Solo travel for the first time?

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Lincoln
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Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Lincoln » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:44 pm

So I've always travelled with other people and now next month I'm heading out on my Jack...its only for a few days to Tallinn but this will be my first solo trip....i'm really hoping it goes well and it'll be a pre-curser to many longer solo trips but there is a little worry at the back of my head that i'll end up sat in a crowded restaurant/bar feeling like i'm the resident axe-murderer.

Do you travel solo ? if so how is it?...what are the pitfalls?...what should I avoid?..

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:47 pm

Just sit at the bar to eat. It don't take no rocket scientist.

You may find yourself raging or ruminating when alone, particularly given your divorce thing. Keep it positive, don't dwell. Maybe keep a little busy.

These days alone are finite, yet infinite with possibility. Focus a lot on the gift of that. If you get lost or have dessert for dinner, no one's looking.

I'm looking forward to 35 days alone. I have 2 nights of meeting up with people (3 if I ring up Harry Flashman up and he's avail). Super, super cleansing. The day goes by so easily. Don't be Johnny No-mates and try to make eye contact at the hostel or lonely planet hotel. Just float. Get into it.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Bastet » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:27 pm

I’ve never travelled solo as my husband is the best travel companion. Except when I had 3 days alone in Seoul before a work meeting. Must say I enjoyed it less than I would if he was there.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:02 am

Well, Bastet, Lincoln is facing a divorce, so perhaps that comment is not helpful at this time.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:07 am

Pitfalls: you and only you are responsible for making sure you have all the right stuff packed. There will be no borrowing of shampoo/conditioner. Maybe that's a bad example. OK, toothpaste.

Benefits: no one else's whims or itinerary to adhere to. You can also be more flexible vis-a-vis accommodation and where to dine.
Safety--when you're not part of a group or family, you have to be more vigilant about safety of person and stuff.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:13 am

Last time I did it 2 years ago, I had to sort of fight to be alone. And Lincoln's much more matey than me.

And it's like 4 nights, right? So not exactly an epic journey of man against himself.

Man against himself will home again 72 hours after he arrives.

Even in the Lao rain forest you can readily lay your hands on shampoo. It sounds like Chip vacations on Jupiter.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:30 am

It was a baldie joke.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:32 am

You shave? I love that.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:43 am

Lincoln has a bald pate.

I got a bikini and partial thigh wax a few weeks ago. The "salon" is just up the road from the Pentagon and Army barracks, so there are a lot of young guys in there getting their required buzzcut. "You want all off?" asked the Laotian with the quick and nimble fingers. "No thanks," said I, "just a triangle." Cue blushing 19-year-olds.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by twodogs » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:56 am

I prefer solo travel as there is no debate on when or where to go, eat or sleep and locals are more likely to interact with you.

Travel writer Clemens Sehi uses a smile not just to feel better, but also as a way of setting an amicable tone with strangers abroad.

“When traveling there is one thing that one realizes quite fast: a smile can change everything. It can open doors and the hearts of other people whose culture you do not even know. A smile is the most international language that everyone knows.”
More irrational spitefulness coming from twodogs...

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Unwashed_Pom » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:24 am

Major pitall No1. when travelling solo in places like Thailand. If you're over forty it is immediately assumed you are a lecherous sex tourist. I stopped over in Bangkok a few years back while the Unwashed other half went on to visit friends in the UK. Every time I entered or exited my hotel the concierge asked whether I'd like the services of a girl for the evening. He gave up on the girl angle after four days and thought sir would prefer a young boy instead.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Bastet » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:29 am

Chip_Oatley wrote:Well, Bastet, Lincoln is facing a divorce, so perhaps that comment is not helpful at this time.
I didn’t know that. I’m not on here as much as I used to be.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:18 pm

You're really only assumed to be a whoremonger along Sukhumvit Road. In the rest of Siam, you're more assumed to be a hang dog saddo looking for a girl friend. Again, I have walked that walk. I don't mind being mistaken for it. There but for the grace of God, etc.

One time while staying at the Honey House Hotel, the desk clerk told me he had a very shaved pussy on offer. I flippantly told him that I like a bush. A hairy maid was knocking on my door 5 minutes later. Imagine that scene down in the broom closet where the desk clerk is saying, "lift up those dresses, girls, we have a live $70 prospect".

