On the Solo RoadAre you ready to travel, but can't find someone to travel with? There is no need to wait! There is a big world out there full of other travelers waiting for you to join them. I have been traveling solo off and on since my twenties and now I am a senior in my late sixties.
Start With A Day Trip!
To test the waters of solo travel, try a day trip with a local travel group. Day trips, on a comfortable bus, are available in most cities; many available through seniors’ centres or city tourist offices. The trips can involve a sight seeing jaunt into the countryside to see the Autumn leaves or scenic areas like Niagara Falls.
Or, you could go to a Casino for a little gambling action, or to lunch and a play, or lunch and an afternoon of browsing a village like St. Jacobs, Ontario or Chester, Nova Scotia.
Thanksgiving weekend, a steam train ran from Waterloo to St. Jacobs’ Farmers Market. Near Ottawa, one can travel on a steam train from the town of Gatineau to Wakefield, Quebec have lunch lakeside, and return through the beautiful woods. From Sydney or Victoria B.C. seniors can ride the ferry to Vancouver and back for free and enjoy lunch purchased on board while viewing the stunning scenery.
In many metropolitan areas there are walking, hiking, skiing, canoeing, or cycling groups that take day trips via car pooling to get to areas to undertake the activity and enjoy either a packed lunch or visit a cafe. In my city, all of the above happen with participants whose ages range from 60 to 80.
Try a Weekend Getaway
Once you enjoy a day trip, it is time to try a weekend or three day trip to visit a place that is of cultural interest like the Tulip Festival or Winterlude in Ottawa, or Carnival in Quebec City.
You will be matched with another traveller to share a room, or for an extra charge, you can book your own room. Sharing a room for a night or two with someone new can be a wonderful, eye opening experience.
My experience sharing a room on ski trips or in the outback of Australia has led to sharing life experiences. And, I got a place to stay on a return trip to Australia. My Australian friend is 80 now and she was 58 when I shared rooms with her on a 5-day bus tour.
After a successful weekend tour, you are ready for a week’s trip! There are lots of opportunities for adventure. You could do:
- a farm stay with a farm family for a week;
- a week’s eco-trip on a ship off Canada’s coast or farther afield;
- a trip to a big North American city or go abroad to visit museums, art galleries, theatre, historical sites;
- a cultural festival such as Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, Ontario or the Stampede in Calgary.
Not only will you meet others from your region but also, you will learn new things and be introduced to new ideas. And, you may meet someone to travel with.
Try an International Trip
Finally, you will be ready to go solo on a trip by yourself, planned by you. This year I went to Dublin and London for four nights each by myself, planned and booked by me. On a day trip out of Dublin, I met seven Irish sisters on the bus, in their 50’s and 60’s. We ate lunch and walked about the sites together.
The Internet is a marvelous tool for finding places to stay, airlines, ferries, or bus lines and tours. It can also be used to book them all.
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Have you traveled on your own? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.