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Old 07-20-2015, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
1,429 posts, read 1,989,308 times
Reputation: 2115

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Hello City-Data faithful!

I just wanted to share a little bit of my recent experience and see if anyone else can relate. I've never had a trip that made me feel so different, even though I have been to more distant and exotic places in the world. I decided to take a solo road trip for several days because I really wanted to visit a certain area, to which I had to postpone/cancel on several occasions over the past several years because life always seemed to get in the way.

I don't know what made me do it, but I pretty much woke up one day and said f*&k it, and made plans to head out in just a few days. Well to make a long story short, I met some people who were both local as well as visiting solo. For some odd reason these individuals really brought out the best in me, and seemed like people I had known for decades instead of just a few hours. Our life circumstances were strangely similar as well. I had so much fun with these people, that for once I was truly relaxed and having more fun than I have probably had in years. This is coming from a guy who typically does not make friends very easily. Now it's sad to think that I will probably never see these people again, but the few hours you spend conversing with these people can be priceless! I sometimes like to think that some of the people we randomly meet in our lives are not by coincidence. I guess I feel like that maybe I was destined or supposed to take this trip for a reason.

Can anyone else relate or maybe have a good story to share?
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:47 PM
 
30 posts, read 23,633 times
Reputation: 60
I don't have a jaw dropping story to share, but I can relate with my own experience.

Last year I went on a trip that spanned several weeks, mostly in Australia but also time spent in Thailand and Japan. I'd never even been out of the country (USA) before, so this was a pretty big leap. My friends and family thought it was great, but I did have a lot of people ask me who are you going with? They couldn't fathom leaving for a month and a half by one's self with just a backpack. I got some blank stares as well. But, I've never limited myself to having to travel with other people. There are several times over the years I've flown out of town for a quick weekend away and not even told anyone.

But before leaving, I felt like a nervous wreck as I thought about all the things that would wrong. I'm friendly and nice to people, but not the most outgoing and engaging person in the world. Maybe that I took on too much. I definitely felt out of my comfort zone at first, but overall I had an incredible trip, and met some wonderful people along the way. I did feel different after a while...like a breath of fresh air into my life. I can identify with that relaxing, fun, feeling and yes it is sad knowing I'm not likely to run into those people again -- I just tried to take advantage of those short amounts of time and enjoy it. Eventually when I got home, I tried to explain this to many of my family & friends, and they couldn't understand what I experienced. They wanted to know about the tourist sites I saw, but what I cherished most was the experiences I had meeting people along the way. Nobody really understood what I meant until about a year later when a close friend of mine went overseas for a week and a half by herself, and experienced something similar to what I did. Finally, someone in my life understood.

Where did you go visit if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
1,429 posts, read 1,989,308 times
Reputation: 2115
Quote:
I can identify with that relaxing, fun, feeling and yes it is sad knowing I'm not likely to run into those people again -- I just tried to take advantage of those short amounts of time and enjoy it. Eventually when I got home, I tried to explain this to many of my family & friends, and they couldn't understand what I experienced.
Great post! So true about trying to explain your experience to others. Sounds like it was a great time. Like you, I am grateful for the few moments I was able to spend with those people and that in of itself was the highlight of my adventure! I am so glad that you can relate. Truthfully, its a feeling that I will savor for as long as it lasts.

Quote:
Where did you go visit if you don't mind me asking?
I drove up to small town New England, which is several hundred miles from where I currently live.

Last edited by santafe400; 07-20-2015 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,974,918 times
Reputation: 6623
Solo travel is the best. I've been to Germany twice, once to Argentina, once to Oregon, and once to Colorado (a scouting trip before my solo move out here) on solo trips. I'm looking forward to more solo travels in the future. I think it is something that everybody should experience. It is a sink or swim kind of situation because it brings a person way outside of their comfort zone. I've met some interesting people on my travels.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:20 AM
 
Location: San Diego
2,888 posts, read 6,445,325 times
Reputation: 2005
I've done a fair share of solo travels. As an American, its not common. Aussies and Brits do it for months at a time. I went to Japan for a week solo in May. Trying to figure out things on your own with a language barrier is a great way to learn about yourself.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:14 AM
 
32,095 posts, read 33,002,049 times
Reputation: 14956
I have done a few solo sightseeing trips of a few days each time when working overseas (Ecuador & China). I always met other interesting people during these times.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:38 AM
 
163 posts, read 111,964 times
Reputation: 187
I've visited 155 countries, solo. By bicycle. I wouldn't have done it any other way.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:01 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,270,768 times
Reputation: 7586
I agree with OP.

I travelled solo in quite a few cities and surprisingly I am enjoying it more and more. This is especially true when it comes to Europe - for some reason, all my friends seem only interested in hitting the attractions and landmarks, having some good meal and call it a day and move on to the next place; I always find something is missing in that. I enjoy wandering down the regular streets and alleys, often aimlessly, to have a better taste of what the city and life is like. I also enjoy taking walking tours from locals, sometimes you run into interesting people and may have a blast - but it depends on your luck. If the group is primarily senior couples, you end up doing nothing afterwards, if there are most single travellers, it can turn out to be very fun (happened to me in Lisbon, great memories).
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:05 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,742 posts, read 9,040,831 times
Reputation: 11143
Quote:
Originally Posted by santafe400 View Post
Hello City-Data faithful!

I just wanted to share a little bit of my recent experience and see if anyone else can relate. I've never had a trip that made me feel so different, even though I have been to more distant and exotic places in the world. I decided to take a solo road trip for several days because I really wanted to visit a certain area, to which I had to postpone/cancel on several occasions over the past several years because life always seemed to get in the way.

I don't know what made me do it, but I pretty much woke up one day and said f*&k it, and made plans to head out in just a few days. Well to make a long story short, I met some people who were both local as well as visiting solo. For some odd reason these individuals really brought out the best in me, and seemed like people I had known for decades instead of just a few hours. Our life circumstances were strangely similar as well. I had so much fun with these people, that for once I was truly relaxed and having more fun than I have probably had in years. This is coming from a guy who typically does not make friends very easily. Now it's sad to think that I will probably never see these people again, but the few hours you spend conversing with these people can be priceless! I sometimes like to think that some of the people we randomly meet in our lives are not by coincidence. I guess I feel like that maybe I was destined or supposed to take this trip for a reason.

Can anyone else relate or maybe have a good story to share?
Traveling solo is great! You meet new people and are on your own terms. I wish I had figured that out sooner in life.
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:11 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,742 posts, read 9,040,831 times
Reputation: 11143
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBob View Post
I've visited 155 countries, solo. By bicycle. I wouldn't have done it any other way.
You might deserve the title of "Most interesting man in the world." What a neat experience.
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