Do you travel alone?

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pilgrim
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Do you travel alone?

Post by pilgrim » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:03 pm

I was planning a short trip to a neighbouring country but could not get any friends to come along..I am in 2 minds about travelling alone. I worry about getting bored with no company over a long period of time. Its no fun wandering the streets by oneself or having dinner or sitting alone in your hotel room. How do others feel about this?

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bodom
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by bodom » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:08 pm

pilgrim wrote:I worry about getting bored with no company over a long period of time. Its no fun wandering the streets by oneself or having dinner or sitting alone in your hotel room. How do others feel about this?
More time for meditation! Look at this opportunity as a chance for a short retreat.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

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andre9999
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by andre9999 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:04 pm

bodom wrote:More time for meditation! Look at this opportunity as a chance for a short retreat.
Yup. That's how I approach business trips.

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Annapurna
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by Annapurna » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:35 pm

Sorry, but I don't know if you are a man or a woman? :smile:

If you are a woman, I would recommend company, it's simply safer. If you're a man, it may be easier to meet "Natives" , if you are alone.

As a woman, I always found out it far easier to meet new people when you are already two, and -safer. Alone, you could be a target.
It's also nicer to share the new things with a friend.

Also, when you get ill in a foreign land it is better when somebody who speaks your language can support you.

When I went to the USA alone, to stay with Americans, I eventually reached a point, despite all the heartfelt hospitality, where I was pretty much overwhelmed with everything, and became homesick badly.

I would have been able to enjoy my stay much more, if I had traveled with some German friends. I know we would have had a ball, because I traveled most of Europe with fellow Germans, and it was always a lot of fun.

That's just my personal experience, and may not be relevant for others, but I always felt this way.

palchi
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by palchi » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:20 pm

I'm travelling a lot alone, mostly for my work - and very often that leads me to cities in countries that don't quite make it onto the list of top 10 tourist attractions (well the countries maybe, the capitals rarely....). Also my job leads me to move to a different country across the world every few years (currently based in Africa) and that too means a lot of exploring on your own until you get settled.

I am a woman so am quite conscious of security issues but also reasonably street wise. Going out for dinner alone, exploring a place alone, while having no clue of the language spoken - all these are not only something to get used to but are actually great oportunities to learn. Especially about yourself. I have also met wonderful people along the way and made quite a lot of funny, weird or touching experiences. In some ways travelling alone keeps your mind and heart open to the world around you in a different way than when you are together with somebody else because you are in more direct interaction with your environment. It's a good experience to make...

palchi :hello:

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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:29 pm

I used to travel alone a lot when going from meditation centres to monasteries and checking out the sights in between. Now I travel with a wife and daughter, I much prefer the former.

Anna is right in that it may be much easier for a man than a women to do this.

It will also be easier if you are the kind of person who likes to strike up conversations with strangers, or if you are the sort of person who is content with his own silence.

Shouldn't be a problem for a Pilgrim.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Annapurna
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by Annapurna » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:05 pm

palchi wrote:I'm travelling a lot alone, mostly for my work - and very often that leads me to cities in countries that don't quite make it onto the list of top 10 tourist attractions (well the countries maybe, the capitals rarely....). Also my job leads me to m
ove to a different country across the world every few years (currently based in Africa) and that too means a lot of exploring on your own until you get settled.

I am a woman so am quite conscious of security issues but also reasonably street wise. Going out for dinner alone, exploring a place alone, while having no clue of the language spoken - all these are not only something to get used to but are actually great oportunities to learn. Especially about yourself. I have also met wonderful people along the way and made quite a lot of funny, weird or touching experiences. In some ways travelling alone keeps your mind and heart open to the world around you in a different way than when you are together with somebody else because you are in more direct interaction with your environment. It's a good experience to make...

palchi :hello:
Quite resonates with me, Palchi.

What also matters is, where you lodge, with how much money, and to which places you go.

I've studied in a larger town and although I knew that city well, it was hard for me to go out alone at night, because men would follow me from a disco to my car and from there to my home and stuff like that.
You never know what they're up to.

I asked for help from taxi drivers and police more than once.

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Annapurna
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by Annapurna » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:13 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Anna is right in that it may be much easier for a man than a women to do this.
Yes, actually, I find life as a woman limiting in that respect.

I can't go hiking alone or pick mushrooms in a forest. A man might see me alone and take advantage of the situation.

I've escaped with luck more than once, at least three times...horrible, isn't it?

I keep warning women not to walk alone here or there, but they are often blue-eyed.

A friend of mine walked home from a local bar with a friend who raped her in the train station.

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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by alan » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:12 am

I traveled alone around the world for years and loved it--but I'm a solitary creature by nature.
Can't resist the urge to link to this:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

May not be totally on topic but it is nice anyway.

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pilgrim
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by pilgrim » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:44 am

Thanks for all the insights. Yes I am a man and have traveled alone before. Its ok for the first couple of days. But I find the evenings the hardest. Its unwise to go out into a strange city at night. I don't go to bars. So after dinner, I'll find myself back in a cheap hotel in front of the TV waiting for sleep. Meditating in your hotel room under such circumstances doesn't lift the mind but sometimes increases the feeling of loneliness.

alan
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by alan » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:17 am

A good book can help.

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Annapurna
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by Annapurna » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:08 am

Hm...yes, it can be unwise.

Try to go to a city with a university.

There are always small restaurants, bistros, cafes, crowded with students and locals, and it is usually easy to come into contact with others there, if you sit or stand close to each other.

In the daytime, if the weather is warm, you can sit outside in a street cafe, or on a bench, and make some contacts there for the evening.

If you are rather shy, this could be a problem however.

But the more casual you are, the less worried about what others may be thinking of you, the better.

Talk to people, ask for a nice place to eat, say you are new here and don't know what to do in the evenings, and then go there, better thna sitting in front of a TV, bring a book or magazine, and just sit with the others, eat, drink, read, watch them...

There are places where it is very easy to find other openminded folks.

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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by Ytrog » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:46 pm

I have never travelled alone out of the country to be honest. I simply didn't have the means to do so, but this year I hope to get to the UK. Never been there before though.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.

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adosa
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by adosa » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:32 am

A couple of years ago I rode my bicycle through northern Thailand and Laos alone. The trip was a little over 6 weeks. I noticed a person goes through every emotional state that they would at home but these states tend to be more amplified. Boredom, anxiety, restlessness, happiness are all there, we're just more in tune with them. You know the old saying rings true....."A man alone with his thoughts".

I found it great training in trying to keep the mind from bouncing all over the place. Traveling alone in a foreign country, especially with a language barrier, forces you to practice equanimity and display gratitude.

As I got my sea-legs I was struck by how much people went out of their way to welcome me in, help me out, or just chat with a wayward Falong.

I plan on doing it again as I think there were many experiences along the way that would not have happened with someone in tow. People will approach a solo traveler. Two travelers maybe. Any more and the dynamic changes.

The key is just to dive in and deal with the dukkha. It's going to be there no matter where we end up.


adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

alan
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Re: Do you travel alone?

Post by alan » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:36 am

Good for you adosa. I've done a few solo bike trips too. Nothing better to clear out the clutter.

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