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Solo Travel

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May 25th, 2014, 04:46 PM
  #1
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Solo Travel

Help! I'm a 56 year old guy, newly divorced and single for the first time in a long time. I don't want to stop travelling, and I love it, but I guess I have to do it alone now. Makes me nervous, but I know I have to do it. . would GREATLY appreciate any tips on solo travel, or any suggestions on where to go to get started.
Thanks!
jimmoi is offline  
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May 25th, 2014, 04:58 PM
  #2
 
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Hi jimmoi, lots of people here travel on their own. Where do you want to go? That's your answer to "where to go". Anywhere can be suitable for solo travel.

For some tips for those times when you want to connect with others; take walking tours (ie walks.com), cooking classes, bike tours. Probably the hardest thing to get used to is eating alone. I find pubs and bar meals the easiest way to get used to that.

Just get out there and do that first solo trip. You'll be surprised at all the upside things you didn't expect.
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May 26th, 2014, 06:13 PM
  #4
 
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One of my friends had a great time with carefully selected group tours. He was a very experienced traveller - was in the army in Germany for several years and toured solo almost every weekend - and , quite frankly, I was very surprised that he even considered a group tour.
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May 26th, 2014, 08:23 PM
  #5
 
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There's nothing to be nervous about! If it makes you uncomfortable to eat alone, often a book or something similar helps with that feeling. Or sitting at a bar instead of a table helps many people. Even though you may feel like you stand out like a sore thumb, you really don't. How often do you really notice other people in a restaurant unless they do something strange or loud?

I will often join short day/half day tours so I have a little bit of time with other tourists. Sometimes a short 2-3 day tour in the midst of a longer tour can also be a nice change.

Solo travel really isn't all that different from traveling with a partner. You don't have someone to share it with right away (I update facebook and talk to family on skype frequently to keep family updated and get to share my fun as I go) but you do get to spend your time exactly how you wish. Nobody complains if you want to spend 6 hours in an art gallery or if 30 minutes is your max. You can eat lunch at 2pm if you want. It doesn't really limit your destinations very much (the only limit I've found for myself has mainly been due to gender rather than being solo, and I avoid the places that are geared towards honeymooners... beaches where the only thing to do is frolic on the beach with a lover).

As for how to get started, you pick a place you want to see. Don't worry about going solo, it might seem a bit scary to begin with but it's really no big deal.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
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May 26th, 2014, 10:38 PM
  #6
 
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What sort of travel did you do with your ex ?
Solo is not difficult, just different.

I recently spent nearly 3 weeks solo in Myanmar, first time traveling alone in 25 years.
I engaged many groups of English speakers, always being polite and asking if I could join them, then focussing on their travels. Worked well for me. Down time....there's always the internet.

Where you stay will impact as well. B & Bs or hostels will get more people interactions than business type hotels.

Good advice above from IR, what makes you nervous ?
sartoric is offline  
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May 27th, 2014, 12:28 AM
  #7
 
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I appreciate you efforts which putting in this journey.
I am with you.
samirdutt is offline  
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May 27th, 2014, 11:38 AM
  #8
 
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Solo travel is the easiest kind to plan, because you just do whatever you want. Same reason the trips usually go smoothly, because you're free to do what you want each day. No planning necessary, no compromise involved.

Where do you want to go? Buy a ticket, make a hotel reservation, and take off. That's all there is to it!
suze is offline  
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May 28th, 2014, 08:20 AM
  #9
 
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I would say that if the idea of solo travel makes you nervous, start researching group trips: firstly, there are as many different kinds of group trips as there are people to go on them; and secondly, why not go easy on yourself after your divorce and not depart from your comfort zone TOO rapidly; and thirdly, if you find groups aren't your cup of tea, you will have gained the courage to strike out on your own.

