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Old 08-09-2014, 05:16 AM
 
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I went to Paris by myself in October of 2011. It was great! I was gone for 12 days.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ameriscot View Post
Which countries in Africa did you visit?
Started in East Africa and went camping for two weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, then flew to South Africa and met up with a second group and traveled into Namibia and Botswana, ending in Zambia (camped two nights in the Okavango Delta; the rest of the time stayed at lodges).
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
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I went to Seattle and Vancouver by myself years ago. Actually found it quite boring and would not do it again. I prefer a traveling buddy or even group tours by bus.

OTOH taking a long train ride solo to meet and stay with someone in another state was worthwhile. The solo train rides were the bookends of the entire trip, and an adventure in themselves.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
I went to Seattle and Vancouver by myself years ago. Actually found it quite boring and would not do it again. I prefer a traveling buddy or even group tours by bus.

OTOH taking a long train ride solo to meet and stay with someone in another state was worthwhile. The solo train rides were the bookends of the entire trip, and an adventure in themselves.
Gnome, I agree about train trips. I've taken the Winter Train in Alaska between Anchorage and Fairbanks; it was an adventure all on its own and proved to be one of the major highlights of the trip, especially the first time (glorious weather, plus I had never seen any of those sights before).
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:56 AM
 
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Does one have a family or significant-other, and chooses to go alone to take a break from them (or because they're unavailable)? Or is one single, and without a family? That is an important distinction.

In the latter case, the choice is either to stay home, or to travel alone. And a further consideration: is the objective of the trip just to relax/explore/absorb, or to potentially meet someone?

There are times when being alone is an advantage; I like museums, and if a companion preferred shopping instead, the logistics are easier if traveling alone. But as others have said, sitting alone in a restaurant is draining and unnerving, especially in places like Europe, where it is expected that dining-out is a social venture. Seeing the more romantic sights the banks of the Seine River in Paris come to mind tug on one's consciousness and produce onrush of regret and self-pity for being alone.

I traveled alone with some frequency in my early to mid 20s, in the post-collegiate time of discovery, when a companion would have been appreciated but was neither expected nor necessary. Then years passed, and I was no longer alone. Now, years after a divorce, it's painful to rediscover the necessity of traveling alone.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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I'm single no family so I have few other options. I have, do and will travel alone. It's fine. Once in a while I take a short trip with someone else.

Years ago when I was younger I did some trips with larger groups and never liked it and won't ever willingly do it again. These people who travel in tribes, 1) I don't know how they can stand it I found it so annoying waiting on everyone who forgot something or had to go get a drink/bathroom and the endless who is doing what and what will we all do next is just exasperating and exhausting. 2) just being around groups like that can be annoying. It would be different if you were with a group where breaking down into smaller groups or going alone to explore different interests was ok but generally groups don't act like that unless they know each other really well and have traveled that way before.

Would I prefer a buddy? Umm, sometimes. There are usually specific things I want to do that others don't. I usually travel to nature area/national parks/middle of nowhere places to view wildlife and bird watch. I'm not a sight see type. I love to drive around aimlessly on dirt roads in the back end of nowhere, going nowhere specific, not seeing much. Even I don't know why. I can't imagine anyone else not being bored out of their gourd!
Its almost easier if someone wants me to tag along on something they are doing, going somewhere I would never go on my own from lack of interest, then I have no expectation of doing what I want. I'm just along for the friendship.
Now if I found a friend with similar tastes and travel preferences then sure, absolutely. But only 1, 2 at the most like minded people.

Traveling alone can be a little boring and there are times I think "I wish I was sharing this with someone". But it is also less stressful and more restful. Trade offs.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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I have never taken a vacation alone, but I did arrive in Las Vegas one year the day before my friend was joining me. I have to admit, I really enjoyed the freedom. I took a taxi to the hotel: grabbed a bite to eat and sat down at a slot machine for a few hours. I visited with people, then went to bed pretty early and slept better than I thought I would. Now, I don't think I would like to spend more than a day by myself but I would do that again. I have also gone on business trips with my hubby a few times and done sight seeing while he was working. That too, was fun.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjs123 View Post
Started in East Africa and went camping for two weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, then flew to South Africa and met up with a second group and traveled into Namibia and Botswana, ending in Zambia (camped two nights in the Okavango Delta; the rest of the time stayed at lodges).
Sounds good! I lived in Uganda for two years and have visited South Africa. I'd like to visit Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Namibia. Botswana is one of the safest to visit as well.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjs123 View Post
Started in East Africa and went camping for two weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, then flew to South Africa and met up with a second group and traveled into Namibia and Botswana, ending in Zambia (camped two nights in the Okavango Delta; the rest of the time stayed at lodges).
I've been wanting to travel to Africa solo for a quite a while. Namibia and Botswana are at the top of my list. How did you like staying in lodges? Were you with a group or did you do it all on your own?
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:39 PM
 
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Giesela, I agree about the tradeoffs. When I was with a group we actually missed one stop that was very important to me, because we had to wait for two very inconsiderate people who wandered off and held up the entire group. I doubt I'll get back there again and if I do it won't be the identical trip, so these people ruined a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and several others.

Ameriscot, two years in Uganda must have been quite an experience. I was very aware that my six-week trip was barely even scratching the surface of the places I was seeing, and I've often wished I could spend far longer in different places I've visited.

WyoEagle, I planned the trip through a tour company that I doubt I would use again. I traveled for 2-3 days alone before, during and after the group tours (had a 2-day break in between groups), and was with two different groups for 2 and 4 weeks, respectively. The lodges were fine and they served their purpose (bed and bath).

I was covering a lot of distance in a short time, had never been there before and had only so much time and money, so I chose to go the tour-group route. However, I found moving in a 'pack' to be stressful. At the same time, there is something to be said for safety in numbers (which could apply anywhere, though it is not a guarantee of safety) and also traveling with a guide who knows the area.

I think everyone has to decide what their comfort level is, along with keeping apprised of what may be happening in the areas you want to visit. For example, someone I kept in touch told me it was good I went when I did, given subsequent unrest early the following year (at that point I probably would not have gone at all).
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