G Adventures Sees Major Increase In Solo Travellers
Canadian Jodi Ettenberg, lawyer turned world traveller, speaks to her experiences as a solo traveller & how group travel can make it easier
02-14-2014 By: Terrilyn Kunopaski
But I'll be the first one to say it – there's really nothing wrong with being alone.
In fact, flying solo is becoming somewhat of a trend.
G Adventures is reporting a 134 per cent increase in single travellers since 2008 – a demographic that represents 40 per cent of its guests. Further, 65 per cent of these are women – a number that has multiplied nearly one-and-a-half times in the past six years.
Jodi Ettenberg is one of them, and has been making her way around the world since quitting her job as a New York City lawyer in 2008. She has since been blogging and sharing her travel experiences via her website, legalnomads.com, not to mention social media platforms.
"While I quit my job and left New York with a friend who was also looking to travel the world, we went our separate ways after two-and-a-half months when she headed to India and I moved on to Russia and Siberia," she tells THN. "Since, I've been travelling solo, but have also met great friends who I have travelled with and stayed in touch with."
Ettenberg admits it's not always the most glamorous experience, pointing to "exhaustion and frustration when you are sick and also alone" as the biggest challenge as a solo traveller.
"It's one thing to be sick in a foreign place, but it's even more compounded when you feel like you have a tough time making decisions about how to get better and no one is there to guide you," she says.
"This was my biggest fear before I set off: How would I deal with getting sick on the road?"
But, she admits, technology has helped, as she stays in touch with family and relies on friends who are doctors to confirm or deny what treatments she's been given along the way.
"It's not fail-safe, and it's still often quite frightening to be in a hospital in a far-away place, but happily I can nonetheless stay in touch in ways I could not have done only a few years prior."
She says group travel is another beneficial option for solo travellers to consider, thanks to the benefit of tour leaders, "To answer questions, to show you the ropes about cultural etiquette and potential faux pas, and to deal with the logistics of getting in and out of a place when jetlagged."
"For those with the time, it's also rewarding to stay on after and continue your travels alone," she adds.
"The times I have opted for organized tours are in order to get comfortable in a place first, and then continue on alone. I did this in India recently on a G Adventures trip, where I stayed on in Delhi once it was over and I was already familiar with the country."
Since embarking on this life adventure, Ettenberg has visited more than 60 countries.
One thing we can learn? Travelling alone doesn't need to mean travelling lonely.
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