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Remaining alone while traveling alone

Travel Forums General Talk Remaining alone while traveling alone

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1. Posted by Eneli78 (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

This may sound a bit unfriendly but I don't intend it so. When I travel alone, I really prefer to travel alone. I don't travel to meet people. I'm happy to be polite to those that I run into, but I get very irritated when people constantly want to talk to me just because I am a solo traveller. I'm a young woman, and so some of these are young men, which I can at least understand, and if that was the only issue, it wouldn't be a big deal. But it seems that EVERYONE wants to begin a conversation with me, and I really just want to be left alone. I will be in a train compartment, with earphones in, a book open, and the person across from me STILL tries to hold a conversation! It makes me uncomfortable to constantly have to brush people off. Why do people automatically assume they have a right to push themselves onto someone who is alone, and what can I do to deflect unwanted attention without being rude or hurting people's feelings?

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

I'm going to guess it has a lot to do with culture. To many, it's perfectly normal--even polite--to strike up a conversation with people around them. Others may just assume you're travelling alone and could maybe use a little company or a friendly voice. I'm sure most approach you out of kindness, so best just to be honest about needing some time alone and give them a smile before returning to your thoughts.

3. Posted by Buzzcock (Full Member 178 posts) 7y

Greta Garbo or Marlene Dietrich?

Well I guess the obvious answer is to hire a car, but then what will you do if someone tries to strike up a conversation in a motorway service station if you stop for a coffee?

4. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Just tell them you're waiting for your boyfriend/husband, or that he's going to be meeting you at the next station etc. Most guys will leave it at that if they think you're already spoken for.

5. Posted by Eneli78 (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

Haha. Thanks for the replies. I see what you are both saying. I guess I'm really talking about the people that don't seem to take the hint that I want to be alone-- someone asks me a question, I reply, give a smile and return to my book or whatever. I think we're done, and I'm certainly happy to help someone with the time or the correct train platform or whatever. Then they keep talking! Doesn't it seem that if I wanted to talk I would have kept the conversation going? Usually if they seem persistent, I explain that I don't speak the language (even if I do). Then they ask if I speak English, and, if we have reached that point, I always say no in another language (I am fluent in an Eastern European language that is rarely spoken outside its natural country). Then, they keep speaking to me in English anyway! REALLY! I'm not kidding! I think there is something about me that is just irritatingly approachable and I'd love to change it so that I can have some peace when I'm waiting somewhere or whatever. Is there anything that would make you NOT approach a 20 something woman who appears to be traveling on her own?

6. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting Eneli78

Is there anything that would make you NOT approach a 20 something woman who appears to be traveling on her own?

Get one of those film set props that gives the impression that you're pregnant.

7. Posted by Buzzcock (Full Member 178 posts) 7y

Quoting Eneli78

Is there anything that would make you NOT approach a 20 something woman who appears to be traveling on her own?

She's as ugly as sin
She has facial piercings
She's dressed like a nun
She's listening to U2
She hasn't washed for a week
She wears Benson & Hedges Body Spray ...

... the list is endless

8. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

Quoting Buzzcock

Quoting Eneli78

Is there anything that would make you NOT approach a 20 something woman who appears to be traveling on her own?

She's as ugly as sin
She has facial piercings
She's dressed like a nun
She's listening to U2
She hasn't washed for a week
She wears Benson & Hedges Body Spray ...

... the list is endless

She's talking loudly to herself and/or beating her chest.

9. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

that's life. you just gotta deal

10. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Have you ever tried a friendly but direct "Please leave me alone, I do not wish to talk to anybody?"

That is the best method there is. "I do not wish to talk to anybody." makes it clear it is you, not them, so no hurt feelings there.