. I know that helps me to not feel so disconnected when I'm somewhere solo(writing and hearing from my sister most days).
suze is offline  
Apr 6th, 2008, 06:07 PM
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I always feel the same way right before I go. Then I go and am glad I did. It helps me to think of the things I am most looking forward to. If you are worried about Barloche being too lonely try spending more time in Buenos Aires or another busy place.

I'm going solo to Argentina in June so I'll be looking forward to hearing about you trip which I am sure will be great!
teach2travel is offline  
Apr 6th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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I leave for five weeks in Italy tomorrow - aside from 11 nights on a tour and meeting family one day in London I'll be on my own the whole time. The only time I feel "off" about being alone is on Saturday nights.

I'll be staying in small hotels and B&Bs, and traveling by train and bus, both of which usually lead to conversation. I'll also be writing about the trip for my email list (and maybe for the Europe board here), which helps me feel in touch.

Are there any day or half-day tours you can join? Is there a tourist office that runs walking tours? Have you checked the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide books for cafes (or bars or dance clubs) that sound like places other tourists would hang out? Have you asked on the Latin American board here to see if there are any fodorites in town at the same time who might like to GTG? At least, come back and post here to tell us what's going on for you.

I found NZ to be a very quiet and sedate place, somehow I think Argentina will be a bit livelier.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 6th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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Can you identify why you started feeling lonely in NZ? Was it because you spent a lot of time hiking alone? Or was it going back to your hotel at night? Was it that you just ended a relationship before the trip?

If you can identify where the loneliness came from, you can avoid that type of situation on this trip. So, if you felt lonely looking at great expanses of landscape, then you can focus on wildflowers, etc. on this trip, etc.
toedtoes is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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I like the tip above to spend more time in the busier areas of your itinerary. I always feel more connected solo, when I'm in a city, rather than a village, small town or country-side.
suze is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 12:33 AM
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Hi Alexa-
I have traveled heaps in the past 9 years or so, mostly alone but sometimes with friends and usualLY one person in particular (my friend who I go skiing with all over the place). I know how you feel, but just remember that even though you are alone you get to do WHATEVER you want and when you want to do it. I was lucky as I just returned from Australia (where I've been 4 other times) and I got to spend some time alone busting up Sydney at the mall (yes, I am a huge shopper on holiday plus I know and love a lot of the stores so I shop there rather than at home), attended my best friend's wedding, and then I traipsed around Tasmania for 6 days with a friend before returning to Sydney and hanging out with him for the weekend. I was lucky because he was totally relaxed and easygoing, and since I planned it we pretty much did the stuff I wanted to do. I actually own an apartment in Buenos Aires and am going in July with a friend (and to the NW region), and it's stressing me out. She's great and all, but I made it clear that there may be times that I will need to be on my own if she doesn't want to do the same things. Of course I can compromise and such, but having been to BA a few times there are things I'd like to revisit and do and she may not want to do those things.

Please do not shorten the trip. The first time I went to Buenos Aires I felt almost as I did in Sydney-and that was the first place in the world where I felt true, true love! As I said, I've traveled a lot all over the world but I love Sydney like I've never loved anything in my life. I can't explain it, but I hvae a feeling that if you liked New Zealand (been there too) you will like Argentina, and just try to appreciate the fact that you even get to go. Many of my friends are married with small children and they prisoners in their own homes. Sad to say but some say they live vicariously through me as I'm single and can go where I want.

Also, BA is a huge, bustling city so it's hard to feel too lonely there. Heaps of people speak English so if you are the least bit outgoing just sit at the bar at a restaurant and you will meet people. I always say I've been on three honeymoons alone-Hawaii, Fiji, and Tahiti-and I looked as if I was having more fun than the honeymooners. Enjoy it, do some day tours, and enjoy the 3-1 peso to USD!!!! You can eat and live like a queen in Argentina at the moment, and if I recall you live in NYC??? as do I, and I like to pretend I am rich and can do whatever I want do there since it's affordable for once!

Enjoy your trip and let us know how it went. DO NOT SHORTEN THE TRIP!!!
Abby43 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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I used to go it alone for years and found that you meet far more interesting people than when your with someone - I miss that.

My advice;
Immerse yourself in local activities that involve others whether it's a rafting/biking/hiking trip, dance (think Argentenian Tango - I'm quite envious)
How about cooking/art/language/photography classes where you'll interact and possibly chum up with others.

I mostly find that adventure or the less moneyed travelers are more forth coming. Logistically it's too difficult to interact with those staying in biggish hotels so you may think about smaller hostels/hotels or B&B's.

Put yourself out there and as others said keep in touch with the home front.
Good luck!
cybor is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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The trip's already shortened (to 7 days) I read on a thread from Alexa on the Latin America forum. I'm thinking this solves the problem, because I think it would be kind of hard to get too lonely in only one week.

suze is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Arrange to meet up with 'friends' in Argentina. There are some Fodorites living there so just meeting someone for coffee might be enough to give you a quick lift mid trip....
highflyer is offline  
Apr 20th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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hi alexa35 - Someone chimed in there and said you shortened your trip. I'm guessing from the date of this post that you're either currently in Argentina, or you just got back (?). I can't wait to hear how it all turns out.

