Some Thoughts on Travelling Solo vs. Travelling with a Partner

When talking with other travelers during my trip, they were most interested in whether I was travelling solo or with someone else. (It was a great relief from DC, where all anyone cares about is who I know.) Most people I would meet at hostels travelled in pairs. It was rare to find anyone travelling with more than one other person. Unsurprisingly, most of the people in the couple of hotels and resorts I stayed at were travelling with partners.

Certainly, there were other solo travelers I came across during my trip. Most of the other travelers I met through couchsurfing experiences were traveling alone. I guess, in the absence of a social partner, we solo travelers go out of our way to meet locals that can be temporary travel partners, along with experts.

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24 October thru 4:57 am

There were only two other people staying the dorm room at Quan’s house, one girl and one guy. They were awake, but watching movies on their respective notebook computers. I did not talk to them that night, but I would learn the next day that the girl was Ukrainian. She had hitchhiked from Kiev to Ho Chi Minh City (avoiding Russia for geopolitical reasons) and was trying to find a job teaching English in the suburbs. She was gorgeous. The next day when I spoke with her, I think she made an effort to sound as unattractive to me as possible: She smoked; had a busted leg; refused to eat meat, dairy, or grain; did not drink; had an unhealthy dislike of Russians; and thought that 9/11 was an inside job.

The guy, I would learn, was Russian. He would play pick up basketball with locals in the city the next morning.

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Nothing Day

23 October

I wished Duy goodbye before he went to work. I would be gone before he returned from work. After some back and forth texting with Phuong, I arranged my schedule to meet her at 3 in the afternoon. I departed Duy’s apartment around noon. As I did, the lunchtime rush to afternoon classes at the University of Economics was in full swing. I had to wait in line to get a banh mi sandwich from a street vendor.

Duy’s place is not the best located place. It is in the city, but whether I wanted to go to the beach or downtown, I would need to either grab a taxi or walk for 30 minutes. I chose to walk, because, at this point, the sun was shining and I thought it would be cool to cross the Han River on foot. While I was in the center of the bridge, I attempted to take a photo of the dragon bridge. Remember, I warned you that I was a terrible photographer.

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