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The Travel Thread

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
Just wanted to create a general travel thread for GSF. I have tons of questions, but don't want to make seperate threads for each one.
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So what was your trip like travelling by yourself?

I would love to read some stories, I think harass Allie [Temper Tantrum] enough about her travelling experiences. :p

How did you prepare for your trip?
I've never done any outdoor travel yet alone travelled to another country by myself.

I've came across this website sometime ago, I thought i'd share it.

http://www.eurotrip.com/preparation_and_packing/

I really do want to travel somewhere this summer.
Even if it means travelling to another province/state for a music festival.

Has anyone even been to a music festival before alone?


I asked on another forum about camping gear, got recommended this backpack. I haven't bought it as yet. Does anyone else have it?

http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text.jsp;jsessionid=G5mQ0vMygy1vMzGssjvv8pnWrvW1szGhYLKyXCLVYZH5JJhS5nR9!-149898990?CONTENT<>cnt_id=10134198673501795&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302881817&bmUID=1178150480600


info about buying backpacks
http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text.jsp;jsessionid=G5mQ0vMygy1vMzGssjvv8pnWrvW1szGhYLKyXCLVYZH5JJhS5nR9!-149898990?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673501795&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302881817&bmUID=1178150480600

I was even thinking about Europe. Has anyone travelled there by themselves? Did you do the whole hostel thing and what was it like?

I will end up travelling one day.
baconpan
 

jus me

TRIBE Member
I haven't camped on my own, but I have travelled alone in the US, Europe and Southeast Asia.
The Europe trip was extensive because I was living there for a year and would go off for a weekend or a couple of weeks. I don't think I could hack the hostel thing for more than a month, it's so nice to come back to your own bed! I stayed at some friend's houses sometimes too, that made like more comfy.
A couple of things that I've found are essential to hostelling are: flip flops for showers, eye mask, earplugs, bedding slipcover. I've been in some noisy ones, stinky ones, gross ones...but most have been good due to research and reviews. it all really depends on you, what you're looking for and what your standards are.

For backpacks, it depends on where you're travelling to and what style you prefer like side openings or just the top. Personally, I prefer both. In europe, the europeans who travel usually take a small rolley luggage whilst most of the north americans and aussies take backpacks.
 

starr

TRIBE Member
Flashy_McFlash said:
fact: only girls travel
Travelling alone, being female, is definitely a different experience, so I don't think it's ridiculous for this to be in the GSF.
 

jus me

TRIBE Member
starr said:
Travelling alone, being female, is definitely a different experience, so I don't think it's ridiculous for this to be in the GSF.
For real. I've taken those aspects into consideration while I've travelled alone, sad to say...including being of asian descent. There are some places I'd rather go with a companion.
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
starr said:
Travelling alone, being female, is definitely a different experience, so I don't think it's ridiculous for this to be in the GSF.
Buy a can of mace.

Ok, now you can rejoin the unisex thread. :)
 

mariazmess

TRIBE Member
i travelled alone to England, France and Spain. my brother lives in the South of France, so i felt a little better knowing i had a contract on the continent, and i was staying with friends in Bristol and London, but i did tons of touristy things by myself... the only time i felt threatened was when i was in Spain and two reeeally angry dogs came out of NOWHERE and totally made me shit my pants barking and growling at me... GAH!

i miss travelling.
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
jus me said:
For real. I've taken those aspects into consideration while I've travelled alone, sad to say...including being of asian descent. There are some places I'd rather go with a companion.
You really think that's the case? or are we being paranoid over nothing?

I've always had people warned me of the dangers of travelling, I wonder how much of it is really true.
 

Pyrovitae

TRIBE Member
^^ i don't think it's a matter of being paranoid. there are certain destinations that i would not want to travel alone or at the very least would feel safer being with someone else.

i remember reading a warning in a guidebook for russia that the only women who go into a bar alone to order a drink are prostitutes soliciting customers, for example.

that said, most of the time if you take reasonable precautions you'll be ok - and if you're planning to go on your own to europe you should be fine.:)
 

jus me

TRIBE Member
ravinjunkie said:
You really think that's the case? or are we being paranoid over nothing?

