Your mail and missives: this issue, venting against oversharing travellers, loving gorillas and sunrises, and counting the cost of solo adventures…
In our mailbag: why certain travellers are better off keeping their opinions to themselves, celebrating the joys of gorillas and desert sunrises, counting the costs of solo travel and much, much more...
★ STAR LETTER ★ Mountain magic
I’ve just returned from my first trip to Nepal, a fantastic trek around the Annapurna Circuit. As predicted, the locals were truly welcoming, the scenery was outstanding and the trekking suitably challenging. However, I have a minor gripe.
On several occasions we met trekkers who, while ostensibly enjoying their trip, were keen to tell us how things had changed since they last completed the walk 20 or 30 years ago. For them, the sense of isolation had been lost, the teahouses were too varied in their menus and the path too easy to follow.
I’ve come across downbeat attitudes before on similar excursions to hard-to-reach places. But, as a ‘Nepal newbie’ who had nothing to compare my trek against, I was loving life and really didn’t need anything to spoil my sense of achievement.
So, I’d like to offer a gentle reminder to us all, when we’re abroad and talking to other travellers, which most of us thoroughly enjoy doing: please remember to tone down any historical comparisons. For many travellers, trips such as mine are a once-in-a-lifetime experience and really need to be savoured and enjoyed to the full. Cliff Parrott, via email
A special moment
We travelled around Namibia in November 2017 on a smallgroup tour. We woke early to get to the dunes of Sossusvlei, in the Namib desert, to catch sunrise. As the sun rose, the sands were lit by a soft golden light, giving it a slightly eerie appearance. It really was a beautiful sight.
We then climbed to the top of one of the dunes – not the easiest of walking – and were rewarded by a wonderful view from the top, followed by a picnic breakfast prepared by our guide. A special way to start any day. Hazel Wright, via email
Greetings to you at Wanderlust! Your magazine has inspired me so much that, after being let down by my boyfriend, I decided a solo trip from Ireland to Costa Rica – as featured recently [ Feb 2018, issue 183] – was needed.
It was beautiful, even if I nearly gave myself a heart attack while running for my camera when the top of Mount Arenal became visible. But I want to offer up an idea. I have read countless issues but I would love an article on accommodation around the world (not just resorts) for solo travellers. After travelling on my own, I now realise that single payment can makes trips very expensive, and resorts can be lonely for a solo traveller.
Helen Collins, Ireland
[ Ed. Thanks for your letter, Helen. We’ve covered solo travel a lot over the years, especially group tours and the tyranny of the single supplement. Trips that avoid such fees (and include accommodation) are one way to bring costs down. For more tips, visit ‘The Wanderlust guide to the best of solo travel’ online, and happy solo travelling!]