#1 2-9-2018 1:17 PM

DrewJ
Euless, Texas
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Does anyone else travel alone?

Whether you do or don't, what are your thoughts about it? Do you find it boring? Do you find it less distracting and less restrictive than if you had others with you?

I travel alone because I don't know many people and I've always kinda been by myself. Admittedly, my trips are never fun in terms of like the stereotypical image you would see on a cruise poster or something but I do get new experiences and they are enjoyable. Of course traveling with someone will always make things more fun and interesting. At times there can be dry spells.

There's some places I wouldn't visit alone because of a lack of interest. Like I won't go to museums or anything like that unless I had someone with me. I'm less willing to try new things without someone there. I don't really do the wild stuff like clubs and drinking and all that.

So for anyone whose/does travel alone, what are your thoughts and experiences? Those of you who travel with another person or a small group, would you ever go alone? How different would it be for you?

 

#2 2-9-2018 2:32 PM

davejo
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Puerto Princesa City, Philippines
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

Recent years i have usually traveled with my wife but i do make occasional trips by myself. In fact i am off to Sri Lanka by myself next week, as i intend to spend most  of my time hiking in the hill country which would be a little too much for my wife. She also refused to go as she saw a documentary about hygene in Indian kitchens. Later this year we well be going to S Korea together, Japan last year. In 2016 we went to Aus, Vietnam and Myanmar together but i went alone to Taiwan. In '92 i spent about 2 1/2 years on the road alone. Traveling alone you always meet people at GH's and sometimes travel together for a few days. I have trekked Everest and Annapurna 4 times alone, but i was never really alone as you find companions to trek with for a few days, then one of us decides to have a rest day and you trek with others.

 

#3 2-9-2018 3:16 PM

Kathrin_E
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Karlsruhe, Germany
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

Good company enrichens a trip - bad company is a burden and may even ruin it altogether.

I actually prefer visiting museums and such all by myself, so I can go at my own pace, stay as long or short as I want, neither having to wait for anyone nor being rushed by anyone. I also like strolling the streets with my camera - this won't work with company, unless my companion is just as much an obsessed photographer as I am.

It's the evenings that are a problem. Sitting alone in a restaurant or pub is boring. Concerts or theatre performances are my usual solution.

I experienced the woes of solo travel when I was stuck in a hotel in Belgium with a badly sprained ankle - no one around who'd think for me, get me food or drink, help me decide what to do, or simply offer sympathy. Solo travel is fine as long as all goes well, but terrible if something goes wrong.

No matter what, sometimes you don't have the choice. Finding a partner versus staying solo - that's not a decision but fate. I prefer travelling by myself and doing things by myself to sitting at home all by myself complaining that there is no one who takes me anywhere.

 

#4 2-9-2018 3:41 PM

lauro
Germany
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

yes and no, my trips dont suit every type of people. if i cant find someone, i'd still do it alone.

 

#5 2-9-2018 4:56 PM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I use to travel alone for a long time, now I travel with my partner. I feel safer travelling with friends or partner. As as a solo female traveler is more vulnerable than a single male traveler in my opinion

 

#6 2-9-2018 10:22 PM

cottonwood
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Sun Valley, Idaho
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I travel alone more than I travel with others. I just made plans to go to Honolulu, Hawaii this fall for a week by myself. I can plan my own days and do as i please along the way.....ironically, to sometimes meet new people and not worry about ignoring my travel partner.

 

#7 2-9-2018 11:21 PM

Globevoyager
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

All the time. Traveling for months alone. Short holidays with friends or family. Loving both! I'm definitely more "crazy" with friends around.

Last edited by Globevoyager (2-9-2018 11:22 PM)

 

#8 2-10-2018 3:04 AM

fransglobal
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I travel a lot alone. It's fine and you always meet people along the way. I like travelling with other people too but not so much with large groups.

What can be good with travelling with other people at times is doing your own thing for a while and then meeting up for dinner in the evening and sharing experiences. I'm not keen on 24/7 being together unless it's someone really special.