I've always had people warned me of the dangers of travelling, I wonder how much of it is really true.
As Pyrovitae said above, common sense will keep you out of trouble most times. But you must take cultural perceptions and sensitivities of the majority into mind when travelling to foreign countries.

Europe is generally pretty safe for a female traveller.

Some incidents are just senseless though...

But when travelling along, take into consideration the following:
if you lose your money/cards or get injured, there's no one to help you except the kind-hearted and a phonecall back home.
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
http://www.voyage.gc.ca/main/pubs/her_own_way-en.asp

“Travel always gives us a fresh perspective and is truly a school of life. I would encourage all women to take the daring step of discovering how interconnected we are as human beings through travel. It is a journey of discovery that enriches our mind and our soul.”

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada
blah blah just some amusing reading.
 

Skipper

TRIBE Member
I travelled alone at the end of last year and have to say it's just not for me. Perhaps that was a condition of it being the holidays and being so, so far away. It was an experience, but I was looking for a vacation and I think (for me) vacations are better when they are shared with someone.

God damn it was an expensive experience though.
 

Gfunkdiva

TRIBE Member
I travelled alone throughout most of Europe for 5 months... and as far as I'm concerned, it's the ONLY way to do it. You can take off wherever/whenever you want, it forces you to meet more people, you learn incredible things about yourself and your limitations, and the sense of freedom and independence is unparalleled.

Since then I've travelled all over the place - sometimes with a group of friends (which imho is the worst), sometimes with a significant other (romantic, but can make/break a relationship depending on your dynamic) and with other groups of volunteers on development missions. Alone is my favourite, hands down. My Bahamas trip next month is solo, and I'm saving for a 6 month trek in SE Asia and India in 2 years, also solo. That one I'm a bit nervous about, but I certainly won't be the first woman to do it so I'm sure it'll be fine.

Advice when travelling - try everything once, regardless of cost. You may not ever get a chance to do it again, and you can always pay it back when you get home.
 

smokeyeyes

TRIBE Member
Gfunkdiva said:
Advice when travelling - try everything once, regardless of cost. You may not ever get a chance to do it again, and you can always pay it back when you get home.

now this is an excellent piece of advice
 

Skipper

TRIBE Member
I commend everyone who loves travelling alone. Maybe I'll try it again to somewhere not so far and on a non-family holiday.

That said, I'm so fortunate to have a bf who travels really well with me. While I was away, I was constantly thinking "I wish he were here to see this." And every time I've wanted to go shopping or whatever, we split up and do our own things.

Only once did I flip out on him for questioning my directions. (Berlin, Germany, 2 hrs sleep, missed hourly train from airport into the city, no I will not let him live it down ;) )
 

kate manus

TRIBE Member
Gfunkdiva said:
I travelled alone throughout most of Europe for 5 months... and as far as I'm concerned, it's the ONLY way to do it. You can take off wherever/whenever you want, it forces you to meet more people, you learn incredible things about yourself and your limitations, and the sense of freedom and independence is unparalleled. Since then I've travelled all over the place - sometimes with a group of friends (which imho is the worst), sometimes with a significant other (romantic, but can make/break a relationship depending on your dynamic) and with other groups of volunteers on development missions. Alone is my favourite, hands down. My Bahamas trip next month is solo, and I'm saving for a 6 month trek in SE Asia and India in 2 years, also solo. That one I'm a bit nervous about, but I certainly won't be the first woman to do it so I'm sure it'll be fine.
Five months in Europe... nice! :)
I also quite enjoy travelling solo, done it on a handful of occasions. I don't know if I would feel that comfortable travelling to Russia on my own though, I am going in May with my boyfriend. Same with Brazil where I plan to go next year, but that's mostly because a friend of mine had a scary experience involving corrupt cops when he was there alone a few year's ago.
 

LeoGirl

TRIBE Member
This doesn't even begin to compare, but we're travelling to BC this Spring and this will be my second trip ever on a plane - first time I was 13.