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Lincoln » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:30 pm

$70 dollars you say :D

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:42 pm

But as a man soon to be sprung from a suffocating sexless hell (been there, done that -like, just down the road), will you be sampling Tallin's charms?

This article about Finnish sex tourists seems too good to be true: White ass for fifty bucks!!!!

http://www.balticsworldwide.com/one-day ... ex-tourist

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:52 pm


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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Lincoln » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:53 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:42 pm
But as a man soon to be sprung from a suffocating sexless hell (been there, done that -like, just down the road), will you be sampling Tallin's charms?

This article about Finnish sex tourists seems too good to be true: White ass for fifty bucks!!!!

http://www.balticsworldwide.com/one-day ... ex-tourist
Nah, i'm not sure that's my bag really Beat...ok, so never say never but it all looks and feels too seedy for me.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Andrea1 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:15 pm

I've done it for most of my travelling and I love it but I am a bit of a loner, enjoy my own company, others annoy me a fair bit and, though I can and do do compromise, ultimately I want to do my trip.

On any solo trip you will meet a lot of people, some you'll link up with and share experiences, extended travel. The beauty is that it will be flexible.

Assuming that you aren't the 'it's no fun if there's no one special to share it with' type, then the worst aspects are security, cost of rooms - obviously cheaper if you're sharing, and times when you get ill.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Lincoln » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:25 pm

Andrea1 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:15 pm
I've done it for most of my travelling and I love it but I am a bit of a loner, enjoy my own company, others annoy me a fair bit and, though I can and do do compromise, ultimately I want to do my trip.

On any solo trip you will meet a lot of people, some you'll link up with and share experiences, extended travel. The beauty is that it will be flexible.

Assuming that you aren't the 'it's no fun if there's no one special to share it with' type, then the worst aspects are security, cost of rooms - obviously cheaper if you're sharing, and times when you get ill.

Thanks...yeah i agree i don't need to share an experience with someone in order to enjoy it....at least i think i don't, i guess i'll find out in 3 weeks time,theres so much to see in Tallinn so i won't get bored, i guess i'll just feel a little self conscious initialy on the plane and when sat in a restaurant on my own...but fcuk it i need to push myself...if it goes well then i'll know for sure what i'm going to do with the rest of my life....i'm not going to put too much store into just 3 days travelling and if it does go badly i won't give up on traveling.


I'm also going to Isle of Man with an old Indian friend of mine from my cricket days for a few days between Christmas and New Year and that'll be a first travelling with a friend...so its all new and i'm open to it.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Lincoln » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:29 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:07 am
There will be no borrowing of shampoo/conditioner. Maybe that's a bad example. OK, toothpaste.

That made me laugh out loud :lol:

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Moethebartender » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:09 pm

My girlfriend's idea of a vacation doesn't include 6 + hour flights or climbing around ancient ruins, so she doesn't often travel internationally with me. I've travelled a few times with friends, and while it has mostly been OK, it gets tedious after a while. None of them speak a lick of a foreign language, so I'm kind of obligated to be tethered to them through pretty much the entire trip. That gets old very quickly. I prefer to go where I want and when I want, I don't always want to eat cheap food or stay in the cheapest hotel, etc. etc. Solo travel allows you to do what you want on a whim. It's wonderfully self-indulgent.
Andrea wrote:the worst aspects are security, cost of rooms - obviously cheaper if you're sharing, and times when you get ill.
Yep, that's true. I would think this would be less of a concern on a short trip to this destination. It's probably not a bad idea to get your feet wet in this fashion.

