Saturday, March 29, 2014

Have you ever taken a trip by yourself? Do you prefer to travel with people or alone?

I moved to France on my own and surprisingly wasn’t afraid. Maybe I was just too stupid or naïve to be afraid. About 6 or 7 months into living there, I was jogging alone on an isolated dirt path that I ran on every day and it dawned on me that I was alone. My family was across the ocean and unable to help me if I needed it. That’s when I got scared.

I don’t travel anymore, but if I did, I would prefer to travel with other people. There are just too many crazies out there and they all seem to gravitate toward me if I’m alone.

When traveling with other people, though, you need to get along with that person really well. Traveling can ruin a friendship. I’ve heard about it many times. One person will want to visit a particular place and the other might not want to. Or one person gets up late and you miss your tour group or bus or train or whatever. Arguments and resentments arise. Next thing you know, you’re traveling separately. You have to share living spaces with another person and it’s like having to learn to live with a new roommate. It can be tough.

But, there is safety in numbers so I think it’s wise to travel with a friend. You need someone to watch your stuff or hold your place in line or train compartment and the like while you go to the restroom or wherever you need to go.

Plus, there are creepy guys that tend to prey on lone women travelers. They’re like leeches that you can’t get shake. You need a friend who can back you up if you need it.

When I was in New York, a guy was following me on his bicycle. My friend turned around and told him off. Lol

In Paris, a weird lady tried to touch my face. I saw her coming and moved away. She missed me and ended up touching my friend’s hair. My friend made a huge scene. She was yelling at the lady in her broken French. It was frightening and funny at the same time. People were watching us and laughing. We escaped on the train. Before the train took off, a guy came up to the window and kissed the glass right next to my friend’s face. She squealed in fright. N’importe quoi!

It was my fault for smiling at the lady and saying, “Bonjour” to her in politeness when I saw her staring at me. That’s when she came after me. My friend wasn’t even paying attention. She was looking the other way and was taken by surprise when the lady touched her. I confessed what I did and got a scolding from my friend not to be friendly to strangers. I swear the lady looked totally normal. She looked like the church lady from Saturday Night Live with cat-eye-glasses and a nice long coat. Like a librarian or something. I didn’t know she was going to be crazy.

Lesson: Don’t act Californian in France.

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