Friday, July 25, 2008

A travel guide for loners

Everyone wants to travel alone at some or the other point of life. Either it is the absence of company or just sheer inquisitiveness to experience the difference. I have had two such excursions and I consider myself capable enough to guide others. Before I enlighten you, let me be prejudiced state that it is a guy thing. So here are few tips.

  1. Travel alone only to popular places with at least some visible crowd. A secluded place is suitable only for couples.
  2. Never plan the details of a trip you are planning alone. A rough idea of place to travel to and approval of leave from office / institution will do. The reason is that there is ample time to think and rethink once you are off. You would like to keep yourself engaged.
  3. An i-pod / mobile with mp3 is a must. A GPRS activated advanced mobile with modest megapixel camera and mp3 player is just perfect for the show.
  4. At time you would like to mix with people around you. There are several ways to do so without feeling awkward.
    1. Ask a group to get together so that you can take a picture. No need to say that targeting group with pretty gals is desirable.
    2. Still better, find a group involved in photo shoots and lend them a hand.
    3. Ask for directions even though you know how to reach a spot. Some tourists enjoy sharing their newly gained information just to show they knew it all the way.
    4. Go all the way in helping a tourist who seeks some information from you. Such interactions keep you engaged.
    5. Target small shops with single keepers. For buying a Kit Kat, they can give you so much local information that even a seasoned guide can not.
  5. Have your own secluded spots to plan further or for reflecting / self instropection / getting philosophical. In fact this is what you came for. The spot can be a bench with a view at the corner of a busy street.
  6. Take a lot of pictures. Ask people to take your picture and enjoy their wierd expressions. You are not going to live there anyway.
  7. Eat at your hotel room. One feels loneliest at restaurants. Keep a pet bottle of coke when you roam around. Add some vodka if you want.
  8. Try to know as much about the place by exploring, chatting with locals, phamphlets etc. Again let me advice that do not gather much information before the trip. Its actually fun knowing facts on the spot.
  9. Write a blog about your experiences when you come back.

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