Bottom line - you're going to Tallinn, not exactly a difficult travel destination so far as I can see. And you're only going for a few days. You'd have to be Manch to fuck this up, really.
OK, toothpaste.
He's British, so also probably a bad example.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:29 pm

Lincoln is leaving one of the most pisshead places in England to go on vacation to one of the most pisshead places in Europe. Respect.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by steveogolf » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:33 pm

Just keep busy with things that interest you, and you won't be bored or embarrassed about doing it alone, except perhaps when it's time to eat in a restaurant and you are sitting there alone (but it is all in your mind, so get yourself an "attitude adjustment" about this aspect of the day. You might consider not eating in a sit down restaurant if this is overwhelmingly depressing to you and you can't shake it off).
Also, don't be shy about initiating a conversation with a person or persons you meet because that can lead to positive things.
As noted above, today's younger travelers (especially couples) are, generally speaking, not very interested in talking to an older traveler (one over 30 years old). This is their problem, and shouldn't be your problem. They are probably "airheads" anyway.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Moethebartender » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:55 pm

As Btraven mentioned, eating along is no big deal; eat at the bar, you surely won't be the only one. Why would you care what some people that you're unlikely to see again think about you anyway?
Hairy wrote:spotting a utter tosspot is as easy as looking in the mirror
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:07 pm

Man, my first trip post crazy English bitch was like being resuccitated. It's a shame he has to go back.

Worrying about imaginary eating alone-judgers is mega-English. Doing it in a destination that will be about 80% fellow English, means that everyone within sight will also be torturing themselves about being judged about something.

Many will in turn blame him back for his likewise imaginary judgement. It's like a Brit angst Escher print.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Lincoln » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:20 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:07 pm
Man, my first trip post crazy English bitch was like being resuccitated. It's a shame he has to go back.
Yes thats the point i'm hoping to get to Beat and yes Moe is correct...who cares what people think...i generally don't and yes,perhaps it is an English trait...but i can't help that can I?

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Moethebartender » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:27 pm

You're going to be just fine. Don't overthink things.
Hairy wrote:spotting a utter tosspot is as easy as looking in the mirror
Oneball wrote:Well shove the warning up your arse. I won't be coming back.
Annotated wrote:By the end of Trump's first term in office, Rocket Man will have rockets no more ... one way or the other. Guaranteed.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:49 pm

Do you know about the music of famous Estonian, Arvo Part?

It's like if Bach were writing today, lots of minimalist, church bell-like patterns. 'Was very healing during my divorce.

Anyway, def, Youtube up an Arvo Part mix. To wander around Tallin with some Arvo on the iPod is a bucket list item for me.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... qvGNAc3PeR

If you have any opportunity to see classical music in Tallin, they have some of the most hot shit players in the world, particularly, the chamber orchestra. Google ECM records and Estonian Music for dozens of examples. Estonia is at least as interesting as Russia as a classical music source

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by leela » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:56 am

Moethebartender wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:55 pm
Why would you care what some people that you're unlikely to see again think about you anyway?
That's my philosophy when I travel, whether solo or in company. I'm far braver and less self conscious when I travel than I am at home, because of that.
Pass the wine...

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by GLimpet » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:16 am

Go out to eat in a bar or restaurant but take a book.

(or just fiddle with your phone like everyone does these days. Then you'll always have us for company. )

You don't have to sit at the bar - but expect to be ignored by staff.

I started travelling on my own in my twenties, and still travel on my own for business which isn't that different.

Even on business there are solo-traveler type moments.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by EMG » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:42 pm

It's very quiet so you'll be in your own head a lot. The quiet was the thing that took the longest for me to get used to after divorce, I was used to 24/7 talking and to just be in silence all the time was a new thing. Not necessarily bad or good, just new.

Going to bars alone can feel a bit awkward but people will often pick you up. Pretty much every time I went for a drink in Vietnam within minutes some group was inviting me over and often buying the drinks. Also other solo people are generally looking for someone to chat with. Pretty much everywhere I go solo I'm approached at least a few times, often by other travelers, sometimes by locals.

I really like solo travel. Some of my favorite parts: You make your own schedule, you can change your itinerary on a whim, you meet lots of new people and many of them are easily impressed by solo travelers so they want to hear your stories. You don't really have to worry about how nice the accommodation is, there's no one to impress. You don't have to worry about if anyone else is having a good time, or tired, or hungry, etc.

Hard part: Getting a photo of yourself while traveling. Either master the selfie or just get used to not being in many of your photos.

I think you'll love it.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by DCComic » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:57 pm

Solo for work isn't really solo, is it?
Taking a book is a strategy, like staring at your phone, but if you would like to meet people it's a barrier. Also avoid earbuds - they're a total 'fuck off!'.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Homerj » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Did lots of it in my youth and do lots of it as a business traveller....never seemed to bother me....just don't get put off with over thinking stuff (as one is want to do when on their own)....other than that you'll be fine.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by steveogolf » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:19 pm

Lincs will soon be qualified to make a Training Film on the pros, cons, and advice re travelling solo.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:05 pm

If you google traveling solo, it's mostly about gap year hotties worrying about hostel date rape.

