Tag Archives: Solo travellers

The anti-social traveller

There are lots of different types of travellers. There’s the adventurer who just wants to get out there and do every kind of scary weird thing they can think of – like sky diving, eating crickets and taking on white water rapids.

There’s the solo traveller – someone who wants to travel and for multiple different reasons has no partner to travel with. They might be married and their partner cannot travel or just doesn’t want to. They might be single but their friends either can’t afford to travel or don’t want to do the same trips as them. Eventually they say – to heck with it – I am going to go and see the world. I kind of like to think of them as adventure travellers too!

Then there’s the boring traveller. I don’t mean that they themselves are boring – but their travel is boring. Why? Well because they go to the same place every single year without fail. They like it. They get to know all the staff at the hotel by name. They have their favourite walks. It’s a safe choice because they know it and they know they will enjoy it – but basically it’s boring because it’s never new.

Then there is that particular couple on the tour that nobody else likes. C’mon admit it. If you have ever gone on a guided tour you can bet your bottom dollar there will be that one couple (or person) who even the tour guide does not like. They are the ones who complain about everything, they are always late for the coach, they never tip and they always want to sit in the front seat.

So what about the anti-social traveller? Have you met him or her yet? You will know them when you do. This is the person who is sitting in the window seat right next to you and does not even acknowledge your presence or make any eye contact at all. I get that – maybe they are travelling for business and they just don’t want to indulge in aimless chit chat.

But can you call yourself anti-social if you decide not to pick up a BFF on every single tour you go on….. like this blog writer who I can totally identify with – (Heather and Peter from their blog Conversant Traveller (www.conversanttraveller.com)

“Am I really the only antisocial traveller around?

I can still remember her name. Ena. From Ireland. She was the sort of girl who had the enviable charm of being at ease with everyone she came across. Ena certainly wasn’t an antisocial traveller. The confines of the rickety chicken bus made friendly chatter amongst passengers inevitable, and thanks to it being Independence Day in Guatemala, we were taking a rather long detour on our way to the markets of Chichicastenango. Two hours later we felt like we had known Ena for weeks. As mountains of quetzal-embroidered ponchos and woolly hats festooned with llamas heralded our arrival, it became apparent our new friend was expecting to tag along with hubbie and I on our day at the market.

Now it wasn’t that we didn’t like her company. On the contrary I admired her courage at travelling solo around Central America, and although I was secretly jealous that she managed to pull off the local headscarf look rather better than me, I thought she was a lovely lass. It’s just that we’re not keen on unanticipated company. Hubbie and I are unashamed antisocial travellers.

So we abandoned her.”

Can you identify with them? I can.

I must go down to the sea again…..

Norwegian Cruise Lines Epic

I must – I really must.  Even though I just returned from Fort Lauderdale I hardly saw the salty stuff.  I spent most of my time inside unbearably cold air conditioned ballrooms and it was all in a good cause.  Learning more about cruising today – new staterooms, new cruise ships, the entertainment on board and quick-as-a-flash tours of a few of the ships in port.

So in this five day whirlwind what was memorable?  The sheer size of the new Norweigian Cruise Lines Epic.  Wow that is one big sucker.  My personal preference is for smaller ships but if I were travelling with my family then I can see the advantages of being on a larger cruise ship with all the fun new features. 

NCL has adopted some creative designs to maximise space such as curved furniture in the cabins.  It makes sense although I do think some of the taller guests might be a bit challenged by the curved bed.  They have also introduced single cabins in a special solo part of the ship so now singles don’t have to pay the supplement and also have a singles only place to hang out and meet other singles.  It’s all good in theory and actually the cabins are quite nice so it will be interesting to hear how those will sell.  Unfortunately these single cabins are only available on the inside and are rather snug.  I overheard a report that one of the larger guests on board said he felt like a Chilean miner in the shower.

We also toured the Navigator of the Seas – Royal Caribbean’s 3000 passenger ship.  Bit smaller than the Epic of the Seas – but still with all the “attractions” like the ice skating rink.  The shows there are very popular but I have to ask …. Why?  Maybe it’s because I’m from Canada that this doesn’t get me excited so don’t let my opinion sway you.  But hey I did like the real grass lawns on the deck of the Celebrity Solstice.  Celebrity always manages to create great ambience on their cruise ships and the food at lunch was excellent.  Out of all the big ships Celebrity (in my mind) comes out tops – although I would love to do a family cruise on one of the Royal Caribbean Freedom class ships.  I love the promenade and the flo rider provides hours of fun – just watching everyone fall on their butts is entertainment enough. 

I was fortunate to be invited on board the Regent Seven Seas Navigator – lovely little ship.  This line definitely caters to my age group (baby boomer) and what I particularly like is that everything is included in one up front price.  No need to be constantly reminded how much your vacation is costing you every time you order a speciality coffee or a martini – or even go on a shore excursion as it’s included.  The smaller size of the ship creates a very intimate feel and the ability to get into smaller ports of call makes its itineraries unique.

But whatever the size of the ship I do love to cruise and have enjoyed every cruise I have ever been on.  And I am not alone there – 95% of cruisers rate their experience as having met or exceeded their expectations.