Are Solo Trips That Hard to Get?
PROBLEM: I frequently take solo trips when I need a break from work, and I’ve acquired the reputation of a seasoned traveler among my friends. And now everyone either wants me to plan trips for them or join me on one of my trips. But I don’t enjoy any of that! I don’t want to travel with anyone and I don’t want to help anyone plan a trip. How do I convey that, without being rude?
KB: Oh, this is cute. You must be a Millennial. Still care so much about not disappointing others that you would rather inconvenience yourself than be blunt? Something tells me your birth year has more than one nine in it.
I have a lesson for you: get over it. It’s called adulthood: sometimes, in order to pursue things you like, and live the way you want to live, you will need to disappoint others. They will get over it. You are allowed to go on solo trips, and no one is allowed to get mad at you about that.
But there’s a corollary lesson in adulthood: bluntness also requires some amount of finesse. There is a gracious way of telling your friends you prefer to travel alone. Practice that. And if they want to follow in your seasoned traveler footsteps, why not set up an online travel diary where you can track your trips for a closed circle of friends? That way, if anyone wants to take advantage of your expertise, they can just look up your last few trips instead of asking you to play travel agent. Everyone wins, especially you.
MM: If I were you, I’d respond to travel planning requests with a link to a good online source of info. And for solo trip gatecrashers “I prefer cats for company over humans” should do the trick!
SH: KB said it all! Tell your friends your solo travelling experience can only be of use to other solo enthusiasts, in terms of inspiration. Throw in some philosophy: “Each place has something unique for everyone that only you can explore” (which is true). And see them dissipate.
LG: I like KB’s travel diary idea. A lot of times, people just don’t know where to start, and so they look to friends for a little help. But you’re not a travel agent or a tour guide (are you?) so there’s no reason you should be planning someone else’s trips or altering your own to accommodate them. If your friends are looking to find themselves, tell them it’s the journey, not the destination that matters, and that the journey starts with Google.
First World Problems is a funny advice column wherein The Swaddle Team weighs in on their own and others’ ‘problems.’ Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @The_Swaddle with a #firstworldproblems hashtag if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately, or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind. We’ll help you sort it out.
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