Does solo = lonely?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Speeder54, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Speeder54

    Speeder54 Adventurer

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    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...
    #1
  2. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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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.
    #2
  3. supertorro

    supertorro Adventurer

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    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?
    #3
  4. Roadscum

    Roadscum Long timer

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    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
    #4
  5. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

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    I find I'm never lonely when I travel solo.
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  6. Crazy_Dave

    Crazy_Dave Back'in it in

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    On my sportbike I’d rather ride alone than with a squid. DS eveyone is welcome.
    #6
  7. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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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!
    #7
  8. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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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.
    #8
  9. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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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
    #9
  10. copr93647

    copr93647 Have gun, will travel.

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    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!
    #10
  11. SteelRain

    SteelRain Beer Cooled

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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.
    #11
  12. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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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.
    #12
  13. Speeder54

    Speeder54 Adventurer

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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.
    #13
  14. Greencountry

    Greencountry Been here awhile

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    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.
    #14
  15. siddle

    siddle Adventurer

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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.
    #15
  16. GeorgiaGirl

    GeorgiaGirl Adventurer

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    OK, thanks for the thread. I'm taking my first baby ADV ride (up the Blue Ridge Parkway) starting tomorrow. Just a few days, camping at KOA's since the ntl park campgrounds are all still closed. I'm most decidedly NOT an introvert, but I'm the only one who likes travelling outside of cities in my family. I am worried about being lonely, but I suppose pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and meeting new people is part of the experience.
    #16
  17. IBGONE

    IBGONE Old, slow, and happy

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    I'd say that about 90% of my riding is done alone. I love it, have extensive camping experience, and enjoy my cross country treavels. I have a couple of close friends and 2 nephews that I enjoy riding with, and go to great lengths to see to it that it happens from time to time, but in a group of 10 riders, up through New England in 2008, I discovered that such a group is just not my cup of tea. Alone certainly doesn't = lonely to me.
    #17
  18. sagedrifter

    sagedrifter Southern Explorer

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    April first is the day most areas open unless they are way up there in elevation. For the BRP I like the Blue Ridge Motorcycle CG which has been open all month, Crab Tree Meadows CG and Linville Falls CG usually open first in early April, by the 8th I think. Price Park is open year round I believe. There is also Lineville Gorge with primitive camp sites.... A private camp ground is down 181 on the right going south... Silver Creek is the name I think... I've stayed there.

    Have fun.. I ride up there solo all the time. I enjoy just putting along the BRP some times... I've ridden the whole thing at least twice probably more. I like the area from Boone to Cherokee and then I hit the Cherohala in TN on the way back... good times. KOA's usually suck, I rather stay in the parks, call a ranger they can point you right. The primitive sites are open year round in places.. The motorcycle CG's some times open in early April if some one is there. I like the one in Cruso, NC the best. http://www.blueridgemotorcyclecamp.com/ But, the site says mid April.... Worth a call you never know...

    Have fun!
    #18
  19. sagedrifter

    sagedrifter Southern Explorer

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    You might want to try http://www.willvillebikecamp.com/#Events and see if they are open yet. They might be open next week.... worth a call. Last year I hit Lineville Falls on the 8th of April and there was a guy camping there for a week before. So, it was open already before the web site date...
    #19
  20. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    Seems to me that travelling alone in a foreign country,especially in less civilized areas, is taking a big risk. Easy target for foulplay and who would even miss you .
    #20