Travel for the Solo Con Solo?

Not sure if that title makes any sense at all.  I wrote a post on Facebook recently: What’s a good vacation for a single dude?

HERE ARE SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS

  • nekid beach (possibly my favorite suggestion)
  • Thailand
  • Vegas
  • Costa Rica
  • Brazil
  • Hiking trip around Incan ruins in Peru

Good questions: “are you planning on going by yourself or with another single dude? and what are you looking for? relaxing? culture? craziness?”

Got some links for singles travel sites.

I ADDED SOME PARAMETERS

Alone.

On a budget, I guess.

I’m kind of socially retarded. I’m s— at making friends out of strangers on the spot so something at least partially structured would probably be better.

I’ve gone on road trips and driven across the country 3 times solo plus Leika. Cabin on a lake. To the Bay Area to visit my old stomping grounds and friends. Good enough and the isolation is cleansing (and a good setting for composing, writing, etc.). But if I wanted a social fast …
I’m already supremely accomplished in that.

Family vacations are good but they’re all about entertaining the nephews. Good but not relaxing.

Gone on vacays with friends but definitely was a third wheel. Or a 9th wheel.

So maybe… a structured activity that I like to do. Mountain biking, hiking, photography?

Good stuff, people. Let me know if anything else comes to mind.

MORE SUGGESTIONS

  • Brazil
  • Dominican Republic
  • Visit a friend in France
  • Or the Great Lakes
  • Zero itinerary European hostel hopping
  • Western Hemisphere: Brazil ; Best Kept Secret with great steaks – Buenos Aires ; DR ; Costa Rica ; there are a group of islands of of Colombia that is suppose to be great, too….Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina
  • Meetup.com groups for singles who travel
  • And last but not least — Not Vegas.

GOOGLING FOR INTROVERTS

Someone suggested googling, which I did. I also added ‘introvert’ to search terms and found some interesting blogs about introverts and traveling.

http://www.runawayjane.com/how-to-travel-when-youre-an-introvert/
http://www.worldhum.com/features/speakers-corner/confessions-of-an-introverted-traveler-20090309/

I should clarify that I realize that I’m going to have to step out of my comfort zone a bit in order to travel and have a good time. That’s a given.

Also, I’m not a one trick pony. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a sullen agoraphobic.

When I call myself an introvert, please realize that it’s not a label that defines me, but it does describe me. (Technically speaking, there are 7 or 8 types of introverts but I don’t care enough to look them up.)

By the way, I did notice that a lot of the suggestions are for places where an American man is a magnet for, um, how do I say this. Professional dates. Go to the popular locations for men and a certain type of local women will approach you offering their company. True?

Fair enough.

PAST TRAVELS

I’ve driven across the country three times with my pup, although it wasn’t very touristy. But in some ways, it was sublime.

X-Country

It was also before cell phones were everywhere. A lot of people had them circa 2003 but a lot didn’t, whereas nowadays just about everyone has an internet capable phone or smartphone. Crazy how quickly tech works its way into our lives and feels indispensable.

So they were very isolated days. 12 – 14 hours of driving per day. Not talking for days at a time except to Leika and the occasional gas station clerk in the middle of nowhere. I also didn’t have much money. Pretty much none, particularly on the drive to relocate back to the east coast when I had no credit left and big debt and less than zero dollars in the bank account. Seriously. If I hadn’t found a bag full of loose coins and one of those coin machines at a grocery store I wouldn’t have had the fuel or oil to make it back to Baltimore from Denton, TX or have a place to sleep in — where was it — Nashville? Memphis??

So it was a journey and an experience but not a vacation.

I’ve gone back to visit the Bay Area many times. I would hang out with the friends that are still there. Some times they’d be scheduled like appointments and other times it would just be a very few people. But you know how that is if you’ve gone back to a place you used to live/work/school. It’s like you’re haunting it. It’s an echo of what it was. Either you start making new connections, move on, or you just turn into a translucent, shimmering cold spot.

I’ve road tripped to King of Prussia twice. The first time because that was the only place that was playing the movie “300” on an IMAX screen in our region. The second time just because I had been there before.

That was fun but also very solitary, as you can imagine.

I went to Ocean City for the first time back in 2006 maybe? Between jobs. Right before the Memorial Day weekend. I was wondering why the streets were full of hot rods that weekend. I spent a lot of time in the hotel suite putzing around on the Blackberry Pearl trying to get the web browser to work. Fell asleep on the beach and got a little sunburn. Talked to an employee at Philip’s Restaurant for a while and that was about it. I never made it down to the Boardwalk.

So you see the issue. I’m perfectly happy to hole up somewhere, go out people watching, occasionally talk to someone out of necessity and then call it a day. For days at a time. That can be a good time for me in a solitary, meditative way but I want my vacations in the future to have a little more life in them.

I want them to be more purposeful, if that makes sense. Not set, rigid expectations but purposeful.

This is what it sounds like when I travel (assuming it doesn’t ‘buffer’ forever):

When You’re Here You’re Home

ACTIVITIES

I figure I’ll enjoy myself most if the vacation is centered around an activity I enjoy. Cycling, photography, hiking, music. Semi-structured.

On one of the singles travel sites I stumbled across a photography-friendly trip to the Galapagos that looked amazing but it was $$$$. I’d have to save up for a long while for that and I can think of things I’d rather do with that much money.

I guess I’ll look for something in the States for now. That’ll be more cost effective.

I just spent a chunk of my vacation budget on new suits and I may spring for a BlendTec blender. Hey. Priorities.

APPROPRIATE

There are lots of cruises and things but I would like to be amongst the appropriate age group. That can be tricky. Not that I have anything against senior citizens but … you know. I don’t mind being the only chip in the cookie, but I’d rather spend my time amongst peers.

I also decided many years ago to not center a vacation around visiting unavailable women. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t visit a female friend while traveling. But …. yeh. I’m not sure if that’s strange or reasonable but that’s the way it is. It’s not you. It’s me.

I’ve also been wondering about race. I’m wondering if there are some places where the racial tension is something to be aware of. From what I’ve read, there are many places around the world that are hospitable and kind and idyllic — if you’re white. Like traveling through parts of the Deep South.

There are a lot of places around the world going through economic tension and anti-immigrant sentiment, for example. Just something that I’m aware of in the back of my mind. When I read about African immigrants being attacked/despised or Eastern European soccer fans yelling slurs and making monkey noises at black players … it registers.

Anyway, for now I’m thinking within the states. I’m probably a few years or a winning Powerball ticket away from world travel.

KEEP ‘EM COMING

So if you have any ideas for me, let ‘er rip. Specifically, what’s a good photography destination. What are some good singles travel experiences you’ve had and would recommend?

Where do you go? What do you do when you get there?

4 comments

Add Yours
  1. mvhuff

    Some of the national parks can be beautiful places for photography – and cycling. But the best places for photos may not be the best places to be alone.
    Alaska has Denali, which I’ve heard can be scenic.
    Also, an alternative if you want to get out of your comfort zone there are places that have volunteer-type activities – you go and you help out at a farm or something. If you’re interested, I’ll see if I can find a link or something.

    • garyarthuryoung

      Hey, Mary.

      If you have a link handy I’d like to check out. It’s good to know what possibilities are out there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s