Big Whoop. :p
 

Pyrovitae

TRIBE Member
so ravinjunkie - did you make it out on your own? :)

Skipper said:
I commend everyone who loves travelling alone. Maybe I'll try it again to somewhere not so far and on a non-family holiday.

That said, I'm so fortunate to have a bf who travels really well with me. While I was away, I was constantly thinking "I wish he were here to see this." And every time I've wanted to go shopping or whatever, we split up and do our own things.

Only once did I flip out on him for questioning my directions. (Berlin, Germany, 2 hrs sleep, missed hourly train from airport into the city, no I will not let him live it down ;) )
they're completely different experiences. i really enjoyed travelling alone,(halifax, bc, london, amsterdam,) and as gfunk said i had complete autonomy to do whatever i wanted. i enjoy travelling with my partner too. one of the deciding factors for me in knowing our relationship was serious was how we dealt with situations in a foreign country together. we've had similar situations (such as being in rome, on the way to the airport, just missed the last train to take us there, wondering what the hell to do next,) and i find it can either strengthen or break a relationship. from those experiences i knew we were capable of working well together.

that said, i'd rather travel alone than with other people (depending on the people.) travel partners are like roommates, you have to choose wisely, and there are certain people i would NOT want to travel with again...like my childhood friend who had never gone anywhere before and cried down the phone to her daddy after the third day away because she was 'homesick'...and this was when we were 19.
 

sarafina

TRIBE Member
I just talked with my boyfriend (who is working in italy right now) about the idea of going to meet him when his contract is up at the beginning of may!
I've never been to Europe, or anywhere really, other than B.C., Florida and Vermont. I've only flown twice in my life, the idea of flying alone kind of freaks me out. AND I'm really poor right now. BUT I am still SUPER excited about this possibility! I always wanted to go to Europe after I finish my masters degree, and I will hopefully be done this semester. It is pretty good timing, b/c if I just finish at the end of April, I won't have a *real* job yet, so don't have to worry about not being able to get time off. And, even though I have no money, I think it is worth it to charge it for this experience.
So, since I have never planned anything like this, this thread is quite timely as I need tons of advice! I would meet him in London, but I don't want to spend too much time there I think. I would rather go to Italy, France, Spain, then he wants to meet some people in Amsterdam.
Where have people been? What do you see in these places? What do you recommend, in terms of places/sights to see? He seems to have several options of people's places to stay, so that should cut down on some cost, and also dictate where we go to some extent.

*phew* so excited right now!
 

kate manus

TRIBE Member
Sarafina if you end up needing any specific info about Amsterdam feel free to send me a pm, I've been living here almost a year now and absolutely love it... such a charming city and there is so much more to it than the red light district & pot!
I'd take Italy over London as well given the choice, I'm hoping to go to Rome this year.
 

emigre

TRIBE Member
My two off-the-continent trips were to visit a partner who had recently moved to Japan. He was emotionally abusive and oh-so-worldly –this was the fourth continent he had lived on by the age of 25– had a knack for picking up languages and adjusting to new cultures with a certain ease – so when I didn't adjust as well as I thought I would (most sense of adventure in me was cancelled out by my nervousness around him), well, it was my fault.

When I learned that he was actually complaining to an ex-girlfriend of his that I was such a bad person to have around and "I don't get Japan at all", I was forced to take off and get out of town for a few days – so stole his guidebook, got on the first bus leaving the station and ended up in a big city about five hours away. I collapsed into tears when I actually managed to find accommodations and do something correctly on my own in a place where I was told I didn't deserve to be. My mini-breakdown attracts the attention of a lovely girl from Yokohama who actually happens to be escaping her failing relationship too, so we have a total fucking blast for a few days before I go home. Of course, that little trip was the only time where I got to fill up my days with what I wanted to do. I could have done it a bit more, I guess, but I was just so nervous to even speak around my so-called boyfriend.

Anyways, I can't believe I actually went back a second time, at which point the giant red sirens were going off everywhere and things ended. It took a long time to build up my confidence again after being sent so many poor messages about me from my partner. I'm starting to feel like I'm able to go out and explore again.

I know I'll head back at some point, this time with less social anxiety and more design studios and train stations.
 
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