An old baldie traveling alone -let alone with whores out the picture? Internet interest in his journey -we're talking inner journey, too- will be low.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by Mike Hunt » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:51 pm

It's a lot like traveling with someone, only you aren't.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by GLimpet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:05 am

EMG wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:42 pm

Going to bars alone can feel a bit awkward but people will often pick you up. Pretty much every time I went for a drink in Vietnam within minutes some group was inviting me over and often buying the drinks. Also other solo people are generally looking for someone to chat with. Pretty much everywhere I go solo I'm approached at least a few times, often by other travelers, sometimes by locals.
This doesn't happen much to older guys in Europe, you'll be shocked to hear.
DCComic wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:57 pm
Solo for work isn't really solo, is it?
Taking a book is a strategy, like staring at your phone, but if you would like to meet people it's a barrier. Also avoid earbuds - they're a total 'fuck off!'.
1. Yes it is.
2. I've had a few people start conversations by referring to the book I was reading. It's less of a barrier than just staring around.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:16 am

traveling for biz means lots of meetings. Being adrift in Asia means zero meetings. That's why a bar with a pool table where you can take them out if you like them and put some time in is where you'll meet the plenty of old guys, only half of which will be on the game. I usually stay above such a bar for a few nights as little support network.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by cummy » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:30 am

i travel a lot solo, and i really enjoy it. you'll be fine. one downside (personal downside) is when i want to try a really nice resto usually with a fab chef, and i just feel uneasy doing a one-seater in these eating establishments. so i usually go mid-range for restos, and in that way i feel much more comfortable.

occasionally i have travel partners. but then you have to match the right partner to the right setting/destination. that is, some may prefer the lounge vacays, and others may prefer the hectic vacays. and then there is their availability. so i just say "fuck it", and i am off on my own. no drama!

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by leela » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:31 am

The good things about solo travel are not having to compromise, and not having anyone witness or be affected by your mistakes.

I don't mind compromising, for the record. But the first time I traveled alone, not having to worry about anyone else's preferences was the biggest difference I noticed.
And yep, when I got myself stranded in some Chinese backwater with no transport out, I was glad there was no-one with me to be pissed off at the decision I made that landed me there.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by brodie_bruce » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:52 am

BeatRaven wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:29 pm
Lincoln is leaving one of the most pisshead places in England to go on vacation to one of the most pisshead places in Europe. Respect.
Well played indeed.

I used to be able to quite happily travel solo - did Tallinn solo years ago. Let's just say it was messy and woke up with a text message conversation with someone in my phone "hot Estonian" and no recollection of what happened and was quite possibly still half drunk when I arrived back in Stansted (I did think I was going to die getting back to west London).

but just can't seem to find the motivation to get off my arse these days.

Must try harder.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by polardude1 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:13 pm

I'm hitting the road solo next week after traveling with my GF. She could not make this trip. I've done a lot of solo travel. yes, it can be lonely at ties, but also you tend to meet lots of new people .
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by northern_goddess » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:24 pm

I've done a lot of solo travel and I don't really have much to add from what others have said. You get over being self-conscious about eating alone or doing other things alone pretty quickly... or at least you should. No one cares. Anyway, it's your trip, not theirs, so enjoy yourself no matter what you are doing and who you are or aren't doing it with. I always take my kindle with me when I am going to be eating out alone or on a bus or somewhere 'trapped' alone for a while.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by leela » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:07 am

I don't feel self conscious about eating alone. I just don't enjoy it, even with a book.
Consequently I eat a lot of street food and frequent casual cafes rather than restaurants when I'm on my own.

Enjoying a restaurant meal and splitting a bottle of wine is one of the pluses of traveling with a buddy.

But yeah, I enjoy both solo travel and traveling companionably.
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:08 pm

When I travel alone, I def see more. And I eat less. I try to eat in at least a 4* restaurant each day, usually lunch. After that, it's a bar snack, then bed.

