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Old 03-29-2011, 08:55 PM   #1
Speeder54 OP
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Does solo = lonely?

I'm planning a trip to South America and back that will not start for another 18 months. I'm already starting preparations with research etc. More than likely I'll be going alone. I'm wondering if any of you long distance solo guys/girls get lonely on the road. Personally, I'd rather do this trip with someone but we all know how difficult it can be to get someone else to make the commitment. Interested in your thoughts...
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:20 PM   #2
Flashmo
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It's really up to you...

People find you more approachable when you travel alone and will start conversations with you and be more willing to go out of their way for a lone traveler. You will be more likely to engage strangers as well, so you have someone to talk to or ask questions of.

Traveling with a partner, you tend to spend most of your time talking with your buddy and are not as approachable to an outsider.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:14 AM   #3
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listen to the voices

I think it just depends on the how many voices there are in your head. My few experiences riding with others has always been a little frustrating. horses for courses?
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashmo View Post
It's really up to you...

People find you more approachable when you travel alone and will start conversations with you and be more willing to go out of their way for a lone traveler. You will be more likely to engage strangers as well, so you have someone to talk to or ask questions of.

Traveling with a partner, you tend to spend most of your time talking with your buddy and are not as approachable to an outsider.
That's been my experience too. Also, when traveling alone you make all the decision, go when and where you want without having to concern yourself about the desires of your riding partner(s). For me, this total independence is part key part of my travel experience.

If you've not traveled alone before you may be uncomfortable at the start, you'll get over that. Smile at strangers and offer up a greeting, you'll make many new friend along the way and that's a big part of the travel experience.

Regards, Paul
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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I find I'm never lonely when I travel solo.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:52 AM   #6
Crazy_Dave
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On my sportbike I’d rather ride alone than with a squid. DS eveyone is welcome.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:39 AM   #7
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I get lonely when I travel solo. Not in the daytime, as I love the freedom of making my own decisions. But at night, sitting around a fire by myself, well...let's just say I don't like my own company that much. I simply run out of things to say. And there's no way I can sleep clear thru the night.

So I got a sidecar and travel with my dog. He never complains, is delighted to be with me, approves of my dietary choices, is a social butterfly who helps me meet folks I would never approach on my own introverted self, appreciates a good beer, snuggles better than my wife, and hangs on my every word as if it's the most profound thing he's ever heard.

Probably won't work for you given your destination, but Barley sure has changed my riding world!
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:40 PM   #8
Uglyprimate
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If I wanted company, I'd have bought a Prius.

You're only gonna be alone if you go out of your way to AVOID the locals.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
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You can post your trip plan on here, ask if any inmates might like some company. There are inmates all over the world.

Never forget the difference between alone and lonely.

Just have fun.

Rod
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:04 PM   #10
copr93647
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Laugh alone does not = lonely

I agree with everything Flashmo said. I have traveled all over the USA alone and it doesn't bother me a bit. But, I have always been in the USA and always on primary or secondary roads so I have always felt safe and confident that if I have a boo boo of some kind, help will come along and present itself. In the case of traveling through foreign countries and over strange roads, I think I would be more concerned about safety and security. Traveling alone would surely be a cool adventure but I would consider taking things like more parts/tools than usual, first aid stuff and perhaps a satelite phone or a SPOT type tracker device. And call in daily to a dependable friend back home. Remember, s--t happens!
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
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Most of my rides are solo.

That said, Flashmo hit the nail on the head. But there is one downside, whenyou are stuck, you are stuck until you can get yourself out.

My toolkit includes a few tools to get me out of bad situations.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:23 PM   #12
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I go half and half.
I find, solo traveling you get to meet way more people. When in a pack, you usually spend too much time with the pack, which is fine too. It's nice to know someone is there if things go bad.
Walking into a bar in the middle of nowhere, covered in mud, a bike outside covered in flys, the beers are usually free in exchange for stories.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:58 PM   #13
Speeder54 OP
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Thank you all for your thoughts on the matter. As an introvert, I spend a lot of time on my own recharging from the times when I'm with others. I enjoy being on my own, especially on a bike. But I know that seeing some of the things that one sees when on trips is often better when shared with another - and not a stranger, but a friend.

I very much agree that being on your own makes you more approachable to others and also gives you more courage to approach strangers. That was something that I had forgotten until it was mentioned above. It can be too easy to stay within our comfort zones when traveling with friends. This is an important lesson that I am glad to be reminded of. Much thanks.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:53 AM   #14
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Don't forget the interwebs

I dunno how remote your travels plans will keep you, but if you do decide to travel alone and find yourself missing familiar faces or English, there's always the internet if you are at least occasionally passing through towns with internet cafes. I did the 3k miles on the east coast of the US a couple years ago alone, and whenever I missed friends, I'd just go online. (I probably spent too much time online actually.) If you do a ride report here on advrider - the kind that you do while on the trip, updating it when you can - you will probably get a lot of followers and have plenty of like-minded English-speaking friends to talk to.

I'm debating whether to go alone on a big trip westward this summer. My biggest concern is safety, because I'm still pretty much a beginner camper and plan on camping a lot.
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:41 PM   #15
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I would definitely travel in a group of not more than 4 people. I would pick people who can help and entertain me, as I really hate traveling alone.
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