Going Solo – The Cons of Senior Single Travel and Sharing.

Our guest post is by Sandra Frank, your fellow New Young Travel reader, who has been travelling solo as a senior for many years.

What are the risks?

I have just returned from a 28 day tour of China’s Silk Road with a major Australian/International company and I went “single, willing to share”.

My allocated room-mate was a couple of years younger than I and had travelled extensively in her younger days, backpacking to Europe and around for over four years. I had retired from a government client service position and she was a social worker before retiring so I thought we would have some things in common.

But unfortunately I soon discovered that she was not “willing to share”. She wanted to share – and smoke – never an option.

I was not permitted to have any lights on at night- not even the night light if there was one available – I was told that if I had a light on then she would smoke; the curtains had to be fully closed; no windows open; air conditioning – if working (and many did not) set on 25c or higher.

If I wanted to read, she would put the television on, and many times I was blasted with abusive and foul language.

One night she removed the “key card” that controlled the electricity and so I had no light for the bathroom; another time she gave my bed two heavy thumps during the night and woke me up.

When I mentioned some of the above incidents to the National guide, he dismissed them as just some of the things that go with the “willing to share” option, but in this case there was no willingness to share, just selfishness and bullying.

Of course, I could have paid the extra for the single supplement, but that would have meant that she had won – at no cost to her.

I have shared many, many times on tour (Europe three tours – 31 nights, 16 nights and 12 nights, Tahiti – 14 nights, Bali – 10 nights; Egypt – 14 nights; China – 22 nights and Taiwan – 14 nights) and this is the first time I have encountered such an inconsiderate, uncompromising person.

Maybe it is time that the companies that offer the “single willing to share” option have a compatibility type questionnaire for the applicants to complete.

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