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Only Child?

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1. Posted by MartinH (Full Member 67 posts) 11y

I'm an only child and I just wonder if it pre disposes a lot of us to travelling "alone". When I speak to friends more than most are really up for it on the condition someone else goes. I've never really had companionship of a brother or sister (as much as I would love to have one) so when I get asked if I'm going alone on my trip I get a lot of surprised looks when I say alone. I don't particularily see myself as being alone, as there will be many like minded people etc. I've travelled with friends before and sometimes I find even my best friends I don't like to spend *too* much time with as I would hate to strain a good friendship by seeing too much of them!

I've always had to be fairly up front and prepared to just talk to strangers and anyone around with in reason.

I don't know if its different for those majority of you with siblings, if you have any particular types, like one traveller in the family, if it could ever be that general? :)

2. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

I live & teach in China, which of course has had the "One Child Policy" since 1979.

I would think that it really depends on the parents a lot as to how an independent a one child becomes.

3. Posted by mtlgal (Full Member 1179 posts) 11y

I'm an only child and I also prefer to travel solo. Is there a correlation here? I'm not so sure. One of my friends is an only child too and she's the clingiest person I've ever met. I actually made the mistake of travelling with her once, and the trip almost cost our friendship, because the girl just would not leave me alone!! I think that it has more to do with personality, upbringing and past experiences.

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I'm also an only child and I also prefer traveling solo. I like deciding where and when, etc.. I find it extremely easy to meet people when I travel.

I guess maybe only children are more comfortable being alone since we are more used to it. And maybe we also like to have our own way and not have to confer with other epople when deciding what to do. Those 2 factors might have something to do with it.

I also get the surprised reation when I tell people that I'm going alone. Sometimes it gets a little lonely late at night in the middle of nowhere, but I find it hard to find compatable people to travel with.

5. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

I am not an only child, and I like to travel alone. There goes the theory.

Seriously though, I think I like to travel alone because I got bossed around so much by my sisters when I was young.


6. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting GregW

I am not an only child, and I like to travel alone. There goes the theory.

Seriously though, I think I like to travel alone because I got bossed around so much by my sisters when I was young.


Yeap, you killed the whole theory! I guess it has more to do with personality.

7. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 11y

It definately has to do with personality. I have a few friends who are only children and would never travel alone, because of shyness or uncertainty.

Now to counter what I just said, I'm an only child and prefer to travel alone. I know it's more because I'm outgoing in nature and don't mind going up to strangers. Plus, I'm confident enough to walk somewhere by myself and not think that I can't do it, will get lost, etc, etc. I also have tons of things I want to do and don't like to comprimise too much, given that I may never go back to the place where I am travelling again. I find that on trips I do take with friends, I like to split up for a little to do things I want (I would never force a travel buddy to see something they don't want to see). Those are actually the times that I get to experience the real flavour of a city, because I experience it in my own way.

Back to "on the other hand"'s always fun to travel with someone because you can talk to them and give them a look when you see something odd and they'll know what you mean right away without explination!

8. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 11y

I'm not an only child, and I love travelling alone. There's something about going solo that I cannot put into words, but the experience is beautiful. But I don't mind travelling with close friends, if we don't manage to piss each other off!

9. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

I have a brother and sister. I can travel alone or with a crowd, doesn't matter either way. Basically, there are places i want to visit, and if friends want to come then that's fine, if no-body wants to go but me, then that's fine too.

10. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

I'm an only child and I preferred traveling alone over traveling with companions whenever possible. I do agree with those who felt the want and/or ability to travel solo has more to do with personality and upbringing than with just being an only child. If you were raised to be self-sufficient and independent then the idea of traveling alone is just one more interesting option. For those where self-sufficiency was not nurtured, traveling alone will probably be more daunting. I do think that many only children learn how to entertain themselves, mainly out of necessity, and therefore do not "feel alone" even when they are alone. Now, using Greg as an example, there is the reverse side to the issue, where a person who grew up with siblings around them most of the time will choose to travel alone just to have time to themselves, and with only themselves. My husband is the youngest of four and thoroughly enjoyed traveling alone. If he wanted to take a trip, he did. Again, he was raised to be very independent and self-sufficient.

I am easy-going enough that I can travel either way and enjoy the trip. But, I've only had two travel companions that I really looked forward to being with for extended periods of time - my dad and my husband. My dad is gone, but my husband and I are the perfect traveling companions for each other. Now, neither of us likes traveling if the other isn't there.