The Bane of a Traveling Companion

Nothing brings out the savage in generally easygoing people like being cooped up in a tiny car/motel room together for a week. On a recent road trip with J, we lurched between arguing and not speaking at all, highlighted by a full-on brawl at 1 a.m. in a rest stop off a California highway that resulted in me refusing to get back in the car.

Money
The biggest issue, as always. The cash we brought lasted a total of two days and the rest of the trip was financed with a credit card. Two fill-ups a day at $4 a gallon equals about $90. A day. Just for gas. Add that to one type-A and one type-B personality, just for fun.

handy clothes-hanging area in motel room

Motels
We sought the cheapest, sometimes sneaking the dog in. Our last stop was out of weary desperation in a crowded city. First thing I do is check the bathroom—the toilet water was level with the top of the bowl. A few flushes confirmed a considerable clog. J went to report to front desk. They actually said, do you want a plunger? Another motel had a broken air conditioner (fan worked but no compressor kicked in) and when we told the manager he helpfully clarified: Work fine! Look, hot air outside, cool inside! Why do people want to be in the service industry? And why, why, why, can’t they install a few clothes hooks, especially in bathrooms?

Showers
We’re all built basically the same—head, torso, legs, feet. So how the hell does the languid descent of water droplets from some lame shower three feet above my head reach anyone’s anatomy? What am I, a gymnast? I want a bath, or at least some kind of unit on a hose you can take down. I gave up after a few nights. I just don’t get the whole American shower obsession. The water is going in the wrong direction.

Food
I generally don’t eat much, and lifestyle stress, lack of money, and cleaning houses keeps my weight stable. J decides to go on a junk food binge. It’s impossible to resist when two feet away. I not only gained weight and got stomach cramps, but the steady input of oil and fat combined with long-distance driving acted as an irrigation system that germinated, then ripened a bumper crop of zits. And not just on my face. I don’t want to talk about it.

Peeing
I gotta pee. I drink a lot of fluids and it’s my biological heritage to quickly process and release, passed down from my mother. I hate restrooms, they’re usually disgusting and women are pigs. I’d rather go on the side of the road, and seven years in Arizona has emboldened me even further than when I lived in wooded areas back east. I’m happy with a cactus for a screen, or even a tumbleweed, if nothing else the open car door is enough. I stopped caring long ago if someone sees me peeing. When I have to go, I have to go. When I’m traveling by myself, it’s never an issue. I am armed for god’s sake and you’d have to be an idiot to not see someone coming toward you. But traveling with a man, all of a sudden it’s “someone will see you.” Stop the fracking car, now.

Temperature
When traveling alone, dealing with my broken personal thermostat from hot flashes isn’t a big deal. Open the window, shut the window. Turn on AC, turn off AC. But this brings out the berserker in a man. Guess I can’t blame him.

Sex
What is it about crappy motel rooms that makes men want to have sex? Here I am calculating with dread the next minimum payment on the Visa, they’re having some sort of tailgate party in the parking lot, the AC doesn’t work, the dog refuses to eat, I’m bloated as a dead jellyfish, haven’t shaved my legs in days, and I have a painful lesion in my mouth from the disgusting amount of potato chips I’ve been stuffing in. His snoring has kept me awake for the past three nights and we’re close to a combat situation. I’m about as sexy as a coldsore. So back off, buddy.

TV
For the millionth time I wonder how anyone can stand TV. There may be no microwave, fridge, working air conditioner, or bathtub in these shabby rooms, but the damn TV works fine, doesn’t it? TV is agony. We brought a laptop but the volume’s not loud enough and the wifi connections are so bad you spend most of the time drifting in and out of service. The lightbulb is too dim to read by. All I want to do is sleep but that would be too easy.

Radio
Disc jockeys should have their vocal cords cut.

The best trips I’ve ever taken were by myself. I love to talk to strangers. After five minutes you can walk away. You?

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106 responses to “The Bane of a Traveling Companion

  1. We laughed all the way through. Thanks!

  2. Ah, Debra finally tells it like it is. None of this “the villages were quaint and the people lovely. We had the blackened tuna steaks with mango salsa and they were superb.” No one ever tells about the near-death experiences associated with traveling with your significant other. At home you can be in separate rooms, separate climate controls, separate whatever you want. But on a trip you’re trapped in the small space of a car and motel. Verbal bullets fly and daggers are thrown, you’d better have a concrete foundation or the vortex of conflicting personalities will tear your house down. Great job of telling us how a road trip REALLY is.

