Monday, October 25, 2010

Traveling as a single

Thanks to April Trent for this guest post. She is a part time radio announcer,master's student, and travel writer.She is the National Youth Travel Examiner for as well as the owner of and

Feeding goats at Grant's Farm in Missouri
  When you're young and single is a great time to travel.

Instead of doing something small—such as traveling for a few days to Canada—I decided that my first international travel experience would be to study abroad for six months in England without any fellow schoolmates. I was so excited because people within my major and within the newspaper I worked for had gone to this particular university in England as a pilgrimage. So, it was a way for me to feel like I belonged.

I did suffer from a minor case of culture shock when I landed in Manchester. I traveled across northern England to my university via coach and stayed with a local friend until it was time to attend university. I made new friends while I was there and I kept in touch with my friends at home via online. One of my new friends wanted to travel across Europe during spring break. At first, I thought traveling to seven cities in eleven days was going to be a headache. That was until I talked to my friends, who envied my ability to take such a trip.

While many people see being single as a lonely curse filled with agony and woe, I discovered singles have the freedom to do things that couples cannot do. Single people, can backpack through Europe, see what they want to see, do what they want to do, and travel when and how they please. They don’t have to worry about making someone else happy.

Actually, I only traveled through four of the seven cities, but I had more fun studying abroad than I had during my entire domestic college experience. I visited the Louvre in Paris (for free), climbed to the top of Edinburgh Castle, saw a Scottish wedding, celebrated Easter in Barcelona, and rode rollercoasters at Flamingo Land in Yorkshire. Because of that experience, I now love to travel!

As for tips to make the most of your journeys:

• You don't have to be alone. Stay in a hostel, talk to people, and you're bound to find a few fellow travelers who want to see the same things.

• Join the fun! Ask a knowledgeable friend, hostel staffer, etc. for locations where singles have fun. Better yet, find a hostel that has group nights for residents to go to clubs, tours, and activities.

If you are single, you have one of the best gifts available: freedom. Having a partner who loves to travel with you to the same places is even better. However, if you are single, do not underestimate your potential for creating enduring happiness.

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