Saturday, 22 October 2016

Travelling Alone


Rachel has impressed me.
The thought of travelling alone  around a vast country like Russia, would have filled me with paralysing  dread.  even the thought of it has me sweating like a Hooker in church! So the fact that she is presently crossing the frozen wastes by train in nothing but a fur hat and the faint smell of vodka fills me with awe.
I couldn't do it.

I have only been away by myself once.
Years ago, after one of several messy break ups with a psycho boyfriend, I took myself off into Sheffield city centre in order to buy a vacuum cleaner. ( like you do) I ended up buying a cheap ticket to Seattle and just a few days later, I took myself off to the city of fish, clouds, rain and frazier without really knowing just why I was going.

It did me good for Seattle is a friendly city.
I mooched around the harbour and the antique shops, drank copious amounts of coffee, had a wet and rather eerie trip on the Puget Sound Ferry and visited the cinema time and time and time again.
I talked to people daily, had a chance encounter with a Japanese/American lesbian called Hisoka who gave me a gift of Alan Bennett's book " Talking Heads" and I recharged my somewhat frayed psychi which had been battered somewhat by a relationship that was in essence ....shit.

70 comments:

  1. I think of Seattle not as the home of Frazier but of Greys Anatomy. Have you heard of Mc Dreamy?

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    1. and Mc Steamy

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    2. The hospital where they did the indoor filming? It's a VA hospital in LA.

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    3. He is dreamy but not quite that fit in the new Bridget Jones

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    4. Oh bollocks! Was gonna watch that soon.

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    5. Grays Anatomy "jumped the shark" for me when a doctor got impaled by an icicle in her chest and dang if that icicle lasted an whole episode and had to be removed in surgery. What? Icicles don't melt in Seattle?

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  2. I travelled to Corfu in '79 for a week's holiday on my own when I should have been studying for my State finals. Nowadays I don't even go to the Post Office unaccompanied.

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  3. seattle is in a parallel band from the rest of the US; no other city is quite like it.

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    1. How do you describe it?

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  4. When I was about 25, I went to Egypt on my own. You think Russia is scary! I have never had so many propositions for sex from so many men all in two weeks, and I was physically attacked by Moslem fundamentalists twice. One of them tried to stove my head in with a large rock, and the other one was 6'7" tall, in the middle of a desert.

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    1. Yes Moslem countries are much more difficult. A woman travelling alone in Morocco, for instance, which I have also done, is almost a no no. Never again. Russian men have all been helpful and sharing a berth on the train with 3 on my first night was absolutely fine. One made my bed for me, another fetched tea and the third translated. I enjoy travelling alone and the only hairy bit was yesterday when the train split and one bit went one way and one the other and my luggage remained on board. Anyway it worked out in the end. Intourist got my tickets for me in advance. I am now in Irkutsk having a Saturday night beer. Thanks for thinking of mexxx

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    2. John's latest post is about his husband giving him a wedgie as he bent down in a supermarket. Life goes on here without you. Do you find that reassuring?

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  5. My " flat whites" drank on my own , now look a bit tame

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  6. I am not so sure about traveling across Russia, but I rather enjoy traveling alone. Be brave, and seek the adventure. We can imagine you with a fur hat and a whiff of Vodka in the air.

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    1. Me in Russia? I don't DO grey

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  7. I am also very impressed by Rachel. I get very anxious when out of my " comfort zone".

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  8. I went to Moscow on my own a long time ago when it was very scary. It was an organized trip though, had a courier. When I got to the hotel I found I had to share a room with another female, even though I had booked a single. I crept quietly in one night, not daring to put the light on, thinking she would be asleep in bed. After I had been sleeping for an hour or so, I was woken by the woman who came into the room, turned the light on, and was roaring drunk.

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    1. Oh how awful....I don't DO sharing

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  9. I've travelled alone on many occasions. I rather like the solitude, and being able to see exactly what I want to see.

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  10. I first travelled alone to the Fiji Islands at the age of eighteen. Since then I have been to many places on my own - including Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Norway, Iceland, Chile, Argentina and Easter Island. There are many advantages to travelling on your own but a disadvantage is that nobody was with you to share in those wonderful memories.

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    1. You win YP......you win!

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  11. Gosh you and most of your readers are so much more adventurous than me!!

    The longest I have been away on my own was two weeks in a little rented flat near Garstang, Lancashire ... and I suppose technically I wasn't really alone .... I took the Pug.

    My son is braver, this year he went to Cyprus on his own as he wanted to go abroad on his own whilst still in his twenties, and next year he has booked a holiday to Mexico to celebrate turning 30, so he hasn't inherited my wussy nature thank goodness.

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  12. For twenty years I traveled to various American cities, about forty week ends a year. I drove an extended van, set up my booth and stocked my merchandise, sold it to the public for two or three days, took down the booth, packed the unsolds, put it all back in the van and drove home. I was only frightened once, when two cars tried to block me and force me off the road in the middle of the night. I escaped at an exit and they were going to fast to react. It boils down to, you do what you must, come, go or stay. Rachel is top notch.

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    1. What is your favourite and least fav American city

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  13. I spent some time in Seattle in the 70s ... after living in Los Angeles. It was just cold and wet and grey to me. These days I appreciate it much more, the people are unique.

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  14. I've never traveled alone (and have never been to Seattle). My daughter traveled by herself for the first time this past summer when she went to London. I was impressed by that since she's only 19.

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  15. I LOVE going alone to an unknown new-to-me city and exploring it. Haven't done it for many years though since My Rare One and I have been together. Glad you got rid of that psycho boyfriend. Life is too short to put up with that bullshit.