  3. were you eavesdropping on our trip?..my goodness you hit the nail on the proverbial head!..thanks for the laugh today!!!..excellent post!

  4. Too funny. Since we travel in an RV we really don’t have the issues you’ve had to deal with. I have my own bed, my own shower, my own kitchen, my own chair and the girls know exactly where to find their food and water dishes. We live in about 300 square feet but it’s wonderful. But now I must admit I have been on some road trips that sound just like that. Especially the peeing thing – when I need to go it is right now not ten minutes from now.

  5. Hm, gave up on that whole “Day’s Inn” scenario years ago. Nowadays the Holiday Inn is the bottom of the barrel, at least here in Europe.
    Once stayed in a place outside Buffalo N.Y. that looked like the forensics team had just been through. Either that or there was a couple spots of ketchup on the lower edge of the mattress? *shudder*
    We’ve come to the understanding that, “no harsh words” is always the modicum of choice and well, sex? What’s that?
    The bloom has been off the travel rose for us for years. My Travelling Companion has to do it for work, and any time I go along, it’s either for a very brief vacation, or being pressed into service to drive. Such fun.
    Just as soon stay home.

    • Day’s Inn, Holiday Inn bottom of the barrel? I consider those chains too fancy! Probably $50 more a night than what we were paying. Hey, bathtubs don’t come cheap in the US!

  6. I think Kelly could travel with anyone & make it work but I am the problem one here. Especially if I have not had enough sleep. Oscar the Grouch has nothing on me!! Luckily, we travel with our own washroom. I totally hate public washrooms & can’t remember the last time I had to stay in a motel room. Been many years since I have been on a trip by myself & must admit I would find that more difficult & challenging now. Kelly is the one who has the patience to figure things out like tv remotes, computer problems, automated gas pumps, minor repairs, etc, We actually work fairly well as a team but I have to give Kelly all the credit. Putting up with my ups & downs, mood swings, grouching, complaining, & impatience is no easy matter for anyone,not even me. If I traveled alone I would be at total peace with myself one minute & then totally at war with myself the next, Isn’t it just one big pain in the ass having to be a humanoid!!!!!

    • Al, you guys are both such sweethearts I’m pretty sure I could tag along if you let me! You are a great team…Kelly takes care of business but you do most of the driving, right? Man, it must be expensive to fill up your rig though!

      Yes I have the same mercurial personality. I understand the love/hate relationship we have with ourselves too well. Damn wiring!

  7. Can’t decide if the narrative is a comedy or drama 🙂

  8. Listen, you have a talent of making even the most miserable situation incredibly funny. You’re so unbelievably observant as to the human condition and can somehow poke fun at it, whether you mean to or not. It sounds to me as if you’d be a riot to travel with.

    And I cannot agree with you more about the American obsession with showers. For me its the opposite problem the shower head is usually pointing at my chest and I have to bend down to get under the shower head. I love a deep, large cast iron bath tub where you can soak and let your troubles float away. And that’s exactly what we have in our house.

    • Hi Bill, thanks, but I think J would disagree…he’d say I could start a riot!

      I sure do miss those cast iron bathtubs, I grew up with one. A ‘shower’ was one of those obsolete rubber hoses that slid onto the faucet, they wouldn’t work now even if you could find one because faucets aren’t round anymore, they’re square. I think modern showers waste way more water, too.

      The bathtub I have now has a stupid overflow valve thingy that is set halfway down the tub, so you can’t even fill it. I guess we’re all too stupid to fill a tub responsibly without passing out or forgetting to shut the water off. Makes it impossible to submerge all my body parts! But it sure beats a shower stall.

  9. I love travel, and have been blessed with wonderful traveling companions. Hurricane evacuations don’t count. I never could tell if it was Mom or my cat that was doing the yowling.

    But I’ve done a good bit of traveling by myself, too, and love it. The car’s my preference, since I can change directions on a dime and stop when I want. I’m not sure I’d be quite so easy-going today about where I go – things were different 20 years ago, no matter what anyone says. Still, there’s nothing like big sky and an open road, rolled down windows and a little road music to make me happy. Truth to tell, when I hit the road, I don’t give a flip where I’m headed. “Out there” is a pretty good destination.

