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Old 01-02-2009, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Norcross GA
983 posts, read 4,097,706 times
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Can anyone post their solo traveling adventures here. Where did you go, how was the experience being by yourself?
I always want to go somewhere solo, like Europe but one, all travel is priced based on double occupancy. Two, I don't want to feel weird and out of place. Three, it's hard to get others to want to go where you want to go or they may not have the money etc.

I really want to venture out of the U.S. Are there single travel clubs, groups?
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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There are plenty, you can do tours anywhere, there are heaps to be found in Europe, plus singles resorts, plus if you're brave, you could try couch surfing so you have company (and keep costs down).

I've travelled by myself, around Europe and when I was living in Mexico, I would travel a lot by myself (where prices for a room for one person are less than for two people to share that same room). It's fine. You have complete freedom to decide what to do and where to go, plus it can be easier to get talking to people if you're by yourself. If you stay in youth hostels, rather than 5* hotels, you'll probably meet a lot of people who you could do things with if you got sick of being alone.

But anyway, for better advice, be more specific about which places you want to see, your budget, time frame, what you like doing/seeing, your age, things like that.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Norcross GA
983 posts, read 4,097,706 times
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ciaobellaxx,
I want to see Italy, Paris France, London, Greece, Jamaica, Japan. I am open as far as budget but the cheaper the better. I am great at finding internet deals. Timeframe would be a week or two. I am in my 40's and I would just like to see the typical tourist stuff and locations. I would feel more comfortable staying in hotels that are 3 star on up.

But overall I am not looking for a specific location I am asking about the experiences of others as a solo traveler. I don't care if it was to Jamaica or Russia. I want to know what it cost, how they felt doing it solo, what advice they have for others.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,521,444 times
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OH YEAH!! I love traveling alone. I've traveled around Alaska, parts of Canada, much of the U.S., and parts of South America, Asia and the Caribbean -- alone, just me and the sky and time, and the undistracted clarity of my own thoughts and feelings...

Alone I can make my own schedules, linger as long as I want, leave as quickly as I want, eat when, where and what I want, have no obligations to anyone's happiness and comfort but my own, no one who needs to be negotiated with. Traveling alone is a completely nourishing experience, with no need to compromise. That's especially true about talking: when we have to pay attention listening to someone speaking to us, or pay attention to someone else while we speak to them, we lose part of what we're doing. Traveling alone, we are being here now... and we get to learn how very resourceful, interesting, creative, fun and contented we really are.

You're right that accommodations are usually advertised at double occupancy prices, but that's only because a couple is the usual arrangement. Everywhere accepts single occupancy, almost always at a lower price. It's not 50% lower, but it is lower. (The only exception I can think of offhand is cruise ships which count their revenue per head as the run's revenue includes drinks, food, gambling, etc.)

I personally would not go with a "singles" tour -- too much yammer about nothing, taking your energy and time away from you. And if you had to bunk two in a room, well who are you with? What do they smoke? Or drink? Or shoot up? What's their arrest record? Conviction record?? Too many clear and present dangers... Money is a good trade for safety, I think. Same goes for couch surfing -- no one's regulating it yet, so there's no "adult supervision". It's a neat idea, like barter. But unlike barter, you won't know if you got a good deal unless you actually wake up, and with all your possessions, the next morning.

You said, "I don't want to feel weird and out of place."
How could that be?? Since the beginning of time, no solo traveler has ever been weird or out of place! Down through history, who were the people who found out what was on the other side of the mountain? Almost all the people who have brought great changes to countries and cultures have been lone travelers. That's fabulous, not weird!! Alone you can pay attention to your life, to your feelings and thoughts, to colors and textures, the play of light, the smells on the breeze, the conversation of birds in the trees, and you will remember those experiences for as long as you live, because you were completely there...

Anyway, what other people think is totally irrelevant, since what they think is ALWAYS an expression of who THEY are, not who YOU are, therefore pointless. In your mind, just thank them for making your life richer, and go on your way

I would offer this specific advice: at all times wear a moneybelt with all your valuable documents, including your tickets, passport, photocopy of the picture page of your passport, credit card, medical insurance card, and 90-95% of your cash in it. If your gut tells you your sleeping arrangement some night is iffy, wear the moneybelt while you sleep. The rest of the time, keep the moneybelt under your pillow while you sleep. Be friendly to all and trust yourself more than anyone else. Make sense? Here's a useful post about moneybelts:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/3933396-post8.html

Here's a great thread about travel tips:
Miscellaneous travel tips. ADD yours here!

