27 Comments
Feb 8, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

Such an inspiring piece 🙌 what an adventure x

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Feb 8, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

I spent 30+ years travelling solo for work, whilst this was a necessity, the positives out weighed any downsides of not having company. Meeting and speaking with locals and eating with them is without doubt a great way to learn of their customs, culture and local dishes, hence I would recommend.

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Lovely piece Fiona snd very encouraging. The fact that you’ve embraced this a few years beyond middle age is a pretty powerful thing 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Sep 16, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

Very recently widowed and even though have spent 20 years travelling on business it is taking me time be alone on holidays. It does surprise me how different it feels eating on my own on holiday v when I am away on business. Must learn to eat slower!!

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This is a powerful reminder of our ability to do things for ourselves that, perhaps, partnered (or friended) life has caused us somewhat to forget. I went to the Women of the World Festival a few years back and one of the panels discussed Nan Shepherd (in Scotland a total ICON of solo-woman-travelling-and-writing) and their varied experiences of travelling alone. Every one of them had emerged from the experience (for some it was habitual rather than a one-off) feeling empowered, strong and capable... Not to suggest the relationships or travel with others robs us of these qualities...BUT! Thanks, Fiona.

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Feb 10, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

In the lates I'd just got my first proper job and could afford my first proper holiday on my own. I went to Bordeaux with no more than a plan to explore a bit. I got a train to Sarlat la Caneda and saw the train went through a tiny hamlet, the name of which (Tremolat?) rang a bell and I realised it had featured in a recipe from my favourite Keith Floyd book. I just had the urge to visit, so hopped off the train, walked half a mile into the village carrying a heavy bag and found the restaurant he'd mentioned Le Vieux Logis. Couldn't afford to eat there but was very excited to see this place which had featured only in my imagination. Had a beer in bar, trekked back to the station with my bag and waited an hour for the next train. Not much a story I know, but I was so glad I did it and could never have contemplated it if I'd not been free and easy on my own.

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Hi Fiona, a really interesting read and perspective. I travelled alone a lot when I was working for some big corporations, and can completely relate to all the negatives you mention..... BUT...the positives are worth seeking out too....I have seen some fabulous places that I would never have seen if I was with a partner or group - a personal guided tour of the treasures of the Kremlin after hours; a small, dark jazz club well off the beaten track in Prague; wonderful food in a colleague's home in Taiwan....

Your article has renewed my desire to go solo travelling again. Thank you......I have enjoyed reading about your Brazilian adventures, it looks like a fabulous country. Lucy

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Feb 8, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

I used to love traveling on my own but since a few years of less travelling with COVID I seem to.have developed travel anxiety (especially around public transport) which I need to snap out of if I'm going to fully enjoy it

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Feb 8, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

I was widowed at 59. Coming from a large family and having met my husband at university I had never lived in my own let alone traveled alone. What a revelation it was. I agree with all Fiona’s comments. I am now married again and so travel with a partner- but I now know I can do it alone.

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Feb 8, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

Absolutely. I love travelling on my own. Happily married, but a trip solo is always a good reset!

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Feb 8, 2023Liked by Fiona Beckett

Great piece. It chimed with me. I took my first solo holiday in 2016 - three weeks in Mexico. Once you embrace the experience, it can be great. I was lucky that Mexicans are super welcoming - I often got chatting and was invited to things. The main thing, as yiu wrote, is that you are free to choose your own path - no friend-based compromises.

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Great advice, Fiona! I'm a Brit, but also a lowland Scot who has never met a stranger, a cultural asset as a lone traveler. I do recommend for encouragement reading the letters of Barbara Bodichon, an independent Victorian Englishwoman who honeymooned in the Deep South(!) during the time of slavery. She and her husband often did their own things during the trip, and she had an incredible and memorable time by herself., meeting people, including many enslaved people. Bodichon later helped found Newnham College, Cambridge. The book of letters may be hard to find, but I have translated here: https://annettelaing.substack.com/p/british-bride-honeymoons-in-the-slave

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Oh - re: being tucked away in a restaurant as a solo diner. In Oaxaca, I was seated at a raised platform in the middle of the main dining room. Plinthed!

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I've learned to love the touch of a woman

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