Going it alone.

by Poi on October 18, 2011

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The last few days there have been some negative thoughts running though my head. In fact, Let’s get straight to the point, I’ve been thinking about leaving Kirsty.

What has she done you ask? Well nothing.  I love her and things are as good as ever but a new world was opened up to me this past week and it seems like a lot of fun.

That’s right, I’m going to be….wait for it…. A Porn Star!

Obviously I’m kidding, no one wants to see that and I wouldn’t suddenly join the adult film industry just because she’s gone for a week. No, I want to be a solo traveller.

Last week I went for a little getaway in Malaysia.  Previously the only other time I have travelled by myself was to Laos, unfortunately those few days were taken up filling out paperwork in the not so exciting capital of Vientiane.  This time however was different, it was a ‘proper’ holiday from my holiday.

Despite my concerns of wandering the streets alone everyday for a week It was not to be. It would seem these lonely souls promoting solo travel aren’t lying.  It really is easy to make friends when travelling by yourself, easier I would say than as a couple. The interactions can come from anywhere:  You speak to one person, who’s spoke to someone else, who shares a dorm with some other people and before you know it you’re in a group of people all looking to make the most of the short time in whereeverthehellyouare.

Solo travel in Malaysia

Few people I met in not so bad surroundings.

But why is it so different when travelling as a couple?

Perhaps it’s because we unintentionally hide ourselves away. Although we use dorm rooms occasionally private rooms can work out cheaper so make more sense.

It’s not just about where we sleep either, I noticed being solo meant that I spent more time around the hostel than normal had I been with Kirsty.  Not hiding in my room but reading outside or typing away in the common room gave me the opportunity to meet more people. Being alone I was a lot more willing to abandon my plans for company and like most people travelling solo you welcome that company with open arms.

It would also seem true that couples are not as approachable, all my new friends on this trip stemmed from one girl shouting “hello” across to my table. Apparently this was a habit she had picked up a few days into her solo trip and being friendly and forward had won her a lot of friends.

“Would you have just started speaking to me like that if I had been sitting with my girlfriend” I asked.

“Probably not” was just the answer I expected and received.

Everyone worries about interrupting something important when approaching a couple, are they in the middle of an argument? Is this a special occasion? and it doesn’t get any easier being a fellow couple.

“We’re a couple, you’re a couple – Let’s do it!”

We still feel awkward jumping in on a conversation between two other people. The truth is we should make more of an effort, after all what’s the worst that can happen? They tell us to “piss off” and we brawl.

Unfortunately for all you lovers out there Kirsty and I will have to wait to begin our two on two action as she’s still hiding away from me in the UK.  Until then it looks like I’ve got it easy living the bachelor life for a little while longer.

Although, thinking about it, I certainly found it easier making friends by myself which proves there is nothing wrong with me, maybe Kirsty is just not very likeable? So logically there is only one thing for me to do, ditch the misses and hit the road by myself.

First I just need to make sure she’s willing to carry on managing my finances…

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaime October 19, 2011 at 1:40 am

This post made me laugh a lot. I like everything about it… As a solo traveler myself I must be honest though after a while it’s not all cupcakes and rainbows. After a while you have your moments where you do wanna share a special moment with someone you know form home or with someone you didn’t just meet. However I could see how traveling as a couple has it’s perks and not so much perks. As you mentioned it’s harder to meet new people and I could see how that is possible. I rarely like to interrupt a couple. Enjoy the bachelor life~

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thanks Jamie, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

I think like most things it’s nice to have change every once and a while, so where as traveling solo might be fun for me you could equally prefer doing it as a couple for while.

Always want what we can’t have.

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Mike Lenzen | Traveled Earth October 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

Yep, my wife and I spend way too much time hiding out in our room and being anti-social. Now, the life of a porn star… or should I say solo traveller sounds a lot more social. We’ll have to try it one day.

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

You’ll have to approach the subject lightly, I wouldn’t recommend walking in one day and declaring you want to go off on your own haha

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Jerick October 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm

The first time I ever travelled alone was when my GF broke up with me before we could have gone for our supposed anniversary trip to Rome. Started out bad at first, but met 3 American girls in the hostel on my first night. Let us just say – I appreciated solo travel from then on. 😛

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Jerick – well done for still going on your trip and sounds like you had a great time. Enjoy it solo!

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Hannah Loveplaywork October 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm

am going to pass this link on to a friend who is about to embark on her first solo trip, i’m sure she’ll find it very reassuring, thank you!