    • Hi Linda, my most fun travels were in the ’70s with my childhood soulmate Libby. Wanna go to Mardi Gras? Stuff like that. Never, ever a fight or harsh word passed between us. I totally agree things were different then. For one thing gas was cheap and the car was big enough for two girls to sleep in…and life was safer. Fewer people.

      I know what you mean about it not mattering where you go, it’s all part of the adventure. As long as you can survive your companion!

  10. Reading this post reminds me of why I travel alone, even though I get lonely!

  11. Hi Martha, I know what you mean but talking with strangers is so much fun! Most people are more than happy to answer your questions, commiserate, or joke around, don’t you think? The best part is they don’t get back in the car with you and make you wait to pee!

  12. I’ve mostly traveled alone and prefer it that way, so far. I have friends I will travel with and more I won’t. Still love them, but….. I’d much rather journey with the 5er in tow than hotel it.

  13. I’ve got to agree with you, travelling with people can be a real drag. Like you said, you can talk to strangers and if they aren’t your kinda people, on to the next! I’ve found that travelling with family can also be a pain in the ass, and with girlfriends. Solo, solo, solo.

  14. Love your post You’re 100% right! Solo all the way and that’s how I roll…

  15. Hilarious…you have a real talent of telling your story. This reminds me of some of my own, never being one to leave out any details. It makes a story come alive..love that, unfortunately it drives my family crazy. :). Looking forward to reading more.

  16. I just got back from a family vacation that went from Saturday until yesterday (it was supposed to go until Sunday). As the 20 year-old college student home for the summer, I’d been getting tired of being around my family (particularly my 14 year-old brother) all summer, then we were in the car and in hotels together for quite a few days. Let’s just say I wasn’t home most of today…

  17. My wife would certainly agree 😉

  18. This definetely made me laugh 🙂
    Do you mind checking out my blog, its new and your opinion would mean the world to me !
    Thanks and love the posts !!

    • I highly doubt my opinion would ‘mean the world to you’ as I see you have made this exact same comment on every Freshly Pressed post in the past two days, including a very serious political post. Shame on you, missy. Do the work.

  19. nice one… enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  20. Tell me about it – its never a good sign when you want to send your travelling companion on a one way trip to Mars. And that’s before you have even backed the car out of the driveway. The worst backpackers i ever did time in was in northern Queensland, where the sheets had not been changed and cocroaches were scuttling aross the bed all night. Needless to say one night was enough. Thanks for the laughter!

    • As a matter of fact it did start in the driveway. Haven’t had to deal with cockroaches but I’m always on the alert for bedbugs, which seem to have become an epidemic in the US.

  21. I really enjoyed your post, especially the part about men always wanting sex in those crappy motel rooms, LOL. Our family of four just returned from vacationing in Nebraska for 5 days, and I blogged about it too. If you have a moment, you might wonder over to mine, I think I can guarantee a laugh or two. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it very much!

  22. I’ve travelled and stayed in a hotel room with my mother in law. Twice. Needless to say, there were many issues. I LOVE traveling by myself and have done it quite often the past year for some concerts. I love it!

  23. Oh wow, what a journey! Glad you laughed your way through that…your post made me laugh! Thanks!

  24. Ha, that was a funny read, probably because I can relate to a lot of it.
    I love my wife to bits but the thought of her wanting to join me on my annual hill-walking trip to Scotland fills me with dread.
    I have obviously watched too many USA road-trip movies, I always thought a trip along Route 66 would be fantastic, not so sure now, unless I went on my own of course.
    Thanks for sharing.

  25. Why does it bother me?

    Loved this post. Just why are some motels / hotels so disgusting? And if they do have a working TV, why do they only have sports channels?

  26. I haven’t laughed so hard for so long and yes, that laughter had everything to do with “I can relate”. Traveling with my husband was just as frustrating. But now I’m single and have been traveling with a good friend of mine. No problem. Maybe the issue is a male/ female relational dilemma?

  27. I find your humor very entertaining and interesting! 😀 I haven’t yet traveled alone but I wish I could try that someday. This post made me think for proper preparations and saving before leaving the town. 😉 I hope you’re alright now!

    • We don’t make enough money to save a freakin’ dime. It’s impossible to make a living where we live. But yeah, being able to pay for it would have certainly lessened the angst!

  28. Reading your article, I laughed so much that I cried. Many thanks! Will pass this onto my Mum, she’ll appreciate it.

  29. pee now, not later! true. i’d do whatever it takes to relieve myself, even if it’s on the road side. 🙂 great post.

