Solo traveling?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by kellzy, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Nov 26, 2019

    No one ever talks about Jesus’ true miracle of having 12 close friends in his 30s. Because that might have been his greatest miracle of all. Because I just don’t get how He did that. I’m 33 and I’m single with no prospects in sight. It’s a little troubling due to my culture surrounding my religion, especially because once people get married they kind of forget they have other friends, which is understandable but frustrating for those of us left behind. I seriously have a single unmarried friend. Count them. Uno. She’s my usual travel buddy but she fell victim to a multi-level marketing scheme and had to declare bankruptcy. So she’s broke for the foreseeable future.
    There’s a lot of the world I want to see. Normally it’s not too bad to travel because I have her as a travel buddy, but I also have a cousin and a (married) friend who work for the foreign service and live overseas transferring every few years. If I want to go see somewhere I first check with my one remaining friend. If she can’t, then I check where my other friend and my cousin. See where they are stationed and if I want to go, I go for a ‘visit.’
    Anyway, currently, my friend is in bankruptcy, my (married) friend is in the midst of a move and I don’t want to house crash next summer when they move to their new post. I want to give them a few months to settle in at least until I house crash, and my cousin is posted in Singapore (which sounds about as fun as nothing).
    But it’s been a few years since I’ve been on an overseas trip and I’m drooling wanting to go. So here’s my question. Ever traveled anywhere alone? If so where did you go? Would you recommend? Would you not recommend? Any thoughts for a 33 year old single woman traveling alone? I've been to most of Western Europe and while I wouldn't mind double dipping a few places, it's not necessarily ideal.

    *Sidenote while I don’t have very many personal connections overseas, people of my faith without a doubt would help me if I ran into trouble. So while I’d be traveling alone as long as my church was legally organized in the country I would have at the very least a couch to crash on in an emergency or someone inside the country who I could use as a viable contact.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Nov 26, 2019

    I’ve was single until 30, and again from 41 to 45. I have a pretty good network of both married and single friends, but not everyone was willing or able to travel. I went places by myself whenever I wanted. My first ever flight was a vacation by myself. Loved it.

    I’m also an only child, lived alone a lot, and just basically like my own company just fine. I say go where you want!
     
  4. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    Nov 26, 2019

    I travel solo all the time.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 30, 2019

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with traveling alone. You can handle everything that comes your way, and I get that it might be lonely, but with today's social media you can stay in touch with everyone and feel connected and not alone.

    I travel alone all the time. I will not let anyone stop me. This summer I drove to Alaska from California pulling my travel trailer. It was a 5 week 8000 mile roundtrip camping trip. Was I supposed to not do it because no one could go? Nope.
    I did take 3 German Shepherds with me so I wasn't even lonely. I'm not sure if the dogs still make this a solo trip haha. They are persons to me.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Dec 1, 2019

    Kellzey,

    I've lived my whole life as a single person. If I didn't travel alone, I'd never travel. I'd prefer to travel with a friend, but it never seems to work out. So I go alone.

    I can't make any recommendations on places to go, except to say, go any place you want -- but I will give you some solo travel tips that I've gleaned in my years of solo travel.

    1. Stay in the best hotel you can afford. Don't stay in cheapy motels, they often are not safe, and this especially goes for single travelers. I tend to stay in Choice Suites. They tend to be good everywhere. Always stay in hotels with interior hallways and room access -- never hotels with outside hallways leading directly to the room. Don't stay too far from the elevator -- there is more foot traffic near the elevator. Make friends with the front desk staff -- get to know them by name. Come in through the main entrance, not through a side entrance. You will notice if someone is following you through the main entrance, and so will everybody else. If you think someone has followed you in a main lobby, you can casually stop at the front desk and "chat" until that person goes away. Through a side entrance, people can sneak up on you, and you don't have others nearby if they do.

    2. Sign up for bus/van trips at your destination sites. You'll meet lots of couples and families on these trips. People are very friendly, and you won't be alone or have to eat alone.

    3. If you are in a resort city, and eating alone, it is always best to go very early to restaurants. You'll get seated right away. If you wait until later, popular places get very full, and they'd rather seat larger groups (who spend more money and give larger tips) -- and you'll end up waiting much longer for a table. Some places have "community" tables. These are a great way to go. You can also eat at the bar if the place is busy.

    4. Avoid renting cabins or Airbnb houses unless you are really comfortable being alone. Being alone in a house is very different than being alone in a hotel room. You are very isolated in cabins or houses. In hotels, you at least pass other people and can have casual conversations.

    5. When you travel alone, you can often get fabulous seats to shows and concerts. You can get the extra seat between a party of 2 and a party of 3. I often get front row, center type seats because I only need one ticket.

    6. If you fly alone, get a window seat (unless you are the type who has to use the restroom a lot.) This way, you don't get trapped in the middle seat. A lot of people say get the aisle seat (and this is a good idea if you have to use the restroom a lot) but when you sit in the aisle seat and you are single, you often get asked by the flight attendant or other passengers to "switch seats" so couples or families who booked later can sit other. If you don't agree, you come across as being a jerk, even though you have every right to the seat you requested. Then you end up stuck in a middle seat.
     
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  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Dec 1, 2019

    If you don't want to do the totally solo thing, I looked into an organization a few years ago called GEEO. They put together trips for teachers and you would have a group that you'd go with. I never ended up doing it so I can't speak to how it is, but something to consider if you want a
    group for safety.

    As far as making friends in your 30s, I've had a lot of success with going to meetup groups (meetup.com). I personally look for groups that have an age range listed in them as they do tend to scew way older if there is no age group specified for the group. I've also had more luck with women-only groups as far as making friends. Even with events where I didn't really connect with anyone, it got me out of the house and doing something fun. It's generally a mixture of single and married people, but the thing is that you know everyone there is wanting to make new friends, or they wouldn't bother with the group in the first place.
     
  8. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Dec 1, 2019

    I have driven from Florida to Alaska alone if that counts. I had a blast! It was 1 of the most freeing experiences I have ever had. I have not been to Europe alone. I don't really like to go to different countries alone other than Canada. Mexico has gotten too rowdy for me over the yrs. As a woman, I would just be cautious, stay at safe places, and spend some time w/ people in the country you meet from your faith. They can probably show you or at least tell you about unusual or unique places off the beaten path to visit. Usually when travelling, you'll meet people who like telling their favorite places in their area. I do not mean it as bragging, but when I meet tourists, I am always happy to tell them the "must see places" and "must do events." I hope you have a fun trip!
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 1, 2019

    I spent many years not traveling, so I'm trying to make up for it. I have traveled alone the past 3 summers. The first two, I stayed in Canada. For my west coast trip, I took the train to Vancouver, stayed for 4 days, then flew home. My trip to the east coast, was a 5000km road trip. Last summer, I took a guided tour in the U.K. This coming summer, I'll likely be back to the east coast; my son is there and I'm considering a move to Nova Scotia when I retire in 2 and a half years. I love traveling on my own, being able to make my own decisions about what I want to do. Be aware of safety risks in places where you travel and call upon your contacts to give your advice.
     
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