It’s an annoying question. Well, not the question itself but what the question represents and the assumption it comes along with.
Who are you going with?
Maybe it’s a generational thing, I don’t know.
When it came up in conversation with my Dad today that I was going on holiday next week, that same old question cropped up.
I hate that question. My answer to this question is almost always:
But that’s not the reason I hate it. Even when I went away for a weekend break with my ex girlfriend, I hated this question. Why does it matter who I’m going with? Does it make any difference if I’m going alone?
I often get sympathy filled responses, or tilted heads looking sorry for me as if to say, “oh well, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that!” I know! Who said there was??!!
When I am able to say I’m going away with friends or with a girlfriend, it’s not like I jump for joy at being able to answer this question with a response other than “no one”.
It’s like I feel under pressure when the question is asked. If you want to know who I’m going with then at least phrase it differently. If I was going with someone else, I would tell you, okay? Obviously.
So, today when I answered my Dad and said “no one”, there was a pause and then an “uh huh”, but I can tell he’s disappointed, and can’t understand what they hell is wrong with me. He doesn’t understand and he never will.
I’m convinced he sees travelling solo as a sad, depressing, lonely existence and just as something that only people do who have failed at life and human interaction.
I’ve been on loads of solo trips, some lasting months, others just a couple days. I’m used to it now. I’m used to eating alone. Being that guy standing alone at the bar. It’s not always like that, of course, but sometimes you get times like that as a solo traveller.
But people don’t get it. I know a girl, 27-years-old, never left the country on her own. If would be massively hypocritical of me to have a dig at her for that, but I couldn’t live like that.
She can only go on holiday if her Mum(!) agrees to go with her, or she can persuade a friend or two to tag along. I couldn’t live a life of such restriction, especially when it comes to travel.
But, just as people look at me funny when I answer that question with “no one”, I’d want to do the same if someone replied with “anyone I can persuade to come”.
I suppose it could be that I’m being too overly sensitive about this and that it’s my own problem. Maybe it’s a normal question to ask.
Or maybe, just maybe, it touches a nerve because for the billionth time, I’m having to say those two little words again and then think of a way to fill that awkward silence that follows.