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March 09, 2014


James O'Reilly

Good information that doesn't go out of style. Thanks.


Congratulations on providing valuable tips on solo travel for baby boomers, which can only contribute to making solo travel part of the "mainstream."

But I have to make my perennial comment: Why must any discussion of solo travel in the media, whether print or electronic, be specifically limited to women?

That is, of course, a general comment not directed at you or this blog post. I recognize that Mr. Norton asked for your advice because he was being interviewed for a series specifically for baby boomer women. Regardless, every time I read an article about solo travel by and for women (i.e., every article about solo travel), I feel the same sense of exclusion as when I read an ad that begins with "We have travel bargains for EVERYONE, whether you're a couple or a family!"

That said, I think your blog post already addressed this problem, intentionally or otherwise. The title is "12 tips for solo travelers," rather than "12 tips for women traveling solo" (which is probably what an editor would be obligated to change it to, were it published in a newspaper). And the tips themselves, for the most part, apply to any solo traveler. (I'll even admit that "wander[ing] down the aisles of markets to inspect the different foods and brands in a country" is something I've always enjoyed, as it provides an interesting peek into how local people live. As do the ads in "women's" magazines, by the way.)

There are only two tips that might not apply well to men. First, no man is EVER "apprehensive about setting out"-- unless he is what the former Governator of Kahl-ee-forr-nya called a "girly-man." Second (and seriously), while a man traveling solo should indeed talk to anyone he encounters, he needs to be aware that the people he talks to could be frightened rather than "intrigued," especially in the United States of Fear (a more accurate name for this country in the 21st century).

Do keep up the good work!

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