    • And now means NOW! Why is it that in movies travelers always get into trouble because the wussy girls have to find a restroom, even though it might be the worst in the world?

      • maybe because the screenwriter is a guy? 😛 they need excuse to get travelers into trouble.

        • I think of this every time. I hate TV but love movies (after reading your blog I know you’ll get this: it’s the only damn time I can sleep. Sometimes it takes a couple nights to get through a movie but at least I get in some good naps.) And I always think, if the little priss would just go on the side of the road, they never would’ve had to stop at the creepy bayou general store or desolate psycho lodge or whatever, and THERE WOULD BE NO MOVIE. But can’t they do better than making women into spoiled brats for a plot? The college girl with half her chest hanging out of a low-cut shirt, with her boyfriend or another boorish couple, and the girls won’t pee behind a tree? aarrggg!

          • Exactly! I like to think it’s safer to do my business on the roadside than to knock on some psycho’s lair. For so many reasons, I can’t seem to take on why the girls must be a spoiled brat rather than a decent dressed traveler. Point aside, I wonder if there’s any movie showing a guy in search of a toilet to do ‘big business’ (since it would be weird if guy searched for a toilet to leak when they can do it standing by the road side)? See how it goes with a guy being a spoiled brat than us girls. 😛

  30. TheOriginalBURP

    Totally agree, being together with people you normally love dearly on a trip is hell. I especially hate when I’m walking in the mall or somewhere and see something interesting but nobody else wants to stop. That completely drives me nuts.

  31. HA! That was a good read. I know how you feel. I love traveling alone as I like my own pace, without the worry of what your companion is thinking, doing or has he/she been left behind.

  32. nice one 🙂 the toughest test for a relationship is a couple of weeks on the road together…especially if you’re on a shoe string budget 🙂 I enjoy traveling alone…wish more people appreciated that outlook!

  33. Travelling solo costs more, but you get to meet so many other people – not always a good thing, but travel is travel. If you’re a female on your own you often draw out the best in others who offer to help or just to pass the time, whereas if you’re with another, you get ignored. Much is made of the dangers of women travelling. I think the statistics are more against men.

    • I think it’s cheaper to travel alone, you really save on junk food! I agree it’s fun to travel alone as a female. I’m never afraid to ask questions or strike up a conversation with a stranger, and other lone females are quite friendly. Just be aware of what’s going on around you at all times and trust your intuition!

  34. ‘Do you want a plunger!’. You HAD to have made that up!!! I can identify with almost all of this.

  35. I love to travel alone and as I get older I am more excited about engaging with the locals. You captured the agony very vividly. When I want to get away – I want to get away from everything and everyone that is a part of my everyday, because believe me – it will all be here when I get back. Great post! Looking forward to following you!

    • Thanks. Not only is your trip more fulfilling alone, but it wasn’t easy finding a reliable petsitter, and you always worry about leaving your home unattended—especially where I live. I had a petsitter lined up a month before the trip and she blew me off at the last minute. More “service industry” BS!

  36. Ok, you need to go on a bike trip with a partner. That can test the strength of partnership/love. (Mine has survived several.) Setting up tent, stuff after cycling day after day for 60-100 kms. per day.

    Then decamping the next morning and climbing back onto bike saddle…

    I negotiate half of the trip for at least hotel/b ‘n b’s. And we were often lucky with booking just previous day or same day to get a lovely place with breakfast.

    Now we don’t do bike trips with camping anymore..it’s brick ‘n mortar places to stay. Just natural aging for us. 🙂

  37. Oh my gosh, I totally loved your post. It’s so funny, fresh, and authentic. To say the truth, I never really thought about how going on a trip with a loved one would be a burden…but now that I think about it, it’s actually kind of true. Thing is that, if you truly love each other’s company, you should go through those obstacles just fine. But if you’re with the wrong person, trust me, you’ll be getting annoyed at almost everything in a matter of seconds. But then again, you don’t choose who you love, even if it’s that ‘pig’ that throws his clothes on the floor and wakes up horny in the middle of the night…in a shitty motel. Cheers.

  38. Very funny post. However, while I was reading, I couldn’t help but think how many people would be envious of being able to travel at all. Some people would give anything to be in a run-down, broken motel with a crappy shower system. I think travelling is one of those areas that those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to, find fault within it.