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Glad to be of service!

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Julia October 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Funny! Sorry to hear your two-on-two action has had to be put on the back burner, but enjoy your solo travelling time for a while. I’m sure it will make you appreciate the missus even more when she gets back 🙂 (and also maybe appreciate her money even more lol)

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Dont worry the two on two will start shortly after she returns and of course I will appreciate her more, for a little bit anyway.

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Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad October 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

That was hilarious, but it is very true. You meet a lot more people when you are traveling by yourself. After nine months of traveling now, I haven’t really had any problems finding company. I also traveled two months with my sister, and while we did meet plenty of people, it took more effort to meet them. I suppose we seemed like a couple speaking in an obscure language nobody had ever heard off 🙂 so we weren’t as approachable as the lone traveler 🙂

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Thanks Jarmo glad you enjoyed, it is with a doubt easier to meet people by yourself but I don’t think I’ll be ditching Kirsty anytime soon, I’m no good at looking after myself for long periods of time.

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures October 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I think that solo travel is essential to the soul. Having said that, the most enriching thing in life, for me, is traveling with my partner. To be able to experience the extraordinary together is priceless.

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

A-men! Both are great and equally as important!

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Phil October 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I’ve only traveled as a couple once. My travels over the past year and a half have been solo. I find pros and cons to each, but as you said here, solo travel is much more conducive to exploration and meeting new people. I find I’m a lot more spontaneous. Has Kirsty read this post yet 😉

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm

She has indeed, she even edited it for and tried to remove the bit about me being a porn star – no way!

I too am a lot more spontaneous by myself, mainly because I never make any plans I guess and I don’t have t consider anybody else’s feelings.

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Shirlene from Idelish October 20, 2011 at 4:08 am

Nice post! I’m a “couple traveler” through and through. I just enjoy having another person to share the experience it. I guess I havent really given solo travel a fair chance. out of the hundreds of “couple trips” I’ve made, I’ve probably only made a handful of solo trips. But you’re right – i did meet more ppl when I was traveling solo. Hmm…

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Poi October 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm

There you go, I couldn’t imagine traveling solo for a long period of time as it’s never been my plan but there is definitely advantages which are worth experiencing even if just for a little bit.

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Anthony October 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I can only speak from the solo travel side mate (Must be too much of a high maintenance dick to travel with mwahaha.

You’ll find you’re not alone for long when travelling on your tod. Do you say “on your tod” where you are from??

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Poi October 29, 2011 at 9:45 am

Yeah that’ll pass in Lincoln but it would normally be: ‘by yer sen’

Sounds weird, I’ve lost a lot of my slang as it means nothing to most people.

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joshywashington October 29, 2011 at 5:02 am

Good luck brother, I know you will miss her… but hot damn it is good to be out on your own!!

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Poi October 29, 2011 at 9:50 am

After a month away she is coming back tonight so my freedom is gone and I’ll have to start being considerate again (for a week until my mates come out anyway)

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The World of Deej December 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Glad to hear she made it back…Not sure how well I’d hold up traveling alone for any extended period of time. I was invited to a hotel a few weeks ago and the wife couldn’t come along…I was downright bored by myself…

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Poi December 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

It’s tough going by yourself to begin with, I was also a bit bored as I wasn’t used to just having to entertain myself. After a while it got a lot easier though.

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Megan Eileen December 21, 2011 at 10:59 am

This has nothing to do with this particular post (although I love it) but I’m obsessed with the cute caricatures of you guys at the top of your website!

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Poi December 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Haha that doesn’t matter, thanks very much!

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Jonny Blair January 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Very good and interesting blog piece this – thanks for posting. I don’t see it as 2 ways of travel though, I see it as three, and I would say that I have travelled an equal amount in life in these three ways:
1. With my girlfriend
2. Alone
3. With a group of people (whether guys or girls, and at times I had a girlfriend not on the trip)
They all have their ups and downs. The easiest one is of course travelling alone as you have to meet other people to get by, so you make more of an effort to chat to others. However there is also that element when you travel alone that you wish your girlfriend was there at that particular point to enjoy the moment with.
I’m a big fan of pubs and football stadiums and my girlfriend isn’t, so sometimes I prefer to go to those places in groups, instead of either alone or as a couple.

While all three ways to travel, have their ups and downs, I cannot decide which one is better. In fact I hope I can stick to interchanging between the 3 in all my future travel to get the right mix and the best diverse experiences.

Jonny

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