Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries – Solo Travel
Travelling solo doesn’t mean you have to travel alone! Neither does it need to be intimidating. Here, tips for planning a trip, on your own.
Q My late wife and I used to love travelling. Since she died three years ago I haven’t felt much like going anywhere, but I’m starting to think about it now. I’m 68 and a little concerned about travelling alone because I don’t want to appear as if I’m hoping to meet a mate because I’m not. I would enjoy talking to people along the way, but I want to travel as a single person and be clear that’s my preference. It seems so many travel agencies accommodate couples, or people looking to connect with potential mates, but not so much senior singles who want to stay that way. Any suggestions on how to proceed?
Two years ago to celebrate her 70th birthday, Ms. Redfern organized her own trip to Northern Britain where she walked the entire 118 kilometres of the ancient Hadrian’s Wall. Her story, posted on the site, describes some of benefits of travelling solo: “Without companionable chatter to draw my attention, I could allow myself the pleasure of self-centered contemplation or imaginative dreaming inspired by the running commentary of my guidebook and the aura emanating from the land itself.”
Ms. Redfern encourages you to pursue similar pleasures and step outside your comfort zone. “The majority of singles tours are for people who just want to enjoy a destination in a group of like-minded people,” she says, while also acknowledging, “although sometimes there are people who use the underlying dynamics to try and meet a mate. But you can never entirely avoid that.”
Nobody wants to be alone all the time, but the key to travelling solo successfully, she emphasizes, “is to know your own mind and feel secure in your own resources.” She suggests you skip the travel agencies initially and do your own research. “First set your priorities and get to know your interests. Second, study your options. Third, adjust your attitude towards those options and accept that every singles tour is not a meat market.”