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The Travel Thread

Skipper

TRIBE Member
Pyrovitae said:
i really enjoyed travelling alone,(halifax, bc, london, amsterdam,)
I feel completely fine travelling alone in Canada or even in Europe. Asia was something else entirely though. The distance and number of flights between where I was and home made me uncomfortable.

sarafina, I went to Barcelona a few years ago and would definitely go back to see other parts of Spain. There's history to see there of course, but I just really enjoyed the beaches and the eat/drink/be merry atmosphere that seems to engulf you from the moment you arrive.
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
Pyrovitae said:
so ravinjunkie - did you make it out on your own? :)
yup! im still on my trip. I just got back from Kuwait, am in Dubai right now.
Started travelling since Xmas day - London, Koln, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris and Abu Dhabi. I'm trying to back in GTA around 3rd April.

:)
 

Ilia

TRIBE Member
I am in the process of planning a trip to South Africa for the end of June to mid July for a wild-life conference there. But hoping to take the oppertunity to see more than just Pertoria and 3 wild-life/national parks, so any one ever been to South Africa? Would love to hear your story.
 

skyparty

TRIBE Member
emigre said:
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.

i'm so sorry you had to go through that, but i'm glad you're out.

i'm also glad you got the few days you did, with a fellow traveller in your situation.

good luck travelling in the futur- and i hope it's the best experience yet
 
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skyparty

TRIBE Member
i made the mistake of taking my mothers advice to have a childhood friend come along with me for my trip to france. it turned out to be the worst trip of my life, (we weren't really friends anyway) and i spent most of it wishing i could go home. MY trip turned into her trip, and seeing as i was freshly 19 i didn't have the idea to just say "see you at the airport" and take off. i did however learn alot about myself, because i spent alot of time alone. i have alot of great memories from france and spain that summer, although most of them weren't great at all. i had friends over there, that i barely saw :(

i haven't been back, and it's been 8 years.

i have $1500 saved to take off, and since it was a graduation gift- my parents made me promise to not go to france again. i have lived there twice, and they wanted me explore more of the world. fair enough. we'll see when i actually make that trip.
 

kate manus

TRIBE Member
ravinjunkie said:
yup! im still on my trip. I just got back from Kuwait, am in Dubai right now.
Started travelling since Xmas day - London, Koln, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris and Abu Dhabi. I'm trying to back in GTA around 3rd April.
Dubai...nice :)
I'm going to Düsseldorf with my boyfriend this weekend for the first time... can't wait!
 

mandapanda

TRIBE Member
kate manus said:
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.
russia is in my top three places to travel to next! although i'd never do it alone - i've just heard too many warnings. would love to hear about your experience there when you get back.
 

kate manus

TRIBE Member
mandapanda said:
russia is in my top three places to travel to next! although i'd never do it alone - i've just heard too many warnings. would love to hear about your experience there when you get back.
yeah, same here. I'll be travelling to St. Petersburg from Riga in Latvia - really looking forward to that as well, I have heard a lot of great things. Being in Moscow for the May 9 Victory Day parade should be wicked too.
Pyrovitae recommended a good site to me that has helped with my trip planning www.waytorussia.net they also have a section listing flight prices from all over and train schedules.
 

L'ilMisSunshine

TRIBE Member
I've learned the most about myself and gained so much confidence from travelling alone. Most recently, I lived & worked in Australia for a year and spent 2 months travelling around Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. I've also travelled though a few European countries and much of Eastern Canada alone. I found an amazing sense of peace in the fact that I was completely free and answered to no one. I was relieved to learn that not only am I a very independent person but also that I really enjoy being by myself.

How much it appeals to an individual truly depends on the person but there are always going to be moments where you are lonely or scared or miss loved ones/things/familiar places. How you deal with these situations and emotions will be some of the best learning experiences of your life.