This site and www.couchsurfing.org are great sites for getting in contact with people to meet up with, even if it's just for a coffee or a beer.

 

#9 2-10-2018 4:11 AM

DaveSwede
Batam, Indonesia
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I've traveled almost entirely alone for the last two decades.  Only occasionally have I partnered up with friend, family, girlfriend or other along the way.  Partly due to scheduling conflicts, last minute trips, but also due to interests since I enjoy the challenge of finding my way through rough off the beaten path places.

Traveling with someone can be great, but you really need to have a good connection with them if it will be for an extended time.  You need to share common desires about how you travel (cheap or posh, detailed planning or on the fly, fast or slow, DIY or tours, etc.).  And you also need to know the person well enough to know how they deal with hurdles and difficulties along the way, etc.  And when the above are not in sync between both of you, you have to have a plan B.

But traveling solo can be great too.  Traveling alone means you can do as you wish, when you wish.  But it can be lonely.  Depends on how introverted you are.  I don't hit the clubs or bars either, except on rare blue moon occasions.  But that does not mean I don't meet people along the way.  And when I meet somebody in those remote corners, there is automatically more of a kinship because they also found themselves in that far off place.  I now have countless friends all around the world, so I almost always know somebody when I get in town.

There are some places however that I would prefer to travel with a friend.  Countries for example with both language and conservative cultural barriers, because those areas are particularly isolating if you are alone.  Or maybe long road trips through remote areas, both for some company but also for safety.

Francis mentioned couchsurfing.  That's a perfect example.  I've met a few hundred people through that site, both locals and travelers.

 

#10 2-10-2018 6:12 AM

grandmar
RosalieAnn
Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

In the beginning I traveled with my parents.  Then after I got married I did sometimes travel alone or by myself with my children.  (Do you count a baby or a five year old child as a companion or are you still essentially alone?)  I traveled all over Europe by myself in 1964 (I was 26).  Then there was a period when I was mostly taking our children to and from events (swim meets, horse shows).  In 1986 I switched jobs to where I was a field worker, and almost all of the business trips were by myself until I retired in 2000.  After that I traveled with my husband or with a grandchild until the present. And now of course I can't travel by myself anymore because I need help. 

I have never couch surfed.  I do meet people and talk to them.  I find that if I ask them about themselves it works better than if I talk about myself.   Since i am really interested in them, this is something I have done automatically.  I don't really mind eating alone, although I will plan my evenings so that there is something of interest. 

As a young woman, I did have some 'interesting' moments which could have been a problem, but were not.  As an old woman I don't worry about that as much.

 

#11 2-10-2018 6:24 AM

matthew
Matthew
Manchester, England
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I absolutely love travelling alone.  I always meets people on the way, and I'm not restricted in any way.  I eat, sleep etc when I want.  I do whatever I feel like doing.  When travelling with someone, it is also good, but can be a bit intense sometimes.  There's no lose at all in travelling, but for me, I prefer going alone for trips.  Sadly that's not as easy nowadays, but if the chances come around again, I'll leap at the opportunity.

 

#12 2-10-2018 8:52 AM

sarahelaine
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Manchester, England
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I’ve done a lot of my past traveling alone. And even though I like traveling with my husband, I usually agree some alone time on those trips too. I like being able to prioritise my own time, and even though husband shares many of my interests there are still things he wants to do that I don’t and vice versa. With friends I think they’d hate me by the end of a trip! I think some things are personality- I like being alone, not everyone does. And I don’t get scared, where a lot of my female friends would be frightened on their own. But I crave the freedom when i’m with other people.

 

#13 2-10-2018 5:25 PM

jacobi
Bendigo, Australia
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

Kathrin_E wrote:

......It's the evenings that are a problem. Sitting alone in a restaurant or pub is boring.......

I agree. It would be nice to unwind with someone at the end of the day and talk about the adventure so far.

I travelled Vietnam last February alone and had a great time, then travelled to Greece in May and had a very depressing time. Sometimes it's your own head that is the problem too.