  39. None of my trips had ever sounded this bad… lol. But thank you for sharing! I guess it can always get worse?

  40. When I traveled through Europe, it was mostly me and this one other girl. At times I would lose my patience and accidentally snap at her, but of course she was too sweet to do anything but be nice back to me (which made me feel worse). It was so difficult keeping track of each other when we both like to wander — and didn’t have a way to communicate (no phones). I prefer traveling alone — to an extent. I like being on my own schedule, seeing what I want, not having to compromise or give something up or do something I don’t want to.

    • Yes, this has happened to me many times…I get distracted by something and look up and can’t find my companion. It even happens at the grocery store. And the fact that we now have cell phones only works when you remember to carry them!

  41. Great post! I think I’ll refer a few people to this.

    I generally travel alone these days, and I really enjoy it. I get to spend all my time at things I want to see and I don’t have to explain to anyone else why I do/don’t want to go someplace. The only problem is explaining to people before and after the trip that, yes I really do like travelling by myself, no I do not get lonely, and most especially, I certainly do not want to take a tour or cruise for “companionship”!

  42. I love this, I just wish I’d thought of writing this myself 🙂 Now following you

    Fenya.

  43. Ugh, the horror, the horror. I hear ya loud and clear but the whole travelling thing with someone is fraught with traps. The trials of travelling can wear on the nerves regardless of the strength of the relationship. Its almost always ends, “well it seemed like good thing to do at that time -romantic, a shared adventure” -blah blah blah. Sleep deprivation, traffic nightmares, getting lost, hotels with crime scene tape, bad food, saying yes when would rather say a emphatic ‘No!’ etc etc etc but car trip’n wears me down -hours upon hours of driving -towns, people, landscapes whizzing by, all just blur at the end of the day. Ya just wanna scream “slow this dog and pony show down am getting off”. Plus, when get surrounded by let’s say 10 or 20 million people I get freaked out, though downtown big cities I find more interesting and less taxing. Traffic gridlocks and inconsiderate drivers I detest…..no comment on the sex thing, but frankly if that is the scenario one faces I’d probably stayed outside and watched the weirdos pass -every location has them.

    Great post, glad you got outta Dodge again. And you made it back safe and sound.

    I just returned from a week of camping and hiking with Elvira in northern Ontario. Sleeping in a tent with a wet dog, camp fires and a day-long rain was the best….can’t beat the coffee every morning and Elvira doesn’t say much.

  44. Hudson, glad you’re back too. You know how I worry. Great to hear some Elvira news too. Dogs are the best co-pilots ever. They don’t just not complain about stopping, they encourage it…all new sniffs every time.

    I don’t think I’ve ever driven through a more stressful area than Los Angeles. People are crazy, a thousand times worse than Arizona. Six lanes of utter madness. I’m so glad I did it just for the experience though. We were just trying to get through it in search of some trees, so it was a necessary evil. It wasn’t meant to be a romantic trip and it sure wasn’t—it was more like, if I don’t get myself to a forest soon I’m going to implode from within! After LA heading north it was 500 miles of the worst drought-infected, depressing, desolate landscape I’ve ever seen. Makes Arizona look like a wonderland—at least the desert is alive with life.

    How are Canadian drivers ranked on the world scale? I’ve only been to Canada twice but both times were beautiful.

    • Elvira is a real snooze when travelling. When the engine starts she’s down, either chill’n to the tunes, asleep or dog zen’ing till the engine stops, be it for hours or just 2 minutes, then up she pops. You’re right, a new place is a trillion new smells to process and file away. Elvira being a people pooch, new locations mean new meet and greets and she do loves to hear ‘auck whatta good doggie’ comments. Wonder if there is such a thing as a ‘wag’ meter for the tail?

      I did a 16km hike one day, she led the way the entire time. That nose just follows the last person who did the same route (not many did, as we met no one on the longer trails). Only got off course a few times, mostly due to the previous trekker taking a side trip to take a picture or wander to something of interest or on a pee break. To say the least, the two of us had a blast. I hear you when say ‘you had the need to see trees’. And the few people standing among them the better for me. I guess I did not realize parts of California are that bad. One only hears of the fancy shmancy locales. Still and despite all—it was an adventure none the less for you—and part of experiencing life is to the experience the good the bad and the ugly. But when you’re whizzing by at eighty miles an hour it all looks ugly don’t you find, and when something of interest does present itself there is always that lingering schedule of being somewhere by day’s end.

