Wanderlust may kick in after a divorce, when one is alone. Places that were not on your spouse’s Bucket List may be enticing to visit.
My introvert friend is finding travel more challenging than her gregarious acquaintances do. She has ruled out group travel, but this is a bit hasty.
Group tours vary vastly from those that march travellers around en masse eight hours a day to those that offer one quick orientation look around the city.
The American travel guru Rick Steves, suggests taking a fully escorted tour, however go on the excursions that would be more difficult to do on your own, like Machu Picchu.
Take advantage of the hotels and transportation, but opt out of some sightseeing and look around on your own if desired. There are hybrid ones that get you to one or more places which include a short get acquainted with your destination tour in each new locale. They may start the journey by Eurostar or a flight to a city or island.
You’re picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel. There is an hour or so tour with the rest of the time on your own. The beauty of these is that the travel arrangements are left to the pros – you just show up. You get great rates since the tour companies are buying these trips from travel venders in bulk. There is a safety net to doing travel this way which is not there when you make all of your own arrangements.
The company representative (or contact person) is on hand to make recommendations, answer questions or be of assistance in emergencies. This is especially good for a first time visit to a region. I have seen some of these tempting trips listed as ads in British Women’s magazines.
There is another option to sailing, but without the crowds, casinos and shows. The Norwegian Hurtigruten cruises are great for the solitary traveller. Some sail along the Norwegian coast, coming or returning to Bergan to drop the post off at small villages. They make up to seven stops a day, some for less than an hour. This is a wonderful way to explore on your own and snap a few pictures.
Some ports offer an optional sightseeing tour. The coastal cruises have breakfast and lunch buffets with open seating. The focus is on the spectacular scenery and not on shipboard activities.
They run year long, and people enjoy spotting the Northern Lights in the winter. Their sea sailings are laid back with no formal nights. A naturalist gives lectures plus may have tables outside on deck showing the local flora and fauna. There is a ceremony when crossing the Arctic Circle.
River cruises may be more in line for introverts with a hundred or so other passengers instead of thousands. They dock near the city centre with plenty of free time for individual explorations. The ships are small and one bumps into less people when finding a private corner to read.
Ocean going vessels can be docked away from the action and may spend less time in port. On some mega ships, there is an emphasis on the ship board amusements. Tables may be assigned, however one is free to eat in other dining areas by oneself. On ships, one can have the connection of being around others, without being forced to interact, especially at concerts or show. I enjoy both types of cruises.
Some singles have taken long train journeys and raved about them. They could be sociable or enjoy spectacular scenery from their cabin. The Ghan train in Australia was recommended by a solo traveller. I took a train from Bangkok through Malaysia terminating in Singapore.
Other people have embarked on train trips throughout Europe and Africa plus the Trans-Siberian Express. Another option is taking a bus trip such as on megabus. I thought megabus was more for the young backpacker set, but found out otherwise.
Middle age solo travellers book their ticket for multiple European destinations on the easy to use website. One can pre-book hotels and some city tours or decide what to do upon arrival.
An introvert can get away from it all and book a cottage by the seaside, lake or lovely village. There are plenty of web sites and guide books listing private residences for short-term holiday rentals. Some singles go on long hikes such as Spain’s Camino De Santiago. There is the thrill of accomplishment when reaching the end.
Be creative with your travel arrangements in avoiding being part of the herd. Some divorced people have gone on trips with a particular focus, such as cooking photography or birding. One is around like-minded people who are concentrating on the activity instead of on small talk. Bon Voyage!
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certied in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 100 published articles.
Her other book is The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce. Web site is globalguidetodivorce.com.