My advice:

  • take risks
  • trust the natives and other travellers (with your instincts, not your safety)
  • indulge (homesick? grab another hostel mate & go out for a nice dinner)
  • keep/buy things to remind yourself of fabulous places/events/people
  • ** keep a travel journal **
  • get a great digital camera
 
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the Doctor

TRIBE Member
kate manus said:
yeah, same here. I'll be travelling to St. Petersburg from Riga in Latvia - really looking forward to that as well, I have heard a lot of great things. Being in Moscow for the May 9 Victory Day parade should be wicked too.
Pyrovitae recommended a good site to me that has helped with my trip planning www.waytorussia.net they also have a section listing flight prices from all over and train schedules.
Very cool!

I am Latvian myself ... if you need a friendly face in Riga, I have a bunch of friends / family I can set you up with.
 

L'ilMisSunshine

TRIBE Member
Oh and write lots of postcards/letters to friends & family. It makes you feel a bit closer to them & it makes you reflect on your trip ... and people love to get mail :)
 

Gfunkdiva

TRIBE Member
L'ilMisSunshine said:
[*]** keep a travel journal **
AND have people you meet write you notes in it. It's amazing the things you can learn about yourself by what strangers who have become new BFFs write about you, and it's hilarious to read it years later. If my travel book ever burned in a fire, I'd be inconsolable.
 

jasmyn

TRIBE Member
The first time I traveled on my own was definitely a roller coaster ride but something which I would never ever change. It was after I had broken up with my bf of 5 years and decided that I needed to get away and re-discover who I was as an individual again. Traveling on my own and being a small tiny girl was definitely scary in itself but I did my research and was mostly prepared for whatever adventures came my way.

I met lots of interesting people and was absolutely amazed at my own abilities to overcome certain obstacles. There were definitely down times when the weather was horrid and I certainly missed the comforts of home and family but writing emails, postcards and especially recording my moods and adventures in my travel journal really helped me get through the day.

I had one major mishap which shook my faith in myself and my abilities as a female traveler. I was taking the overnight train from Nice to Rome with a fellow canadian who I met in Nice, we shared a little compartment that had no lock on the door. During the night as we were sleeping in our respective chairs/beds, I woke up suddenly because I had a feeling someone was in the compartment with us. I saw someone reaching over my head to try and get at my bag where all my money and passport was. I totally freaked and screamed so loud that the thief bolted out and down the train, my friend woke up and took off down the train after him but to no avail. He came back and we scanned our items for missing things, I was lucky that I had nothing stolen but my friend had all his music/cds taken.

That incident really freaked me out and for the next couple days I was actually scared to wander the streets of a foreign city on my own. Luckily I met awesome guys who were willing to keep me company while in Rome and we got into some fun adventures together. It was definitely a learning experience and tested my abilities as a female traveler, now I can look back on that scary night on the train as something that is an experience in itself, I mean who actually gets to witness an a thief in action while in Europe! though if my friend did catch him that night, I would have enjoyed kicking him in the nuts!!
 

tess

TRIBE Member
i'm going this summer for the month of july.. i'm so excited!

doing london, rome, prague, amsterdam, paris (for bastille day), barcelona, athens, and then crete, santorini, ios, mykonos.

i'm doing it alone, so hopefully it will be good. someone told me the most important thing to do is bring a journal.

i did a lot of thinking about the backpack vs. rolling bag, and think i'm going to go with the rolling bag.
 
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mutslaster

TRIBE Member
if you're doing that much trekking around i really would advise you to get a good backpack. it's so much easier than lugging a bag up and down stairs and through city streets.
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
mutslaster said:
if you're doing that much trekking around i really would advise you to get a good backpack. it's so much easier than lugging a bag up and down stairs and through city streets.
agreed.

we did the greece chunk of your trip, tess, (plus up north to thessaloniki) last summer and you do not want to have a rolling suitcase - cobblestone streets in the islands.
 

Pyrovitae

TRIBE Member
Skipper said:
I feel completely fine travelling alone in Canada or even in Europe. Asia was something else entirely though. The distance and number of flights between where I was and home made me uncomfortable.
i can totally understand that. the language and culture is so far removed in asia from anything 'western' that it'd be nice to have a travel partner there.

i realised i sounded really bitchy about my childhood friend so i should add that it was only a week long trip and we were in vancouver.
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
the Doctor said:
Very cool!

