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Old 04-27-2012, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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Is solo travel for recreation / leisure socially accepted in your country? Even for women? Or are people who travel alone considered crazy? How popular is it?

How about eating alone in a restaurant? Would a person having dinner by themselves be considered normal in your country, or would he/she be pitied and even ostracized?
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:59 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Is solo travel for recreation / leisure socially accepted in your country? Even for women? Or are people who travel alone considered crazy? How popular is it?

How about eating alone in a restaurant? Would a person having dinner by themselves be considered normal in your country, or would he/she be pitied and even ostracized?
All normal. Plenty of young people travel alone these days: I've done it, and I've met countless people who've done it.

I notice a lot fewer from the United States, for some reason. They tend to travel in groups and seldom are on long-term trips like the gap year many Brits or Aussies take. Heaps from Europe, Canada, Korea, Japan, Taiwan.

Dining alone is perfectly normal, although would be unusual at a very formal establishment. When travelling you get used to dining alone wherever anyway.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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I'm American and, outside of the US, I only travel to Canada, Europe and South America.

In the US and Canada, it's not a problem traveling solo nor eating solo. I think both cultures are used to seeing it.

In Europe and South America, it's a little different. The traveling part is a non-issue (sightseeing, transit use, etc.), though I'm sure it signals tourist and most likely Western (the Japanese tend go in big groups). Americans do too, but less so. However, the stickier part comes when dining. Usually, I'll have breakfast at the hotel, where it's included, grab lunch on the go, and go out to dinner. At dinner, it's a little more awkward, since the local Europeans or South Americans will be in couples or in small groups of friends. If I am not feeling up to dealing with that, I will go to McDonald's. Seriously.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:39 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
I'm American and, outside of the US, I only travel to Canada, Europe and South America.

In the US and Canada, it's not a problem traveling solo nor eating solo. I think both cultures are used to seeing it.

In Europe and South America, it's a little different. The traveling part is a non-issue (sightseeing, transit use, etc.), though I'm sure it signals tourist and most likely Western (the Japanese tend go in big groups). Americans do too, but less so. However, the stickier part comes when dining. Usually, I'll have breakfast at the hotel, where it's included, grab lunch on the go, and go out to dinner. At dinner, it's a little more awkward, since the local Europeans or South Americans will be in couples or in small groups of friends. If I am not feeling up to dealing with that, I will go to McDonald's. Seriously.
Don't let that stop you, mate. If you're on vacation, you should be enjoying yourself. Might even get into a convo with someone and make a new friend!
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,639 posts, read 18,125,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
I'm American and, outside of the US, I only travel to Canada, Europe and South America.

In the US and Canada, it's not a problem traveling solo nor eating solo. I think both cultures are used to seeing it.

In Europe and South America, it's a little different. The traveling part is a non-issue (sightseeing, transit use, etc.), though I'm sure it signals tourist and most likely Western (the Japanese tend go in big groups). Americans do too, but less so. However, the stickier part comes when dining. Usually, I'll have breakfast at the hotel, where it's included, grab lunch on the go, and go out to dinner. At dinner, it's a little more awkward, since the local Europeans or South Americans will be in couples or in small groups of friends. If I am not feeling up to dealing with that, I will go to McDonald's. Seriously.
I've eaten at many places solo in the U.S. and have often been the only solo diner in the place. It's definitely considered somewhat out of the ordinary to dine solo at restaurants, and many people would feel uncomfortable doing so. I don't know how many times I've heard "only one?" or "I have your take-out order ready" before. For some reason, it seems more unusual at supper than lunch; and much more unusual at a popular chain restaurant like Applebee's or Olive Garden than a restaurant that is less popular or more divey or frequented by only those of a certain ethnicity (once you get over being out of your element).
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Travel is 100% normal, eating out maybe 90% normal.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:30 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,060,466 times
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Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
I've eaten at many places solo in the U.S. and have often been the only solo diner in the place. It's definitely considered somewhat out of the ordinary to dine solo at restaurants, and many people would feel uncomfortable doing so. I don't know how many times I've heard "only one?" or "I have your take-out order ready" before. For some reason, it seems more unusual at supper than lunch; and much more unusual at a popular chain restaurant like Applebee's or Olive Garden than a restaurant that is less popular or more divey or frequented by only those of a certain ethnicity (once you get over being out of your element).
I basically consider Applebee's like fast food anyway.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:46 AM
 
13,496 posts, read 18,192,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Is solo travel for recreation / leisure socially accepted in your country? Even for women? Or are people who travel alone considered crazy? How popular is it?

How about eating alone in a restaurant? Would a person having dinner by themselves be considered normal in your country, or would he/she be pitied and even ostracized?
I live in Western Europe. Being single and having little interest in cooking, I eat most of my meals out. At lunch time I see a few single diners, for dinner it is much more unusual. Unlike Robert, I am not bothered by it in the slightest, probably because I always carry a book or a magazine to read.

Back in the late Sixties (when I was young) I travelled in Ireland several times, and I was really taken aback when in a very crowded hotel dining for dinner the host wanted to seat me with a stranger. Nowadays -if it ever came up - I would do it, then I refused.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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I really don't give a **** what other people think, if i like to travel and eat alone i will do it. Don't go to 5 star restaurants anyway, to expensive and after 2 hours i feel hungry again.

Most people i have seen who traveled alone were from Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Denmark.
It seems that the Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Italians never travel alone.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:33 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,060,466 times
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Originally Posted by Davy-040 View Post
I really don't give a **** what other people think, if i like to travel and eat alone i will do it. Don't go to 5 star restaurants anyway, to expensive and after 2 hours i feel hungry again.

Most people i have seen who traveled alone were from Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Denmark.
It seems that the Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Italians never travel alone.
Koreans often, Japanese somewhat less often, Chinese less frequently, Italians not too uncommon - as far travelling solo here. Americans, usually in groups of at least 3 for some reason.
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