Joined: 13 Sep 2005 Posts: 194 Location: San Diego, CA
Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:18 am Post subject: traveling solo
I'm thinking about traveling on my own to Amsterdam or Marrakech next spring. I've only traveled alone to England and France. I always end up meeting amazing people and interacting more with the locals that way. I've never tried it in Africa though.
Has anyone here traveled on their own? _________________ "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" --- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Last year I went to Tunisia with a friend, and we were constantly fighting off advances and sometimes it was not pleasant (and neither of us is going to win the glamour stakes anytime soon.....lol). Apparently Marrakesh is worse as this friend has been there with her husband. She said we couldn't go there as 2 female travellers without our boys - which was why we picked Tunisia.
Have to say, even though it got very tiring being hit on all the time in Tunisia.... it was a fabulous place and the locals were in general very nice and very helpful. We have been watching the travel promotions so she and I can go and have another holiday together "sans boys" in Tunisia.
Good thing to do is look on the travel advice section of your embassies website. They will list whether a country is safe for solo travellers or whether caution is required. Our travel company actually issued us with a warning before we booked to let us know that whilst it was generally ok for 2 women to travel to Tunisia.... there could be issues at times.
Good luck and let us know where you pick! _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 Posts: 296 Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 2:51 am Post subject:
I too would be hesitant about Marrakech, for the reasons Debbie has outlined - certainly I wouldn't go there alone if it was my first trip.
I have however done Amsterdam solo and it was absolutely wonderful. It's a lovely city to explore at one's own pace, walking along the canals, poking into whatever shops and markets catch your eye, relaxing in cafes... everyone I met was very welcoming, and I felt completely at ease. The one and only drawback to going there alone is that it's very difficult to find an Indonesian restaurant that will do a rijsttafel for one person!
Joined: 13 Sep 2005 Posts: 194 Location: San Diego, CA
Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:27 pm Post subject:
I've recently turned my attention to traveling to Southeast Asia some time in the near future. I'll do research on solo traveling through Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Cambodia. Maybe that's how I'll ring in the big (and looming) 4-0. _________________ "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" --- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Joined: 15 Jul 2010 Posts: 5 Location: New York, NY
Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:28 pm Post subject:
Wow! Traveling alone? Pardon me if I sound weird, but that's something I couldn't picture myself doing. I would have to travel with at least one pal on my side. Kudos to you!
Anyway, I've wandered OFF on my own before in Spain. While it was neat to have that independence, I felt very much alone because I didn't speak a lick of Spanish and frankly, I was lost. VERY lost. So in short -- have a map, a translating dictionary, and perhaps "get lost" in a small area that it's hard to "get lost" in. LOL _________________ I wish I knew those cold stone hours . . . I want some gosh darn ice cream!
Joined: 20 Jul 2010 Posts: 4 Location: Arizona and Biarritz, France
Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:05 am Post subject:
I traveled to Paris alone...joined a conversation group where I was offered a job (after one week!) and stayed 5 years. I would have NEVER gone to a conversation group if I had not been alone. So I say kudos to you!
Although by no means a "budget" option, the Mamounia Hotel in Marrakesh has English speaking tour guides available who will pick you up at the airport, take you to the (gorgeous) hotel and show you the sites.
I haven't been to Marrakesh myself, but the hotel has a website where this is offered.
Again, congrats for venturing solo and have fun whatever you choose!
Ana _________________ “Not all those who wander are lost.” – Tolkien
Joined: 23 Nov 2004 Posts: 450 Location: a Dutchie in HongKong
Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:30 am Post subject:
Travelling solo is fantastic and something I even miss a little now that my dear hubbie is joining me most of the time. I think there are two types of people: those who can - and enjoy - travelling alone, and those who don't enjoy it at all!
I've had some of my best trips solo, as long as you do count on at least one day and/or evening where it's very boring/scary/taking a lot of energy to get even out of the hotel on your own. My trick is to welcome that day, think:ah, there you are, good, then I'm done with that for the rest of the trip, and just take it easy that day. Another thing I do is carefully select where I spend the night - as in: maybe a littlebit nicer hotel.
(I am more the spoiled princess type than the 8 kgs-luggage for one year-backpacking).
Travelling solo is enjoying the freedom to do what you like and for as long as you like. Meeting people, talking to them, and decide to spend an afternoon together, or not .
But also: sometimes it's not easy to decide on your own all the time what to do, when, and where.
My must-haves are good travelling guides for the places I go, a nice reading book (for during dinner or as a message you don't want to talk ) and something I learned: if you have time and you plan to get to a certain area at night and you dont know your way there: get there at daylight, and either stay or go back later. Much easier to find your way around.
