Onelers devenons comme fous: Lisa fait Paris (avec la maman!) January 13, 2010Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Singles Resource, solo travel.
Tags: bon annee!, international travel, language vacation, paris, solo travel, traveling with a companion
Bon Annee, fellow Onelers! As my poor French translation above (hopefully) indicates, I spent the New Year in Paris with my mother, who has never before traveled internationally and who has been dreaming of taking this trip most of her life (well, I *know* my bad French didn’t exactly say all that, but bear with me).
Yes, I AM the luckiest daughter in the world! I traveled alone to the UK in May (see my posts here, here, and here on the experience) and have now begun exploring Europe (it’s not just my mom’s dream!). I was wary of heading alone to a country where I didn’t speak the language (ich spreche ein bischen Deutsch, and even less Russian), so going with my mom was a good first step — especially since she paid for everything :)
So, now that I have recuperated from my travels, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on traveling internationally alone versus with someone else:
- Traveling alone means you get to do what you want, when you want it; traveling with someone else means making compromises. Being in Paris with my mom meant committing to a whole lot of art-viewing: she’s an artist and art history professor so had personal and professional reasons for taking the trip that I felt were important to respect. Of course, if I hadn’t been with my mom and had been with someone like Christina instead, I’m sure I wouldn’t have had to make as many compromises, since we would be comfortable doing different activities alone.
- Traveling with someone else means you can split the cost of meals (and sometimes other things); traveling alone means you pay for everything on your own, and you also often dine alone. Neither my mom nor I are big eaters, so we split dishes at restaurants that would otherwise have been too expensive (though in reality, everything was expensive, even when you split the cost!).
- Traveling alone means you occasionally meet new and interesting people to spend the day with, which can open your mind in unexpected ways. Traveling with someone else limits the chances of this happening (though it certainly depends on the travelers) – because you always have someone else to talk to, you aren’t going to be as aware of all the cool people around you.
- Traveling with someone else means you have someone to watch your bags when you’re in the bathroom. Oh yes, as I learned when my wallet got stolen during my solo trip last year, this benefit cannot be underestimated!
- Traveling with someone else will raise your confidence for the next international trip — which you might just take alone!
De chers lecteurs, avez-vous des commentaires additionnels sur ce que j’ai écrit? (Dear readers, do you have additional comments on what I have written?) Ultimately, my biggest take-away (besides the escargot) was a new enthusiasm for languages I don’t know — yet! And a once-again refreshed enthusiasm for traveling of all kinds. Christina and I are now thinking about taking a language vacation — together!