For example, a friend of mine runs a very small nature tour company--budget accommodation, bird watching, groups never larger than 10 and often smaller, travel by van once one arrives in country. This is a far cry from those mobs of people following a guide around St. Peter's, but there's nothing wrong with those, either

The Internet is your friend and costs you nothing but time: google group trips, read reviews, explore options for trips that interest you (Europe? Beaches? The Grand Canyon?) and see what your gut tells you. I suspect that it's not the logistics of solo travel that has you hesitating but rather all that alone time. Were I in your shoes, I wouldn't rule out groups.
NewbE is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 01:19 PM
  #10
 
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I suspect the reason jimmoi is nervous, is not the logistics or worry, but just the idea of being by yourself and having to entertain yourself for 10 days or so. I know a lot of people like that, they don't ever do anything on their own, so it would be uncomfortable for them. I'm single, so used to it, but I do know married people who literally never do anything by themself or without their spouse. I can understand that, I guess, if you're married, you may not say, hey, I'm going to go to the movies alone this afternoon, if their spouse is busy or doesn't want to. And they may never go to a museum on their own if their spouse isn't interested. They certainly never travel on their own and never eat out alone.

I do things alone quite a bit as you can't always find people to do stuff, sometimes it's too much trouble (eg, I get up Sunday morning and decide there is a museum exhibit I want to drop by for a couple hours), and I have some itnerests that are not of much interest to others (like spending $100 on a ballet ticket, and I go to classical music concerts a lot, also). But, I hate to stereotype, but men usually do not do things alone very much. I rarely, if ever, see a man alone even at a classical music concert, which is pretty nonthreatening. I do see them alone sometimes at the movies.

I also take language classes quite a bit (French mainly, sometimes Spanish to brush up for a trip), and I have noticed 90 pct of the people in these classes are women, also. I don't know why, but this is the case in every single class I take.

So, that's a tip -- if you want to meet women, go to language classes. But as far the travel, start out with shorter trips and see how it goes, for one thing. And there are plenty of travel groups with specific itineraries you can join, also -- usually outdoors stuff, though (hiking or biking).

YOu don't say what kind of travel you want to do, if it is simple, beach resort stuff, that is easy. You don't have to do much but go to the resort. Just pick some place and go there. Although I'll admit a beach resort place where you don't do much but the beach and dine, etc., is probably what I'd think better for a couple often. It's easier to start with trips to cities where this is plenty to do and it's not unusual for people to sit outdoors in a cafe alone, for example.
Christina is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 06:03 PM
  #11
 
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You are now alone at home. Going abroad simply reduces any need for excuses.
I disagree (based on many decades) that there is no difference from travelling as a couple. Now you make up your own mind, you never sit waiting for somebody else, twiddling your thumbs, there are no compromises, you see what you and only you want to see.
And yes, dinner is lonely.
There are compromises. In Spain, the Vaughan Villages language school will give you most of a week free accommodation if you are willing to talk to their students all the time in English. The other "anglo" members of this immersion system are just as interesting as the clients. http://volunteers.grupovaughan.com/introduction
Southam is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 11:43 PM
  #12
kja
 
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Follow the link given above by thursdaysd.

IME, solo travel is an incredible self-indulgence: I get to do exactly what I want to do, when I want to do it, with no compromises (except with myself) to negotiate.

Go for it and enjoy it!
kja is offline  
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Jun 5th, 2014, 01:33 PM
  #13
 
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Once you take your first trip you will be fine. I have just booked a trip with 3 other people and I have to say that has me more nervous than traveling alone. As others have said, you get to do what you want, when you want. I usually pick restaurants that are not too busy and it makes eating alone a little bit more comfortable. On one trip the server was so bored she sat down and we had a nice conversation. We had a lot in common.

I find that one of the best things is if you get lost there is nobody there to blame you for reading the map wrong.

Have fun.
gardendiva is offline  
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Jun 10th, 2014, 02:37 PM
  #14
 
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NewbE, if you revisit this post could you give a link to your friend's travel company? I might be interested.

Two countries where I've particularly enjoyed solo travel are Peru and New Zealand.
mlgb is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2014, 03:28 PM
  #15
 
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mlgb, so sorry I didn't see your request sooner! I am so happy to recommend him!

http://www.markprettinaturetours.com
NewbE is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2014, 03:34 PM
  #16
 
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Thanks NewbE, some of them look really good. Wonder what his policy is for singles, though.
mlgb is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2014, 03:39 PM
  #17
 
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With regard to price, I do not know. I can tell you that there was a singleton on our last trip, the one to Oaxaca, and he always had his own room, but sometimes it was smaller or slightly more remote than ours. I encourage you to contact Mark, he's the nicest guy.
NewbE is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2014, 04:23 PM
  #18
 
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Thanks again, I will do!
mlgb is offline  
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