For Me, Solo Travel Doesn’t Mean Traveling Alone
by Lorraine Sarra, 6-time traveler from Bridgewater, New Jersey
One of my favorite parts about cruising is that there is a pleasant mix of experiences. One minute, you can just be sitting and watching the scenery go by, and the next you can be enjoying a land tour in a very interesting place.
So that’s one reason I really enjoyed my The Rivieras: France, Italy & the Isles trip with Grand Circle. The countryside was absolutely beautiful. The isle of Elba and the cities of Lucca and St.-Paul-de-Vence were also outstanding to visit, and I found our time at the Carrara marble quarries surreal. I also really enjoyed going to Monaco to see how the “other half” live. I kept telling people I was there to pick out my castle!
I always enjoy going to places like these, especially because I am a fan of historical novels. I get a chance to walk around and see so many of these old places that have been featured in books that I’ve read. You get to match up what was in your imagination with what the place actually looks like—it’s really a thrill.
As is usually the case on Grand Circle trips, the staff was excellent. My Trip Leader was very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. Grand Circle seems to choose them well—they really know their stuff. The captain and the crew of the Arethusa were always available and extremely friendly.
I traveled solo to the Rivieras, even though I generally go on trips like this with my brother and sister-in-law. During my trips with them, however, I’ve met so many people—and because I like to have fun (or, as I usually put it, I’m a “nut job!”), I’ve actually made many friends over my time traveling with Grand Circle.
So when my usual travel partners aren’t able to take a trip with me, I now have new buddies whom I know will be open to the idea. Although I went on the Rivieras trip solo, I knew that some friends from Boston would be on the trip. That’s one of the advantages of being a regular traveler with Grand Circle—you make connections with travelers who have a similar mindset. So, even though I was a solo traveler, I knew I had some friends on board.
My advice to any prospective solo travelers out there: you shouldn’t be afraid. You’re always with the group, so you never feel alone. The friendships that you form only add to what is a really great experience and, who knows, you may even meet some friends that you will travel with in the future.