This thread is about how to avoid being stupid:
Some one HELP

And about getting cash in Europe:
ATM/Credit Cards in Central/Western Europe

Hope this good stuff helps you! Have fun planning! Adventure is joy! I wish you great joy!!

Last edited by allforcats; 01-02-2009 at 09:51 PM..
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Norcross GA
983 posts, read 4,097,706 times
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Wow allforcats! That is an excellent post and thanks so much. You totally get where I am coming from. And that is exactly the experience I want cause I am so on a self love, self awareness, self everything life journey!
I just read a quote by St Francis in the book Arriving at your own Door by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The quote "What you are looking for is who is looking".

And you saying "Anyway, what other people think is totally irrelevant, since what they think is ALWAYS an expression of who THEY are, not who YOU are, therefore pointless. In your mind, just thank them for making your life richer, and go on your way" hit the nail on the head!

I am truly enlightened!
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,521,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caligurltotx View Post
Wow allforcats! That is an excellent post and thanks so much. You totally get where I am coming from. And that is exactly the experience I want cause I am so on a self love, self awareness, self everything life journey!
I just read a quote by St Francis in the book Arriving at your own Door by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The quote "What you are looking for is who is looking".

And you saying "Anyway, what other people think is totally irrelevant, since what they think is ALWAYS an expression of who THEY are, not who YOU are, therefore pointless. In your mind, just thank them for making your life richer, and go on your way" hit the nail on the head!

I am truly enlightened!

Thank you for practicing your joy and generosity on me. Something about your energy, of course, inspired what I posted.

"What you are looking for is who is looking"

You made me gasp!! Out loud!!
Oh my...

What you are looking for is who is looking. Yes...
So if one is looking for something, and the object is that close, then one must be attentive to one's feelings and thoughts and impressions, and to how the rain actually touches one's face and tastes on one's tongue, to the quadrillion details that occur each day -- but mostly, and especially, to the choices of emotions and attitudes one makes. Total attention, from the observer to ----- the observer... Therefore, being completely available to oneself does seem to be of primary importance, doesn't it? The solo journeyer. Sojourner. Sojourner Truth...

I have an idea. My thought is this: you're itching to go somewhere without destroying your retirement funds, even your live-now funds! But you're not sure how to do it, or how to be. So ---

You sound like a North American. Why not try Quebec City or Montreal first? Really a foreign country, and they do their best to keep it so. It's absolutely charming and annoying and beautiful and magical, and really really French. And not expensive to get to, so you'd have wiggle room to spend on lodgings.

Or Nova Scotia. Or Newfoundland. Or Prince Edward Island ("Anne of Green Gables")... ah silence....
Or the rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state (there really really are faeries darting around in these ancient, silent, dripping forests, I promise you ).
Olympic National Park: Quinault Rain Forest - Traveler Reviews - Beauty before me, beauty above me, beauty all around me - TripAdvisor

Or the Queen Charlotte Islands just out in the water from Vancouver, B.C.
Or Alaska, land of my heart, whose variety of visual and emotiional experiences is mind-boggling.

Or if you love animals, believe it or not, especially alone, you could love Busch Gardens in Tampa and SeaWorld in Orlando (both of which I visited in one 5-day trip, and stayed in a state of resonating ecstacy; I even petted a penguin, twice! Little Scarlet Ibises own the walkways at Busch! A Polar Bear walked 2 inches beside me; he and the main male walrus at SeaWorld are far more huge and shocking than I ever expected). Or the San Diego Zoo... A ranch in the Rockies...

Have you placed your body and your sense of balance at the edge of the Grand Canyon? Hmmm??

Have you ever been anywehre like North Dakota or Montana or Wyoming, or on top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, where you could yell until you're hoarse and no one would hear you??

Maybe your destination isn't so far away? You are always with you, making you laugh...

