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Onelers devenons comme fous: Lisa fait Paris (avec la maman!) January 13, 2010

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Singles Resource, solo travel.
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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!).
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!

Cheers,

– Lisa

Comments»

1. Onely - January 13, 2010

Copious Readers, where should we take a language vacation? Our criteria is: must have good food and warm weather. Free-ranging kittens are a bonus.

CC

2. Onely - January 13, 2010

Our criteria ARE, I mean.

3. io. - January 14, 2010

wow Lisa ,…… I’m so glad you had a great time away ….. :-) :-)

Onely - January 16, 2010

Thanks! :) L

4. Rachel - January 14, 2010

What language do you want to learn? Many universities in Europe offer intensive language courses that are open to non-students. For example, the Humboldt Uni in Berlin offers intensives during the summer. There was a really cute international school in Avignon, France, but it looks like they went under, at least their website no longer exists. So, maybe universities are a better bet…

Onely - January 16, 2010

Thanks for the tip, Rachel. Christina and I want to learn a language that neither of us know. I know enough German to travel (hopefully), but nothing else very well. She knows Chinese and German very well and has been studying Arabic and Thai but doesn’t feel she knows them very well. We were thinking of going to Morocco….!

— L

5. singlutionary - January 15, 2010

I love hearing about your bold travels!!!

Onely - January 16, 2010

Thanks, Singlutionary! I guess that’s a good enough reason to do more traveling!

— L

6. Therese - January 15, 2010

Awesome – rock on! As soon as I pay off my credit card debt (and get to my goal weight), I might take a solo vacation to Jamaica – hubby doesn’t like tropical…but I love it!

Onely - January 16, 2010

Yay Therese! If you do this, *please* let us know — we’d love to hear about it!

— L

7. severine - January 17, 2010

Hello from a french reader, glad you came to my country !!!

Onely - January 17, 2010

Severine — I’m glad I went too :) I really loved France — and I think French is the most beautiful language I’ve ever heard. I wish I could speak it well.

— L

8. Treya - October 31, 2011

Hi, just found your blog this year, i don’t know if you have done your language travel, but here’s a suggestion anyway! Come to Indonesia and there are more than plenty of Islands you can explore together with their national language (Bahasa Indonesia, similar to Bahasa Melayu in Malaysia) and their local/triballanguages. There are more than 300 local languages!

Onely - November 2, 2011

That sounds wooonderful. . . thanks for the suggestion. My and Lisa’s respective language vacation lists are getting pretty long, but I might bump Indonesia up to the top of the list because to be honest, in addition to languages, important requirements for the L.V. are Good Food and Nice Weather, both of which Indonesia would fulfill easily. . .
Christina

9. Treya - November 6, 2011

That’s awesome! If you are coming down here, then send me an email, perhaps we can meet up! :)

Onely - November 6, 2011

Will do! = )


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