This is not the ark

A friend and I were venting about the affront of being asked as single travellers to either pay a whopping single supplement* or bunk up with a complete stranger that the tour company offers to find. The incredible thing is solo travellers accept this treatment.

It struck me how much society is biased against single people and how bought in to this bias single people are. Please note that I use the term “single” to mean both unmarried people and people out in public on their own.

Here’s a quick list of common activities many people are uncomfortable doing solo: Image

  • Eating in a restaurant
  • Going to a movie, concert, gallery etc.
  • Travelling
  • Attending a wedding or other social event
  • Having a drink in a bar.

It is fun to share experiences with others, but it’s also fun, or sometimes just necessary, to get out on your own.

To not live your life and do the things you want to because you are “just one” is cruelly self-limiting. To let society or business dictate what you are allowed to do and enjoy as one person is egregious.

This is not the ark. We do not need to go forth two by two. We are whole just as we are. We don’t need an “other half” or ~eesh~ a “better half.” And we certainly don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to be in public and do whatever we like on our own.

In Europe and North America there are now more single people (and single-person households) than married/partnered people. The world is seeing a social and economic shift. We can all help speed up that shift and make the world a more inclusive place for everyONE by venturing out solo (but en masse!) and claiming our space in the world.

*Single supplement. Isn’t that an interesting term? What’s actually getting supplemented isn’t the single traveller’s vacation experience but the travel industry’s coffers.

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2 thoughts on “This is not the ark

  1. Hi Audrey! I loved this article 😉 A friend of mine and I were having a great in-depth discussion about this very thing. We also thought we – as singletons we’re getting the shaft on our income tax returns too! Why do married people get tax breaks? We thought that most two income households would have more money than a singleton household-why don’t we get any kind of breaks for being single? Caps on rental units also… we were feeling very sorry for ourselves…almost like we were being penalized for being single ;P…even at the grocery store, if you buy in family econo size you save money but if you just want a single serving you pay a premium price….like Diane Lane in the movie “Must Love Dogs” we too don’t want a bunch of chicken laying around! lol I couldn’t agree more with your comment “To not live your life and do the things you want to because you are “just one” is cruelly self-limiting. To let society or business dictate what you are allowed to do and enjoy as one person is egregious.” now to just convince myself that it is OKAY to dine out alone without feeling totally self-conscious and awkward. Thanks for a great read!
    Thea

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    • Thea, give it a go! Try with a breakfast out to start and see if you don’t love the freedom of playing by your own rules. I do believe that the sooner singletons start respecting their status, not buying into the pervasive mythology and ask for what is rightfully theirs as whole people, the sooner there will be positive changes. I’d love to hear if you give this dine-alone or some other solo activity a go. 🙂

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