I worked in Tokyo for 11 years. We can talk about that by DM if you'd like.
Attached Thumbnails
Do You Travel Solo?-scarlet-ibis.jpg  

Last edited by allforcats; 01-03-2009 at 12:55 AM..
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:21 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,679 posts, read 74,680,484 times
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not fitting in and not being normal can be fun.
exceptional people that achieve a great deal and work 12 hrs a day at what they do well
are not "normal"

Last edited by Huckleberry3911948; 01-02-2009 at 11:49 PM..
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:33 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,938,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caligurltotx View Post
ciaobellaxx,
I want to see Italy, Paris France, London, Greece, Jamaica, Japan. I am open as far as budget but the cheaper the better. I am great at finding internet deals. Timeframe would be a week or two. I am in my 40's and I would just like to see the typical tourist stuff and locations. I would feel more comfortable staying in hotels that are 3 star on up.

But overall I am not looking for a specific location I am asking about the experiences of others as a solo traveler. I don't care if it was to Jamaica or Russia. I want to know what it cost, how they felt doing it solo, what advice they have for others.
I hope you could allow yourself at least two weeks.
A week or two is not very much for all the places you've named. (But you could do a Greece/Italy combo, London/Paris combo, etc.)
I am 54 and have traveled alone and really enjoyed it for many of the reasons suggested by All4cats.
Traveling alone opens you up to new experiences a bit more than when with a partner.
I've stayed in 2-3 star hotels but also hostels, both felt safe.
Traveling off season (in '06 I went to France in February, it was cold but prices were cheap, my flight to Toulouse was $500) can save money.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:52 AM
 
Location: West of the 100th Meridian
27 posts, read 73,091 times
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To celebrate my 40th birthday, I gave myself a trip to London and Paris. I'm single, so I went solo. I wasn't NOT going to go.

I flew direct Denver to London on BA. Spent 6 days in London, took the Eurostar through the Chunnel to Paris, my first ever train trip. No helicopters were following us. Then 4 days in Paris. I didn't take as long in Paris because at the time I was worried that I didn't speak enough(any) French. That was misguided as I never had trouble with English and everyone was very nice. Just TRY to speak a little French. Paris gets a wrap about being rude, but I didn't experience that. I wish I had gone longer to Paris. Some day.

I saw all the standard "tourist" spots but also because I was on my own got to experience a lot of things that tourists won't and I got to do it my way and on my schedule. Watching tour buses drive by with faces pressed to the window, NOT getting to hear what I hear, NOT getting to smell what I smell, NOT getting to stop at the little pub or cafe. They could have stayed home and watched a movie and got much the same experience. The Tube or Metro got me where I wanted to go.

I stayed at pretty good hotels that I found through Priceline. Even stayed at the Hilton in Paris(yes, there's a joke there) in a regularly $750/night room for $250. The window provided a view of the Eiffel Tower.

I see a pretty long list of places you want to see, but wasn't sure if you were wanting to go to them all in one trip. I don't think you should. I think you should take your time and take as many trips as you need to really experience those places. London and Paris is easy. Italy and Greece, as mentioned might be good too. My last trip was solo to Mexico City, my next trip will be to Iceland and then a Tokyo/Hong Kong combo. After that, who knows. The list gets longer all the time.

On the plane on the way home from that trip, I watched The Da Vinci Code for the first time and it was so cool to be able to say "I've been there. I've been there. I've been there."

I highly recommend going solo and don't feel the need to take tours. If you want to dip your toe in the water, as has been mentioned, Montreal and Quebec City are good choices. Montreal is really fun. I went for the Jazz festival several years ago. If you're a little more adventurous then I would also recommend London, simply because there isn't really a language issue to worry about.

What ever you decide, GO!
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Norcross GA
983 posts, read 4,097,706 times
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Thanks xando and all others. No I am not trying to do all at once, just saying where I have thought of going. I never considered Canada but I think I will now. I like the idea of London/Paris and know a friend that did it with her significant other. I hate the cold so I know I couldn't benefit from the off peak seasons. But then I could if I really wanted to.

Doing things solo is interesting and I think we create these stories in our minds that has nothing to do with reality. I admit it is hard for me to go eat alone, or go to the movies solo. I do it but I always find myself caught up in what others are thinking. However, I will DO it. I remind myself that none of them even know me or probably are not thinking anything about it, period! And if they are so what! So I can only imagine how traveling solo would magnify those feelings times ten. But then again, maybe here in America we have bought into the single/solo woman taboo syndrome. It may be a non issue in other parts of the world.

I travel with friends but it seems so limited at times. And sometimes you just wanna go where you wanna go, when you wanna go.
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