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  16. I've only travelled alone once. I drove "halfway" across Canada in a tiny little car to where I was going to attend university for a year. So technically, it wasn't a vacation. I think I might rather have a travelling companion so that I would have someone with whom to share the sights and experiences. -Jenn

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  17. I have found "alone time" to be my "recharge."
    So much better than lonely . . .

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  18. The first time I traveled alone was to the Bahamas.....a gift to myself for graduating from university.
    Oh, it was on that trip that I discovered/admitted I was homosexual.

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    1. Jimbo......you can't just stop there....do tell......

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  19. I've found that traveling on my own has allowed me more opportunities to interact with folks who live in the areas I'm visiting. That is the part of traveling that is most interesting.

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  20. I admire people do this! I have never traveled alone but I think I'd enjoy it.

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  21. I always travel alone....I just spent 6 weeks traveling in the midwest and Canada and camping along the way in my van, I met a 73 yo Canadian lady who was on a trip from the East coast of Canada to the West and she too was camping in a van like mine! Such a thrill to be "out there".

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  22. I get migraines where I can't see for about a half hour to an hour, so being "out there" by myself in a strange place with no one to help me fills me with dread too. Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

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    1. Texas is so big.....why move anywhere else?

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  23. Me too. I get absurdly self-conscious and timid if I travel anywhere on my own. Many years ago before I met Jenny I drove up to the Lake District from London for a week's holiday. When I got there, I felt so out of place I drove straight back home again.

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  24. The first time I traveled alone, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I got on my first ever airplane and flew from Wisconsin to Istanbul, where I attended college for a year. It was a great adventure. At Easter that year my new college friend and I traveled where the embassy suggested we not go: Syria, Beirut, Jerusalem and Petra in Jordan. So that was not alone but rather risky and great fun. I admire Rachel and her Russian adventures.

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  25. What was that, 10 years or so ago? You wouldn't recognise seattle now. Amazon and Microsoft have built literally dozens of skyscrapers in just the downtown. Even the area along the sound (puget sound, the water) is vastly different. It's estimated that to live in the city limits of seattle in a 1 bedroom apt one has to make a minimum of 100K per year. And that's just scraping by.
    My youngest, a grad student and barista, has a 1 hour commute by light rail from her apt. to the university.

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  26. I visited Seattle many years ago in winter, from my home in Los Angeles ... I never thought I would be warm again after that week in Seattle in winter lol

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  27. I worked for some celebs when I lived in LA California many years ago. I went to NY on a quick trip with a friend. I met my husband to be .. about 3 days after arriving in NY. I never went back.. friends shipped my belongings to me. I was married to him for 100 years.
    And never went back to LA or Seattle :)

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  28. Rachel is a brave woman.

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    1. Yeael, "brave"? Nah.

      I am in a bind as I can't risk John getting pissed off with me (again). However, let's say - for the sake of argument - I did voice my thoughts: Rachel is not a brave woman. She is someone largely sitting on a train, taking photos which make Russia look like theeeeeeeeeeee most depressing of places ever. What's her purpose? I so wish Putin would take her on horse back.

      U

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    2. Sour grapes Ursula
      It DOES take chutzpah to do what Rachel is doing
      Don't be so pissy

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    3. Sorry, John, it's not "sour grapes". Trust me. I know what I am talking about.

      "Chutzpah"? Ask my mother about her eldest daughter's.

      "Pissy"? Let's assume I know what that means. If I am right, then yes, John, I do have a way of pissing on a parade.

      Wishing Rachel some real adventure,

      U

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    4. Ok I will take you at face value, but I must say that whenever someone blogs a comment which may be taken as " positive" you always seem to counter it with a " negative"
      That upsets me

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  29. John what a spur of the moment thing to do. Why Seattle ?
    I love Seattle the only time I went there. The people are so nice and as a desert person, I loved the weather.
    When I was younger I did travel alone. Not overseas but just in America.
    There is something exhilarating about being on your own and doing what you want.
    I am happy to know you knew when to walk away and take care of yourself.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I have absolutely no idea.....I just saw it advertised

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  30. I enjoyed travelling alone when I was younger but the last trip I did alone two years ago, was too stressful for me. That is why I am also, like you, very impressed with Rachel!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Indeed I am......I am very impressed and rather proud

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  31. Seattle sounds like a good solo-trip place. I've been, but only with another.

    Come to think of it, I've never been too alone while out traveling.

    Traveling through Germany doesn't count, somehow, as I speak enough of the language to not freak out & feel out of sorts.

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    1. I would find travelling alone in a non English speaking country very difficult

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  32. Unfortunately I read "sharing a berth" as " sharing a bath" and thought gosh some people know how to live. I like company and prefer someone with me. I have a tendency for getting lost (since childhood) and shouldnt be let out alone.

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    1. I can cope with flying. It's idiot proof

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  33. My partner is currently wandering across China on his own. Russia and Iran last year.
    The kindness of strangers is very, very real.

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    1. How do you keep in touch ?

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    2. SMS and the very occasional phone call.

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  34. Elephant's Child.. it certainly is very very real. We ( my family and I ) have run into that so many times in so many places.

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    1. Blanche Dubois was certainly right x

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    2. I can remember him being in a Moslem country during Ramadan. The locals couldn't eat or drink, but took him to an outdoor festival and insisted he did. And provided the food and drink they couldn't share.

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  35. So glad Seattle helped you as it is my hometown

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  36. I would be better equipped to travel alone now than I was when I actually did it. I was in my 20s and wouldn't talk to anyone nor would I eat in restaurants. Fast food and lots of time alone. I'm much more social and sociable now but I don't think I'm up to Rachel's level!

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  37. Oh John, .... internet. I lost my whole comment. 😬 I'll be back after while.

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  38. Greetings from Seattle! I'm so glad my city was friendly and that you had a great time. I love it here. :)

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