I am Latvian myself ... if you need a friendly face in Riga, I have a bunch of friends / family I can set you up with.
cool! my paternal grandmother was from Riga too!
 
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Pyrovitae

TRIBE Member
ravinjunkie said:
yup! im still on my trip. I just got back from Kuwait, am in Dubai right now.
Started travelling since Xmas day - London, Koln, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris and Abu Dhabi. I'm trying to back in GTA around 3rd April.

:)
fantastic! good for you! :)

kate manus said:
I'll be travelling to St. Petersburg from Riga in Latvia - really looking forward to that as well, I have heard a lot of great things. Being in Moscow for the May 9 Victory Day parade should be wicked too.
Pyrovitae recommended a good site to me that has helped with my trip planning www.waytorussia.net they also have a section listing flight prices from all over and train schedules.
ah, so you are going to do the riga route! i tried to convince the husband that it was a good idea but he wasn't having any of it - the thought of a 10 hour train journey or 12 hour bus ride (the bus was like €30, too!) was too much for him. being north american i think we have a different conception of distance, that's like, driving from toronto to nyc. i'm trying to convince him instead that this summer we should go to tallinn in estonia and take the hydrofoil to helsinki. it only takes an hour and i'd like to see more of the baltic states.

there's still soooo many places i want to go, it seems the more i see of the world, the more i want to see more of it!
 

tess

TRIBE Member
emiwee said:
agreed.

we did the greece chunk of your trip, tess, (plus up north to thessaloniki) last summer and you do not want to have a rolling suitcase - cobblestone streets in the islands.
hmm... ya. this is where the debate has been coming up for me.

i am trying to factor in the fact that I am surprisingly weak. like, i'm pretty sure a 65 year old woman could lift more than me. pretty serious injury last winter didn't help matters.

plus, i have a hard time packing light. i know that this isn't optional for EU, but if i get a backpack it would have to be pretty small...

i took a backpack to vancouver back 5-6 years ago and cursed its evil name the whole time i was there. it was a monstrosity though, and full of god knows what.
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
if you splurge on a good backpack, you'll be surprised at how much you can carry on your back.

a crappy one is going to kill your back, for sure.

take a trip to MEC and try on a whole bunch.

trust.

edit: also, you're going in the summer, so you won't be packing ALL that much. greece will be obscenely hot, same with barcelona. we packed enough for about half the trip and then did sink/tub laundry along the way. the joys of backpacking!
 
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FoxyM

TRIBE Member
Perfect timing for this thread!

I'm heading off to Asia by myself in just over 2 weeks. I start my trip in Hong Kong and then I'm going to Thailand for a month. I'm planning on going to Cambodia for a few days while I'm there too. My husband is meeting me in Thailand in April and then we'll head up to Japan for a few weeks.

This is the first time I do anything like this. I don't speak the languages which I think will make it even more difficult. I've been asking everyone I know who has been there endless questions. I'm pretty nervous about travelling alone but am really looking forward to challenging myself. I really don't know what to expect or exactly how I'm going to manage or end up doing yet - I'm kind of hoping that things will become clearer once I'm over there.

Also, I'm thinking of booking myself a tour for when I first land in Thailand to help me ground myself a bit.
 

jasmyn

TRIBE Member
Foxy,

if you plan on visiting the Temples of Angkor in Cambodia, it's best to fly into Siem Riep as opposed to Phnom Penh. The drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Riep is about 4 hours and at times the roads are not too great. You could probably catch a bus tour from Phnom Penh, but keep in mind you will be using the roadside as toilets as there are no washrooms along the way.

That said however, it is definitely worth visiting Angkor if you are in SE Asia. Unfortunately the temples are deteriorating at a fast rate, due to the thousands of tourists and lack of restoration efforts by the Cambodians.

Phnom Penh is worth seeing as well since it is the capital of Cambodia. Lots of crazy traffic, lots of markets for cheap shopping but beware of the moto taxis and tuk tuk drivers, always bargain prices with them to make sure they don't rip you off cuz you're a foreigner! same goes for in the markets --majority of shopkeepers now know some english.
 
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