Thailand/Japan offer luggage storage at the bus/train station. I've been known to hit 3 towns in a single day. See the famous temple, eat some noodles, look in some old stores, repeat.

On a Japanese rail pass, I saw 10 towns in 7 days. It's more of an impressionistic smear than a bunch of discrete memories.

If I were soloing in Tallin for 4 days, I'd probably night ferry over to Helsinki or St Petersburg for one of them. An overnight boat, a look around, and then an overnight boat the next night back is the kind of travel heavy lifting that traveling alone inspires.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by GLimpet » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:44 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:16 am
traveling for biz means lots of meetings.
Not necessarily.
Sometimes you go across the world for one meeting.
People cancel and postpone all the time too. They don't give a shit how far you've come.
Especially drilling, where operations are 24/7.
So I always build in a few buffer days to accommodate this.

Even with lots of meetings, you'll still have evenings alone.

Almost nobody goes for business dinners in my sector, unless they're friends as well as business associates.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by GLimpet » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:57 pm

leela wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:31 am
not having anyone witness or be affected by your mistakes.
Oh yes.

I delight in choosing my route and accommodation when travelling solo.
In company, whether wife or business, it's a burden.

Some of my USA colleagues - jeez.
It's not so much the complaints at the time, but the stories they tell afterwards.
He booked a hotel with no breakfast! (in the middle of dozens of cafes you idiot)
He didn't rent a car! (we're staying next to the client's office AND the railway station you idiot)
He had us walking everywhere! (try it you fat cunt)

One that really irritated me, a senior engineer connected to the owner - he was flying overnight from LAX to AMS, I was doing the same from Delhi.

We were going to a meeting in northern Netherlands late that afternoon.

When he saw we were taking the train, he asked repeatedly why we didn't just get a car.
I said traffic jams are frequent, I need to work, we've both just been on overnight flights, and this is probably quicker anyway.

The prick had the GALL to ask our hosts in the meeting if it wouldn't have been better to drive.
Luckily for me, they emphatically said that the train was better.

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by BeatRaven » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:59 pm

Good for you, then; getting it on someone else's dime.

I need solo more as I get older. Maybe not even every year, but it's a necessary step outside of all my head stuff.

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NorthAmerican
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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by NorthAmerican » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:14 pm

My father was a family-oriented man, so school breaks and all our vacations were spent together until I was at the downstate campus of the University of Illinois. I was 19, and spent Easter break down in St. Louis; my father was aghast when I said I wasn't coming home to Chicago for the holiday. That was in 1957.

I was out of school and working in 1960, when I announced that I would be spending one week of my two-week vacation on my own, in New York. After all, I was a sophisticated young guy who wore a suit and tie to work, and I knew my way around. Or so I thought. When I called to make a reservation at what I think was the Statler Hilton, somewhere near Penn Station, I thought the $79 they quoted me was for the week. When I got to New York and found out that was the daily rate, I moved to the Martinique, a few blocks away and much cheaper.

My level of sophistication did improve over the years, so in 1962 I managed to get through four weeks in Europe and come home with money left. It was on that trip that I became used to hearing 'Un seul, monsieur?" during the 10 days of the trip that I spent in Paris. I prefer traveling on my own, and the only time I had a moment of regret was the first time I went up the Eiffel Tower and I wished there were someone with me to whom I could say "Isn't this spectacular?"
I enjoy reading NorthAmerican's posts. So well-written and interesting except for the dull parts.--Nines

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Re: Solo travel for the first time?

Post by cummy » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:19 pm

GLimpet wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:44 pm
People cancel and postpone all the time too. They don't give a shit how far you've come.
oh this reminded me... i was set to fly out on sunday morning (with matt_melb who had crashed at my pad). well, saturday evening i get a call from a colleague asking if i have read the email that was just sent out (like around 8pm). i responded with "read my work email? are you kidding me? it's the weekend!" well, anyway, i did read the email. the project had been put on "pause" and that we were not supposed to show up for work. that got both a "yeah" and a "nay" reaction from me. well, anyway, my colleague was short a few delta miles, and i was short a few united miles. so we both pretended that we did not see the work email, and flew to our destination anyway. we each flew back home the following day. (the project was subsequently canceled).

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