      As the Gladys Knight & The Pips song goes, ‘L A proved too much for the man [He couldn’t make it]’ would be me. I have never been but there is no way I could take the traffic. Well I probably could just once and then to have something to complain about later. Have you ever noticed or had the feeling that in high traffic areas that many appear to be ‘hell bent on getting nowhere particular in a hurry’ or is just me?

      I not so sure Canadians are all that better drivers per say then stateside—perhaps a tad more conscientious and in less of hurry—we definitely kick butt in winter. And no not all drive big honk’n 4 wheel trucks—front wheel drive with good tires will do the job safely. On a global scale I think we’re good drivers. Cities are Cities and with city-driving people the odds are stacked that there will be that one SOB who will PO you. But you can count on one hand the number of major cities in Canada, after that there are smaller cities which really are a walk in the park driving wise. In comparison, Canada’s entire population is relatively close to that California, so it’s easy to understand why someone for example who has lived in the province of Saskatchewan all their lives might have a coronary upon visiting Toronto or Montreal for the first time—am sure that same person would think suicide if visiting LA.

      • Hudson, that’s called a ‘wagometer’. Rhymes with ‘odometer.’

        Holy cow—had to look up km-to-miles converter, you and E hiked 10 miles? Well just think if you ever got lost by yourself, all they’d have to do is send E out to find you.

        What does “PO” mean? The worst thing about winter in the states is that people don’t slow down in bad weather. Every day it snows there’s some terrible smashup.

        • It would never happen, I could not go out an about without her. I even thought with hiking if I go down she probably would even leave me. The silly things one thinks about.

          PO -pissed off

  45. What makes me sick...

    Oh man! I just can’t wait to go on my next road trip! I will have to pick my victim carefully. You’re right, when you’re at home you can do what you want, go to bed when you want, pee when you want, eat whatever and whenever you want. Come to think of it, I think I’ll go on my next trip by myself…I’m fun 😉

  46. Wowee, I come back here to read this again and try to remember what I wanted to comment when I read it the first time… and 94 comments?
    Did you get Freshly Pressed again? Awesome. 🙂
    You SO need a column somewhere…

    • Hi Kay…I’m sawwy yes I did. Pages and pages of spam and about 50 other self-serving comments I won’t approve! Linkbacks I look for and can’t find, the websites seem to be nonexistent, but yet there they are on my comments page. I’m so terrible at marketing…help me and get free editing? I looked into self-publishing, a little, wow it sounds like such an ordeal. Have you researched it further? Hey everybody editor for hire…

      • Can’t help you there. Wish I could. The complexity of self-publishing varies depending on what you want as a finished product. It’s relatively easy if you just want your stuff out there, but pretty complicated (and expensive and time consuming) if you want something that could be mistaken for a traditionally published book.

        I’ve researched it too much. I have a very basic game plan if I decide to do it. But instead of proceed, I rewrote my chapter 1 and found a bunch of new agents to query. LOL

        There has to be a way for you to market yourself to people who want to self-publish. It’s a whole new market that didn’t exist a few years ago… and whether they like it or not, self-published books *should* be edited before they start asking people to buy them.

  47. Nothing like having a traveling companion to really strongly solidify your own personal preferences. Why is there no such thing as common sense; the mystery being the “common” part?
    I empathized with this whole post. Maybe one day you can look back on it as a memory.

  48. Hi Debra, I was planning a vacation with extended family when I came across your post, a couple of days back. The excitement has fizzled out since then, for pretty much the same reasons you have described. We haven’t even gotten together yet to drive each other nuts. The plan fizzled out while just discussing it on the phone! I have been contemplating going on my own since last year but haven’t gathered the courage yet. New beginnings can be tough at 35, I guess.

    • No, please don’t think that age has anything to do with it. I made a new beginning at age 55 when I spent 3-1/2 months backpacking solo on the Appalachian Trail. I made a new beginning at age 60 when I moved to Ireland alone, staying 3 years. At age 68 I sold my house in the US and bought a 5th wheel RV to live and travel in, alone. Now in my early 70’s I’m still traveling by car, alone, from one coast to the other every year and lots of places in between, plus solo tent camping every chance I get. You can start at any age. I get lonely and wish I had a partner to travel with, but for all the reasons given in this blog post and the comments, I’m much better off alone.

  49. yes to the peeing thing. i’m the same way.

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