I travel solo quite often and I love it. However, I have this pet peeve about people asking me WHY I am travelling solo while I’m on the road (from tour guides, other travelers, random strangers). This happens mostly when I travel to Asian countries.
This post is not intended to discourage more people wanting to try solo travel, but maybe to provide some tips on how this can be handled. It does happen … and at times it happens so often it borders on annoying, at least to me.
I just visited Thailand last weekend and upon arrival at a travel agent, she asked me where I was staying and how many people in my group. When I told her I was here with myself, she asked me “but why???” in a really incredulous tone.
How do you really answer that? You can’t really ignore her at this point. I have tried one or a combination of the following methods in my travels.
1) Honesty – Not advisable in my opinion. Not many people understand how you may enjoy the freedom of solo travel over going with others, no matter how much you try to explain. This is more especially true in community minded countries, for example asian countries. “I just love the freedom” is almost always responded by “its better to go with people, more FUN!!!” by the question-asker/almost-complete-stranger.
2)Making up a story (the family) – I have also tried making up a story just so I could keep the conversation short. In Bali I’ve said things like “My Husband is in another town in Bali…” and etc. This works OK, although I have to warn you that the whole thing may snowball. I was then asked about whether I had any children, and if I didn't, why not and then promptly advised to ‘start a family soon, cause we’re all not getting younger.” So not only I had to be married, I had to have kids too!! :P
3)Making up a story (the friend) - A easier to use version of this is “Im meeting a friend, or my friend is already here.” This usually satisfies the question-asker.
4)Making up a story (the business trip) – Ive found that the easiest technique is to just tell them that youre here on business. Ive tried this recently and I haven’t gotten any problems or follow up questions.
If anybody has any other tips they have, do let me know.
Ive been on back to back solo trips for the last few months and have been grilled about my solo-travel status by strangers for all of the trips. Thought it was time I got new ideas!