 

#14 2-10-2018 10:36 PM

jake0020
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

My first trip abroad 3 years ago was solo and I have travelled solo to every country since, yet in many places you are never actually alone as you meet people in hostels/Guesthouses or on day trips to places.. And maybe you stay with that person for a few days then move on.

 

#15 2-11-2018 9:09 AM

cotton_foam
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I love traveling alone as much as traveling with my family!  smile

 

#16 2-11-2018 11:08 AM

sarahelaine
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Manchester, England
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

jacobi wrote:

Kathrin_E wrote:

......It's the evenings that are a problem. Sitting alone in a restaurant or pub is boring.......

I agree. It would be nice to unwind with someone at the end of the day and talk about the adventure so far.

I travelled Vietnam last February alone and had a great time, then travelled to Greece in May and had a very depressing time. Sometimes it's your own head that is the problem too.

I agree about the state of mind thing.

I used to find eating alone an issue. I’ve got used to it now, to the point eating alone is a highlight of a trip for me. I even sometimes do it on purpose at home. I bring a book and use it as time to catch up on my reading/thinking. Some places are definitely easier than others. I avoid bars (although I would have a glass of wine with dinner), and any posh restaurant with a romantic atmosphere. Belt sushi places are perfect, or American style places where you can eat at the counter/bar. Failing that anywhere reasonably casual and busy. The people watching grew on me too and there can be hilarious conversations if you’re able to listen in. Keep trying!

 

#17 2-11-2018 2:44 PM

codyj
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Charleston, South Carolina
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

Ive travelled solo for many years..lived all my life  solo as well,so its not a shock. I generally find folks fairly willing to share conversations etc  and I can always find interesting things to do...In USA I take my bike,and am perfectly happy hitting rail trails,exploring and the like. I will seek a travel bud for short trip to Europe,as I need to learn the modern 'basics'  (last I was there 1968)of travel, on line tickets, etc.. much has changed lol

Last edited by codyj (2-11-2018 2:47 PM)

 

#18 2-11-2018 9:03 PM

denisx
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I prefer to travel alone. I sometimes shadow friends who are on a trip and will join them if they're doing something I'm interested in doing. I've compromised too often in my younger years and not had the best time, so I'd rather go it alone and not have to deal with drama. There are times when I've missed having someone to say, "hey look at that", but I've had other times when I wished I was alone, so it evens out. Traveling alone is not for everyone, but it works for me

 

#19 2-13-2018 12:44 AM

DrewJ
Euless, Texas
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one. I mean I know of course there are people that exist that do it but it's nice to hear other people say it. Now that I'm back from my trip, my head is a little clearer. There were ups and downs of the trip but it actually ended on a very memorable day before my flight home.

I suppose I was a little upset when I didn't plan my trip right and I ended up randomly walking around with nowhere to go (which I don't always mind). I don't mind traveling alone at all. In fact I prefer that to traveling with someone because as you all have stated, it can be restricting.

I don't travel only to see the main tourist sites or go to beaches, clubs and all of the "exciting" tourist stuff, which is what a lot of people do and if you want to do something that's off of the beaten path, they get bored. I want to feel experience the differences in culture regardless of how subtle.

However, there are times where if I see something exciting like maybe a theme park, or trying something like skiing or snowboarding for the first time, I wish I had a buddy for moments and times like those.

I think the best way is as FransGlobal said. Start off in a group or with another person, then everyone split off and do their own thing and then get back together to share their experiences. Also you can meet up for the moments that I mentioned.

Thank you all very much for sharing your thoughts and opinions with me. I greatly appreciate it.

 

#20 2-13-2018 2:29 AM

rrjohn
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I think traveling alone is one of the most liberating things to do. Yes, it has its challenges - having to probably eat and go sightseeing alone among other things - but most solo travelers are willing to overlook these. I traveled alone a couple of years ago and loved it. I can't say it was easy, but I will say it was definitely worth it. I think you haven't really traveled unless you've traveled solo at least once. Not having to wait on someone else to final your plans, being able to go wherever and whenever you want, and making choices that truly define you is an amazing experience. My last solo trip was to Goa (India) which was fairly crowded (sort of why I picked it). Next trip I'm planning on heading to Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh. It's known to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country and perfect for travelers looking for a tranquil place. I must add, traveling with someone can be fun too - as long as you're on the same page.