Oh, and a little lavender pillowspray or something like that - a good smell can make you feel right at home! Try one of those closet-refresher-sachets in your suitcase - and take it out in a hotel room. Or a small scented candle.
Joined: 21 Aug 2007 Posts: 552 Location: Central Kentucky
Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:55 pm Post subject:
>I think there are two types of people: those who can - and enjoy - travelling alone, and those who don't enjoy it at all! <
Speaking from the perspective of a travel writer, I would have to agree. But I think it goes even deeper.
Those who are self-confident, adventursome, and wish to explore the cultural diversity of the world, usually have no problems traveling solo.
Those whose comfort level requires a little more familiarity and taste-of-homishness do better traveling with one or two companions.
I would have to say, however, that the majority of people (or, at least, of Americans) do not fit into either group. What they prefer is a great deal of familiarity, of take-me-by-the-hand-and-show-me-the-way. For that type, formal tours and arranged travel make the most sense.
Give you an idea of what I mean---and this is not untypical. Friend Wife and I once did an article about touring Maryland's Eastern Shore that used food as the hook. Called it "In Search of the Perfect Crabcake." In the course of researching it I got to be quite friendly with some of the restauranteurs.
They later reported what an incredible response there had been. "All summer people would come in, clutching the article," one said. "They'd be referring to it, and saying, 'let's see, this is X restuarant; he had thus and she had so. And they would order the exact same things."
See what I mean? Not only were these people traveling the exact route we had, they were ordering the same meals in the same restaurants. And this was a part of the world not the least unfamiliar.
I offer that not in judgement, but as a way of determining the kind of traveler you are. Fit yourself realistically into one of these three group types, and you'll know whether or not solo travel is right for you.
I find myself agreeing once again with KYH ( I'm beginning to be worried- I usually don't agree much with anyone ha ha) , but I would like to add that though of course it depends on one's personality if one can enjoy travelling solo or not, I think it depends on some other parameters too: I'm used to travel alone since before I married, during my married life and since I'm a widow ( meaning solo again) . But I think it depends also where you are travelling solo: Big cities like Paris/London/NY/Hong Kong etc are - at least for me- much easier to travel/have a good time alone: museums,shows, strolling around galleries, shops, just nice streets, I prefer to do it on my own pace. And I love to eat alone in restaurants..On the other hand, taking a walk in the woods in the mountains or on a seashore alone- I find very hard . Of course, it's personal. Also , age has a lot to do with what one likes or not: I was very happy as a young person to travel alone, so as to meet people and actually change my mind about my whereabouts whenever I felt like it. Now, though I still like my freedom , I do stop more often in cafes , or just on a bench to have a rest, and elderly people are more cautious to begin to talk to strangers.. Who will begin to talk to an old lady at a cafe in Paris or NY? Let's be real..
So , perspective changes, even if deep inside I still feel a 20 year old student in Paris in the 70'..
After 30 years of being ( also) a travel guide ( Europe , Egypt, Thailand) I have as well to agree that many many people like to "be taken by the hand" - lucky for me- because I love guiding, I like holding a microphone in my hands and giving instructios ( a nice euphemism for orders). I like to go ahead and talk about the places I love. But I never went in a guided tour myself though I think that I will do it sometimes soon because I would like to visit Morocco and India and I don't see myself travelling alone in an Arab country ( I'm Israeli as you all well know) and India solo - I'm far beyond the age of doing that. SO that is a change too. And I hope I will let the poor guide to do his job without me trying to show him how to do it better.. ( I'm kidding).
I'm sure Harpo that you will have a good time, wherever you chose to travel . And happy 4-0. It's a serious age, but still soooooooo young!!!
No more war, I want to travel all over the globe safely!!!!
Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 456 Location: california
Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:03 pm Post subject:
New York is a fabulous place to travel solo! So much to do, and New Yorkers are famous for allowing one's privacy -- or inviting participation. Can't lose.
Lots of places I haven't been yet, but the only place I've ever experienced unwanted advances, i.e. been groped on the street (twice while walking in a crowd) and chatted up suggestively nearly everywhere I happened to be alone (and I was actually travelling with my husband...no matter...) was in Athens. I was shocked and disappointed and never expected this behavior. However...I hope to go back someday soon. Gorgeous country, friendly folks (for the most part), and lovely food. Will just be wiser and more careful -- which is a good way to be everywhere anyway, especially if you're a woman travelling alone. _________________ So far, so good.
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