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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 14 Apr 2003
G_S G_S is offline
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Travelling solo - how do you not get bored?

Hi, I'm planning a 3-4 month solo trip, leaving around Octoberish 2003. I've done several other trips in groups before but this will be my first solo trip.

Does anyone have any advice for travelling solo? That boredom thing keeps nagging at me & I'm interested in how others deal with it. Do I just ride a 1000 miles a day, stop when it feels good, take an imaginary friend along or just a good book? Your advice appreciated. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 14 Apr 2003
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Hey G_S
I think that is a question which is very much dependant on the person involved. I have travelled alone and with a friend and found that they both have their pros and cons. I think travelling alone is something some people will enjoy more than others. I am planning my 'big trip' for next year which I will be doing with my girlfriend, however given the choice of travelling with someone or alone I would choose alone any day (that's not to say I am not really looking forward to doing this with my girlfriend!) I think to get most out of a trip in terms of meeting people and self-contemplation, then alone is they way to go. Times I have found hard to be alone are when I have been down or stressed for whatever reason and do not have anyone to share my troubles with. Sometimes your mind can run away with itself when you're alone, bringing feelings of depression or fear or despondency which would probably not occur if you had a companion. If you get this way then you just have to shake yourself out of it, try and step back and look at the big picture and remember how lucky you are to be travelling wherever you are. If you are a person who can happily spend time with yourself then that's a good indication that you would probably be fine travelling alone. My girlfriend, for example, is terrible for being on her own. She always needs the radio or the telly on if there is no one else around and would not even consider travelling alone.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the subject, hope it gives you something to think about.
Paul


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  #3  
Old 14 Apr 2003
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Hi Paul, cheers for the advice.

I'm quite an independant person and ahem enjoy my own company. I've done several business trips by myself ( most of Western Europe, Russia and a few other Eastern bloc countries). These trips only lasted a week at most and I found on all of them, I ended up in the hotel room watching TV -it was an incredibly boring experience.

I'm reckoning that me not being limited to any one area or someone elses time schedule is going to make a huge difference. Being able to let my hair down and chill. Ahhh that's what it's all about...

I much prefer camping outdoors to sleeping in hotel rooms and sleeping under the stars is going to be such a pleasure.

Hey Paul, if you don't mind me asking, what's the longest period you went through on your solo trip before meeting someone to have a talk/smoke/drink with? I found that on my other trips, because we were in a group, we just stuck with our own company.
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  #4  
Old 15 Apr 2003
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Hi

I've travelled with company and solo and I reckon your problem could well be getting enough time on your own. I found that it's just so much easier to meet people when you're alone, and a bike is always a good talking point.

Also, there's stacks of overlanders out there and, with planning, it should be possible to hook up with others if there's anywhere dodgy en route.



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  #5  
Old 22 Apr 2003
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hi.
i just finished an eight month solo trip. talk to strangers or you'll go insane. if you're really good at asking questions you'll hear a lot of life stories. the biggest bummer is that when everything goes wrong, listening to yourself complain or scream gets boring very quickly. origami is a pretty cool solo pursuit. i learned a lot of animals in the last number of months...
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  #6  
Old 22 Apr 2003
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Hey G_S
Yes sitting in a hotel room sounds pretty boring - not so bad if you get the right channels though hehe.
At most I think I spent 2 days completely alone, but I was camping remotely and expected it. Otherwise you can't help but meet people whether it be locals or other travellers. I have found that locals are really interesting and you can learn a lot from them, sometimes I find it hard work though because of language/cultural differences and I'm just not up to the effort... then I like to chat with other travellers and hear about their stories and (more importantly!) get a chance to tell some of my own. Although hearing other travellers stories of bravado and 'advice' can also be tiresome sometimes so it just depends on who you're talking to and what sort of frame of mind you're in at that time. Alhough my next trip will be with my girlfriend...I was planning to teach myself French or Spanish to while away the hours on those not so action packed days.

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Old 23 Apr 2003
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I just had a great idea while answering another thread. Before you go, check with Horizon communities along you route. You should be able to hook up with people to break the solutude.
John
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  #8  
Old 24 Apr 2003
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You could buy a KTM adventure. With her you never get bored.
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Old 24 Apr 2003
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You just cant take her with you to Canada!
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  #10  
Old 26 Apr 2003
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Hi;

I'm travelling solo and if you start facing problems concerning your motorcyle, its very easy to get in a negative mood. But i have worked out a system which was resultive.

When you get in that mood of "what am i doing here?", pull to closest gas station or any place with people and help them to open a conversation, which doesnt take long since they are more eager to talk to you more then you are to them. And couple of smiles and good wishes helps you to get out of that mood.

It worked for me.

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Old 26 Apr 2003
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Thanx for all the info guys.

I think learning a foreign language sounds like a brilliant idea - I hadn't thought that one. I'm getting lots of positive feedback about solo travelling so my worries are more or less behind me now.

Thanks again
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  #12  
Old 1 May 2003
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A couple of things can get to me; motorways when I _have_ to be somewhere and lack of route planning/knowing what I am doing when I am riding along.

I've had to get somewhere reasonably quickly a couple of times and find riding motorways for 15 hours in a day can be pretty taxing. Just the rhythm of ride, stop for fuel and then ride again on the motorway gets to me.

The other thing is the lack of preparation before I leave - even for the day. Sometimes this can be good, but if you don't know if you are going the right way, if the conditions will be OK for the bike you are riding etc etc, this can eat away at your confidence as you ride along with only your thoughts and the scenery... (and that new rattle that you think you just heard.)

Learning the local language - even a few words - really helps when you stop as well.

But generally I ride alone and truly enjoy the contemplation of self that comes with this mode of travel.

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Old 5 May 2003
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Hi

You soon get used to your own company, you will find that when you travel by yourself that people make more of an effort to talk to you.

I always sing to myself when I ride which seems to make the time go faster on boring long stretches

I often use the evenings to plan my route out for the next day or write my journal which will take alot longer than you think. I always have a good guide book on the country that I travel in and read it en route.

As one of the guys said, you'll find it hard to have time on your own.

Julio
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  #14  
Old 6 May 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by G_S:
Hi, I'm planning a 3-4 month solo trip, leaving around Octoberish 2003. I've done several other trips in groups before but this will be my first solo trip.

Does anyone have any advice for travelling solo? That boredom thing keeps nagging at me & I'm interested in how others deal with it. Do I just ride a 1000 miles a day, stop when it feels good, take an imaginary friend along or just a good book? Your advice appreciated. Thanks.
Hello G S, Enjoy your trip. Make sure your bike is in best possible order as mechanical failure whilst travelling on your own can be a daunting experience. Thats not to mention the possibility of being fleeced with a repair bill(some bike shops may consider you easy meat if you travel alone, in this respect there is always strength in numbers. I have always travelled alone on my gs. I find people by and large take far more of an interest in asolo traveller than a group. Women most especially. Start alone who knows who youll bring home.
I always bring a book and buy more as I travel saving weight. I stay in toucch through the internet downloading lists of internet cafes before i go. I tend to camp in the hills or in secluded areas. The use of a gps is favourable but not essential depending on your sence of direction but nonetheless a most useful tool when locating your tent in obscure and safe areas. No doubt there are times you will get bored. I find solo travelling a good test of your self esteem. Best of luck.
David Burke
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  #15  
Old 6 May 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by usl:
Hi;

When you get in that mood of "what am i doing here?",

I get like that at the moment just riding to work...:-( It will be a miracle if i actually make it through a eastern european trip to russia.. this summer.


Not helping much, am I ?

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