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Possible First Solo Trip

Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
4,520 posts
92 reviews
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Possible First Solo Trip

I just stumbled upon this forum and I think it is an excellent resource. I am strongly considering an AI resort in Cuba for a week long vacation in May. The only thing is, I've never been on my own for a week here in Canada, let alone in another country. I'm not sure what to expect and if I will like it or hate it. The last thing I want to do is drop $1000 on a trip that won't be any fun. I am moderately outgoing, but not the type to make a ton of new buddies or start conversations with all sorts of complete strangers. I have always gone with my g/f and we've made friends with other couples, but I worry that being on my own this time will be a different situation. Just trying to get a sense if a week by myself is the right decision which I understand is hard for a stranger to answer. I enjoy my own company but my g/f thinks I am crazy to want to add an extra trip on my own and is convinced that i would hate it. Really would love some input because I was all set on it last night and now I am second guessing myself this morning. Thanks, I appreciate any and all comments.

London, England
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
10,898 posts
28 reviews
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1. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

Well, I rather think that learning to be alone is a prerequisite for being able to be comfortably with someone else as it takes out the desperation factor, but that may be just my view.

Again, many people like A.I.s, and you may want to pay heed to the people on here who argue for them, but many destinations also have restaurants and cafes around them and being able to go off the resort to eat IMO widens the number of people you can meet and frees you up to try different sorts of food.

Of course eating at the resort does make it more likely you will meet other people also staying at the resort.

If you want a sociable holiday, then check out the resort you are thinking of going to in the destination forum to see whether it is all couples with eyes only for each other, or if there is a good sprinkling of groups of friends.

Resorts with lots of activities and day trips also make it easier to talk to other people, if that is what you want.

On the other hand, you say you enjoy your own company so could also have a holiday reading, exploring and enjoying your own thoughts. You could email your g.f. every day to tell her about your activities and thoughts. She may be discouraging you because she is afraid that you may like travelling alone too much. A daily email may reassure her.

It is possible you may hate it, but it is also possible you may discover new things about yourself and activities you have never tried because in a couple there is a tendency to do only what you both think you will enjoy.

I was scared the first time I travelled solo. (A six week 'round the world solo trip. I'm not very good at doing things by halves) I discovered that, despite an occasional bleak moment, I really loved solo travel and I saw and did things I would never see or do travelling with someone else.

If you are careful enough nothing bad or good will ever happen to you.

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,565 posts
141 reviews
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2. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

Ahhh, those eternal questions... can solo travelling be fun.... or are you mad to even try it!

We are all (to a greater or lesser extent) social animals, so sometimes it seems very odd to come out and say... I fancy a trip on my own.

One of the benefits to solo travelling, is having some "me" time. To invest time in doing things that are of no interest to other people, but have the effect of (hopefully) making us well rounded social beings.... and all the better for it!

Another benefit, as Legal has pointed out, is finding out if you are comfortable taking trips on your own. If you are, you may want to take more solo trips. But if not, then you have discovered something valuable about yourself.

For a first solo trip.. a week's fly and flop to an sunny exotic location,with long days on the beach, lots of activities to try , and evenings chatting to travellers from all over the world, sounds like a tonic, especially to get a break from a cold Canadian winter. It's how you feel at the end of a trip that matters. It may cost you $1000 to find out if this is the type of travel that you either enjoy.. or not.

BTW... tell your GF you miss her every day.... and don't buy a present from the airport!!!!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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1,604 posts
112 reviews
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3. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

Just my opinion, but an "all inclusive" resort is NOT the way to see, experience or absorb an exotic locale. All inclusives may have may advantages for a lot of people -- not for me personally but I'm not every tourist -- and I think those advantages are far greater for couples than for solo travelers, but if you want to go to Cuba, go to Cuba. Skip the cocoon. Avoid the "sanitized for your protection" vacation experience. Experience the place for real, not the equivalent of the Disney Cuba pavilion.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,146 posts
111 reviews
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4. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

If that is what you like, go for it. Tell your girlfriend that if it is good you'll take her there next time :-)

Does the place offer you what you want for a week? I have a friend who sits by the pool bar drinking for a fortnight and loves it. Chats to the staff and guests when necessary. (he has a girlfriend too).

I have gone AI resort because it had a boat to the reefs I wanted to see (also it was cheaper than booking my own hol) & trip into the desert. Also found a cafe outside for lunch where I could people watch and supermarket that sold biscuits and cheaper water.

Just be sure it is offering what you enjoy. A week isn't long and has been said, sometimes you get the freedom to do things a companion wouldn't want to share!

Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
4,520 posts
92 reviews
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5. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

I just wanted to extend my appreciation to all of you who have replied to this topic. I can't begin to tell you how helpful and clearly well said your comments were. I bit the bullet and booked with my TA yesterday. As a couple of you have mentioned, there is really no way for me to know for sure without just doing it. I am committed to learning something about myself either way and am excited for the opportunity. I am optimistic I will have a great time and I am really looking forward to the trip. Hard to imagine even in a worst case scenario, sitting in a tropical paradise with good books and my ipod, would be a bad time. Might also give me the opportunity to do more in the way of exploring the towns and cities that we never seem to make enough time for. Thank you all again for your comments, they truly were quite inspiring and helpful. All the best and happy travels.

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,565 posts
141 reviews
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6. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

Islander... Good for you! We all want different things from our trips, so I do hope you have a great time. Will you come back to this forum and tell us how your trip went... it may help other travellers thinking about taking their first solo trip.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,146 posts
111 reviews
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7. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

You sound a cheerful sort which means people will appreciate your company. Sometimes you may find yourself on your own went you don't want to be but that is the same as home.

It reminds me of some reviews I've read and observations I've made on hol. I'll join in with anything (except karoke) even if I can't speak the language and find that people are more than willing to share that. I've seen people sit on the sidelines and complain that there is nothing to do because it isn't geared round them and in their language. You make a choice about how you want to entertain yourself IMO and if that choice doesn't work out. C'est la vie :-)

Edited: 4:51 pm, September 06, 2012
8. Re: Possible First Solo Trip

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