Travel Talk: 15 signs that you’ve had too much alone time

Travelling on your own – again?

Canadian Janice Waugh, the witty scribe behind the popular , compiled 120-plus pages of tips and experiences from 25-plus years globe-trotting on her own. It’s an excellent resource titled The Solo Traveler’s Handbook, in which Waugh takes the fear out of travelling on your own. In fact, she helps readers tap into the fun side of solo travel.

Solo Traveler Janice Waugh (Courtesy J. Waugh)

Solo Traveler Janice Waugh (Courtesy J. Waugh)

But it’s not just for solo travellers. I gleaned lots of helpful ideas for those times when I’m travelling in a group, be it family, friends or colleagues, and I just want to head out on my own for a spell. (Remember that last two-week stint in Cancun when you had enough of your brother-in-law and needed to escape the madding crowd? Waugh’s handbook will help.)

The Solo Traveler’s Handbook is chalked full of great service – and a good whack of humour. Waugh devotes a section to the downside of spending too much time travelling alone. For this subject, she turned to her stand-up comedian son Dylan to help craft her list of pointers:

15 signs that you’ve had too much alone time.

  1. You’ve gone about as far as you can learning to play the harmonica.
  2. You’ve worn the same shirt across 3 borders but think: “well, it’s new to them.”
  3. You step into a cab and “that smell” is you.
  4. Your internal dialogue becomes your external dialogue.
  5. Fingers become apropriate utensils for just about any occasion.
  6. When you find an engaging conversation, the only response you can muster is “uh-huh.”
  7. You spend more than 20 minutes talking to your mugger – and he doesn’t speak English.
  8. You catch a fish and find yourself just petting it.
  9. solo-traveler-cover

  10. Calling cards become a major budgetary item.
  11. You pretend to be lost just to talk to someone.
  12. You see Sudoku when you close your eyes.
  13. You sleep in your clothes.
  14. You go to the hotel lobby in your pj’s.
  15. When you speak you only vaguely recognize your own voice.
  16. You’re so desperate to communicate in some way that you write a blog called Solo Traveler. (This one was for me.)

Waugh covers off a string of subjects in chapters ranging from “Avoiding Culture Shock” and “Solo in a Group” to “Across Canada by Train” and the all-important “The Five Principles of Safety.”

Oh yes, do check out the “Deals” section on Waugh’s web site for bargains for the solo traveller. It’s one more way of making it all happen. Here’s to hitting the road on your own!

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