Does solo = lonely?

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

  1. WE2EA&Around

    WE2EA&Around Adventurer

    Mar 2, 2012
    One of the best threads I've read on here!. I have travelled solo, not a motorcycle, but solo nonetheless. Like most things in life, it is what you make of it. A smile, a nod, an open mind, being approachable, respect of the land and the people you are visiting can/will help you make friends and enrich your experience. You'd be amazed by the good in people and how helpful and well wishing folks can be. Yeah, there are baddies out there but if you think positive, stay positive, you will attract positive.
  2. Doubleplay

    Doubleplay Been here awhile

    Dec 15, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Good thread and a lot of interesting view points. To each on his own but I personally enjoy good company when I travel on or off the motorcycle.I also love interacting with locals and other travelers. Humans are social animals and that's why we are sharing this forum exchanging ideas. I also love traveling with my wife, sharing experiences and talking about them afterwards. I respect people who are traveling solo, trying to find isolated camping spots and avoiding human interaction at all costs but I don't understand why??? Experiences are better when you share.
    Safe Travels.
  3. last in line

    last in line Adventurer

    Jul 15, 2009
    Nor Cali
    I've just started riding more and taking multiple day trips. My biggest problem is with a feeling of guilt leaving the wife at home. The two trips I took with other riders was OK but the solo trip I did last year was an entire gambit of emotions. Overall I enjoyed the experience and I am making plans for this years trip. The guilt thing comes from two places. First the "Catholic" guilt that only a nun can put on your psyche. The second is that the wife has had minor mental health issues. She is better now but it's still in the back of my mind. Before I left for my trip last year we talked about my "guilt" and she ensured me that it was not warrented. This year's trip is 6 weeks out and again I'm starting to feel guilty. I'll get over it and enjoy my ride. Hopefully she will finally take a MSC and start to ride with me.
  4. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

    Sep 1, 2011
    Los Osos, CA coast
    I have almost the same issue. My wife has mental and back problems and where I used to be able to disappear with $250 for 2-3 weeks I have a hard time overnighting now. I've never been a worrier about anything in my life. I'm usually the most laid back guy ever, but I worry about her constantly. I'm building her a custom bike from the little Honda 200 I was riding before I got my DRZ. I'm working on getting some super plush suspension set up for her because her back is bad.
  5. MooseBuilt

    MooseBuilt ALMOST DEAD, but not quite! still kickin..

    Nov 21, 2009
    Peoples Republic of the Congo of Maryland
    fellow spinless bastard here, i have pins rods and replacement vertebrea and plates and , hell most of a hardware store. anyhow, same issue here and i found that walking with a backpack, a good one with hip support and chest strap, i use a camelbak BMF motherlode, and loading it up GRADUALLY with weight worked wonders for me, also, jaccuzzi everyday just like clockwork, after the workout. doesn't take much, i started at 20lbs for 20 minutes on a treadmill walking pace, and now i'm up to 75lbs and same pace 4.5mph. sure i look like a dork on the treadmill but riding doesn't hurt anymore nearly as much. after years in rehab and hopkins docs etc, this works for me, also i have a swimming routine i use if she can't do that, i used it for my recovery after my last surgery(s)... pm if you want.

  6. ta-rider

    ta-rider Returned from Africa

    Jan 14, 2012
    Hi i went around South America alone but was never lonely. I used Couchsurfing and at places without Internet i just stayed with local people:

    Its better to travel alone as with someone who has different interesds...
  7. PaulieeT

    PaulieeT Adventurer

    Feb 20, 2014
    Great thread. I'm new to touring. Last fall I rode up into canada and all the way over to New York, and looped back to Wisconsin. Awesome ride. This year I'm planning a two week solo ride out to the Rockies. Should be amazing. I'll see what riding solo brings me
  8. Nanuq

    Nanuq Aventurer by Trade

    Dec 22, 2007
    Point Hope, Sitka & Biorka Island- all in Alaska
    I love traveling alone, I also love traveling with others, but because I live in Alaska. Very few people in my life ride, so I ride solo every where.
  9. McCawber

    McCawber n00b

    Feb 19, 2014
    Sometimes yep - but like others have said, I find there is more peace on the road, and it can be much easier to meet people off the road. Like any travelling I suppose
  10. El_Duderino

    El_Duderino Adventurer

    Nov 6, 2011
    Victoria, Australia
    A very interesting question you ask...but I guess it depends on the individual. This question has come up over the years as an only-child, and can say, amongst others that we have no such problems. It is normal to enjoy your own company, entertain yourself, be used to acting independently, etc. Many others who have siblings have found it to be quite the opposite.