 

#21 2-14-2018 8:06 AM

leavinggringolandia
Brittany
Cali, Colombia
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I almost always travel alone and I love it. If it's a short trip, traveling with people is fine but I find it almost impossible for long-term travel. I like to do what I like to do and I hate having to change my plans based on what others want. When I travel solo, I don't have that problem. Since I stay in hostels, I also find it easier to meet people.

But I also feel that there are some places that are better for solo travel and others that are better in a group. For example, I usually travel alone in Latin America and find it to be great. There's a huge backpacking vibe and lots of people traveling solo. On the other hand, I'm not sure I would enjoy it as much if I were traveling alone in the U.S.

 

#22 2-15-2018 11:51 AM

kuddles
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Ottawa, Canada
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

Not much I can add that hasn't already been said, but I travel mostly alone and I enjoy it. I actually did not travel at all in my youth - which I deeply, deeply regret - and a primary reason was that I was afraid to go alone and friends either didn't have the same free time, the same amount of money, or the same interests as me in terms of where we wanted to go. Hell, even these days, a lot of people I grew up with just go to the same Mexican resort or Las Vegas hotel year after year. Whatever is fun for you I guess but definitely not for me.

I've always been a more introverted person, though, so that helps. The awkwardness of sitting by myself at a bar or restaurant gets to me sometimes, but so does trying to be entertaining to another person every meal, or being lively and social every night when I really just want to go back to my hotel and rest.

I have gone with groups or a partner before, and it can be nice, but it also leads to a lot of compromises based on where you go, what you are doing, etc. When I travel alone, I can decide whether I had enough for the day, whether I want to skip something or stay longer at a place than originally intended, whether I want to splurge on something expensive or take it easy for the day and lounge. If I come across a museum or a long hiking trail that wasn't on my itinerary, there is nobody else that I have to take into account. Likewise if there is an activity that isn't my thing and I feel like bailing.

One of the downsides for me is when you are in an unfamiliar place and things are quite daunting, it's good to have another person who can take the wheel or help figure a predicament out. The other is obviously cost. Never being able to split the day tour van or hotel room costs with another person adds up a lot.

 

#23 Yesterday 10:36 PM

LumpyNuzz
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

I had 1  very spontaneous trip/experience  to New Mexico . I live in Michigan and have never been anywhere further than Omaha Nebraska. One winter I decided to take my thousand dollar savings from taxes and get on the first greyhound to New Mexico. I have a son and girlfriend of 11 years and it really didn’t hold me back in any way, they were supportive and all. It was the least I could say the most interesting experience that I’ve had in my life.  I pretty much just went with no goal vision or experience but when something called you in life you need to jump at it. The way I think of it, whether good or bad any expenses we have especially something that way out of your comfort zone will make you stronger. Gang gang YOLO!

 

#24 Today 6:17 AM

sanfoodie
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Re: Does anyone else travel alone?

Solo trips may be good for having your own space and managing your time but for me travelling with the friends is hundred times more fun. It is better to explore new places, history, culture, local cuisines  with friends. It all depends on what type of person you are. I am not fussy and a stubborn type so able to manage with most of the people. The only problem with me is sharing room but that too is possible with close friends. The major advantage i see is when you feel low during your travel and some one there to compel or motivate to keep moving. I always end up seeing so many incredible places which i may not have visited by myself or if I was alone. Second benefit is it splits the cost. Being foodie sometimes I miss to taste something which is large in quantity and expensive when alone. For me planning becomes more easier with friends. Killing time at airport because of delay. I feel more comfortable, secured, protected when traveling with friends. Once i lost all my belongings while traveling alone and hardships I faced which spoiled my whole trip but with friends these things are manageable. Traveling solo or with friends has its own pros & cons. Depends purely on individual nature and preferences.

 

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