I was sorry to hear you're having a rough time with the idea of solo travel right now - I've been following your threads/questions because I'm also headed on a solo trip to Argentina for 10 days. I leave in three weeks.

I think I can understand how you feel - I always travel solo (actually, I've never traveled with anyone else), but my last trip was challenging to say the least. I went to the Netherlands and for some reason, I just had a really, really hard time. I found myself so lonely that at times I almost couldn't bear it, and actually cried a few times in my hotel room. I almost felt like I never wanted to travel solo again. (But then I pulled my head out and headed to Bruges for some copious amounts of chocolate - Now that helped!)

I really liked toedtoes advice on trying to isolate when exactly it was that you started to feel lonely. For me, it was (as usual) seeing young couples having fun together (sharing the views and the sights, laughing, holding hands, all that crap ), or best friends having the time of their lives. I've realized that whenever I start comparing myself to what others have - I'm doomed! It's a downward spiral from there.

I realized it had nothing to do with traveling solo, but everything to do with...well... a lot of other things. After a few weeks, I said screw it! and booked my next trip. This time I will avoid romantic spots. I will also have a solid goal: to spend as much time as possible conversing with the locals, and attempting to improve my Spanish. And I'll send a lot of emails to my loved ones back home.

Anyway, I hope you're there having a great time! I hope you post a tirp report too. All my best - M
Magellan_5 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2008, 07:33 PM
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Magellan - what helps me when I see the young couple, etc. is to fast forward about 2 hours into their lives. That's when one of them starts in with "can we go already?", "Do you HAVE to do that in public?", "I think you have enough of those. You don't need to buy another one!", "I don't want to do that, can't we just relax?", "I'm hungry, can't you hurry up?", and on and on and on. It helps.
toedtoes is offline  
Apr 21st, 2008, 08:08 AM
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LOL! Ah, that IS helpful, toedtooes, thanks! Too funny and oh-so-true.
Magellan_5 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Isn't it, though. My last trip to Niagara Falls, I was in line behind a family of four for Journey behind the falls. Gorgeous tall blond wife, good looking husband, two perfect children (boy and girl). I was feeling pretty short, fat and inadequate. As we moved through the line to get our rain ponchos, the husband was on his cell phone. He didn't get off until we entered the elevator. At that point, he started making stupid and inappropriate jokes while the guide was explaining some of the local history. I noticed his wife rolling her eyes and looking pretty disgusted. Then, when we got out of the elevator, he decided they all needed to rush to get to the viewing areas. The daughter was wearing flip flops and wouldn't speed up. He turned and yelled back at her something like "you idiot, you're the one who had to wear those stupid assisine shoes. I'm not waiting for you." Off he went in his bright red crocs...

I realized that I was having a far better trip alone than that perfect family was having.
toedtoes is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:17 PM
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Okay, here's my take...you are only as alone as you want to be.!! We, when travelling among folks, always look for someone who seems to be 'on their own' and invite them to our table. Have met some fabulous people that way!, soa, if you area travelling single, when you see other people having fun, just go up there and push your way in. That is to say, don't wait for an invitation...just say, "hi, I am Delores and I am travelling single this trip...could I be included at your table', "etc.

I have many single friends...and you don't have to feel 'alone' unless you choose.
clarasong is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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you will be fine once you get there.,,the stomach thing just before going is just normal jitters...ignore them and go.I have never been to buenos aires but i have travelled alone.
some ideas-
are you a member of a group you like? a religious affiliation?a spiritual one? find information on the internet if there are services,meetings in ba.
do you speak spanish?if not why not enroll in a language program for a week...stay with a local yokel family and you do classes and other activitiea durung the day.
bring along a couple of books to read..when I am travelling alone I usually try to be in the hotel soon after dark if i do not have an activity planned.
have you checked out the couchsurfing website?my daughter (25 years old )loves it for meeting people in other cities for coffee etc.
eslrachel is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 06:48 PM
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oh yes,please post a message when you get back to the states...i would like to know how your trip went.
eslrachel is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 02:14 PM
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Wow, clarasong! You invite yourself into groups of strangers? You're so brave! I could never do that.

All kidding aside, if that's your strategy for solo travel and it works for you, that's really great. I'll bet you could probably have a great time on, for example, a cruise on a large ship where you're the only single person on board. Invite yourself to be "adopted" by one or more families or groups, and you have all the company you want.

I somehow don't think that's an approach that would work for everyone, though.
JBHapgood is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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I agree JBH - I think being assertive like that may work on a cruise or group tour where everyone is "pushed together" anyway, but I can't see it working for an independent traveler. Probably get us kicked out of restaurants all over the world.
toedtoes is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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I agree too. I have been known to strike up conversations in restaurants - although not in the US - but it's people at the next table after we make eye contact. And I certainly wouldn't approach a group - I'm an introvert, for heaven's sake - although of course I wouldn't reject an overture from the group to me.
thursdaysd is offline  

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