    A great example recently was hiking for a week with a best-mate (who has a brother). I was quite happy to enjoy the surroundings and do my thing, but he needed a lot of conversation, mental stimulation, and someone to share the experience with to avoid the boredom. Granted I go hiking lots solo, but he knew when to shut-up and let me enjoy things, and we didn't get on each others nerves...we recognised each others needs and were considerate.

    I've done weeks away alone on foot, bike n 4x4 n never had a problem. So to summise, it really depends on the type of personality you are as to whether you will feel alone. :wink:
  11. ineptizoid

    ineptizoid I'm scared hold me

    Sep 19, 2006
    Underachievement Nexus of the Universe
    The older I get, the more I like traveling solo; seems like that's not unusual based on the responses in this thread. It's been a long time since I've been lonely on a solo trip. That being said, I don't have a problem traveling with companions, but they have to be the right kinda people, or I start wishing for solitude in a hurry.
  12. lookaught

    lookaught Loner Extraordinaire

    Jan 19, 2010
    Lander, Wyoming
    I echo what many here have said, traveling solo does not mean being lonely all the time and in many respects it forces otherwise introverted personalities to interact with others which can be very gratifying.

    However, camping solo at night, after riding all day, gets very old. I suppose if you camp in campgrounds with people around or stay in hostels, that's a world of difference. But if you've got nobody to talk with after talking to yourself in your helmet all day... for days on end... it's lonely in my experience.

    Riding with others... it's so easy to get on each others nerves. Id definitely be prepared to split up if necessary.
  13. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

    May 14, 2009
    where elephants roam
    If you read every post in this thread and take good notes, you could have a huge list of pros and cons for going either solo or with others.

    Each individual person, and potential combinations of peeps, will be unique for all of the aforementioned reasons.

    If possible, a loong weekend test-ride should ferret out any major differences you might have with a potential traveling partner. My experience has been that any expectations should NOT include any fundamental changes in anybody's behavior. If the test ride goes well, then there is potential. if not, then move along son, there is nothing here to see.:lol3

    Have fun!
  14. Llamaha

    Llamaha Been here awhile

    Jun 22, 2010
    Bogota Colombia
    IMO it depends entirely on where you are, Alaska for example I don't think I'd want to do alone but SE Asia or South America hell yeah
  15. rockitman4x4

    rockitman4x4 ol retread

    Oct 26, 2013
    Ely, NV
    The way I see it on a bike you're always "solo" to some extent. I took the passenger foot pegs off so I always get to ride "solo". Thats one of the things I enjoy most about this sport. Even in a group of other riders you're in your own world. When you stop , most of the time there are people around thats OK. I don't mind camping alone. But then I do like myself. There are times when I don't want to have to talk with people. I have to deal with people every day when I'm at work, I ride to get away from them. To each his own, so they say.
  16. cldiver

    cldiver Been here awhile

    Jun 25, 2013
    dartmouth ns
    I second this. After 2 or 3 days of riding 12 -14 hr/ day alone even I, a well known loner, have to talk to somebody.

    For me the problem with riding/traveling with others is that I've got my plan and I don't want to compromise.

    I tried camping but found it hard to get a good sleep, parties, storms, rough ground..etc. Riding all day in the rain with a few hours sleep is a bad idea.
  17. Lawrence908

    Lawrence908 Adventurer

    Feb 23, 2014
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Just watched a good video that made me think a bit about being alone, versus being lonely.
    That's the main theme of the video, however it's mostly about the social media aspect.
    I think this still displays a good viewpoint when it comes to solo riding...alone=/=lonely.

    <iframe src="//" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>
  18. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hoosier Daddy?
    Interesting presentation.

    Some food for thought: People are very rarely ever alone. You are generally within 6 feet of a spider anytime your feet are on the ground, you are in your sleeping bag, sitting on a toilet, or laying in the grass watching the stars above you. :yikes

    Guess I'm in the anti-social camp. I could care less about social media like Facebook and Twitter (of course, I do have a blog for an online journal of sorts), and when I ride long distance, I seem to have a rythym for going and stopping that very few others can handle. I ride until tired, so no need to sit around for hours talking...happy to climb into the bag, sleep, and get up early to do it all over again.

    I guess my desire for social interaction when out riding and getting some relaxation is waning. Oh well. Some people simply cannot survive by their selves for a long period of time and need the constant recognition from others or the interaction of talking to feel at peace. I'm not one of those; happy to go off by myself.
  19. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

    Jan 23, 2003
    West Texas/Rico
    Its fun to be with buds on a shorter trip, but anything longer than a couple weeks, solo is way more relaxing and rewarding. With all the smartphones and internet connections, you're never really alone though, unless you want to be.
  20. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

    Sep 26, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Don't confuse alone with lonely! That video a few posts before me is right on target.

    I am an extrovert and confess I rather dread large group experiences - I even decided to NOT do the Oakland half marathon this year because it was too many people.