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Across the Southern U.S. Late March-Late May 2020; Free for Companion

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Old Wednesday 1st January 2020, 20:22   #1
KaylieBeale
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Across the Southern U.S. Late March-Late May 2020; Free for Companion

I have a birding trip planned for late March - late May, starting in South Carolina, traveling down into Florida, including the Florida Keys & Dry Tortugas, then from Florida to southern Texas, to Big Bend NP, and into Arizona, etc. I'm 21 years old and afraid to go alone...would be lonely, too! I've been saving money and am willing pay for everything myself. To cut costs, most nights will be spent in campgrounds in tents. My ideal companion is aged 30 or under..I have no birding friends around my age! That's just an ideal, however. Please recommend me someone if you can't go but know somebody.
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 00:46   #2
BruceBerman
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Hi Kaylie,

That sounds like a GREAT trip. I've birded most of it and you should get some great birds. I totally agree with your caution. Good idea!

I live in southeast Arizona in April and May. If you find someone to travel with and don't mind the company of a 65-year-old, let me know and I'll show you the birds down there. BTW, there's a TERRIFIC book, our bible, for birding in SE AZ. "Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona" compiled by the Tucson Audubon Society, will get you exactly to many of the best spots. Feel free to email me: [email protected]

Last edited by BruceBerman : Tuesday 7th January 2020 at 01:01.
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 21:03   #3
Hamhed
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Hi, Kaylie-
My wife and I are going to be in south Florida in early May, also traveling to the Dry Tortugas. This will be our third visit there, camping the maximum of three nights. We've done a fair amount of birding on the southeast coast on into Florida so if we can help with anything, just say so!

You have a birder's dream of a trip planned and much to think about on these long winter evening.

Steve
Born and raised in Philadelphia, now in western NC
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Old Saturday 11th January 2020, 12:25   #4
pbjosh
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Sounds like a great trip and I'm always the person trying to encourage friends to take gap years, quit jobs, ask for sabbaticals, etc, to take long trips. I quit a job about 8 years ago and a "6 month birding trip" around Mexico turned into years and years and now I'm living in Buenos Aires :)

In the course of these travels I ended up solo travelling for about a year of the trip, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also met a number of solo female travellers. I've met solo women travelling in SE Asia and Africa as well. I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary or to be afraid of, though of course it is a very personal judgement / decision. You might find that after a bit of time travelling you're totally comfortable by yourself.

In any case, best of luck finding a fun travel buddy, and best of luck on the trip!
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Old Wednesday 5th February 2020, 17:12   #5
Arbu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbjosh View Post

In the course of these travels I ended up solo travelling for about a year of the trip, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also met a number of solo female travellers. I've met solo women travelling in SE Asia and Africa as well. I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary or to be afraid of, though of course it is a very personal judgement / decision. You might find that after a bit of time travelling you're totally comfortable by yourself.
Yes, but travelling solo in the States is lonely. Elsewhere you have hostels, mountain huts and campsites (where you put your tent where you want), at all of which it is easy to get talking and meet people. In the States you will probably be getting around by car rather than public transport, so you don't meet people that way. And you will either be staying in motels (where there is no communal space) or hotels where often people are just passing though for business, or at a campsite, where you have a designated spot, divided off from other sites. It's much harder to get talking. I suppose you can do airbandb but still you won't be meeting other travellers.
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Old Sunday 23rd February 2020, 09:12   #6
Arbu
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I was thinking about making a trip to areas of the US close to the border with Mexico. But it strikes me that a lot of the birds that I might look hard for there would be more readily seen in a trip to Mexico, where presumably I would get other birds too. So I'm waiting until the opportunity comes up to go to Mexico.

KaylieBeale, if I were you I would go to Europe instead, assuming you haven't already birded there, which seems likely given your age. You could choose Spain, Greece and maybe Scotland or a Scandinavian country. You could stay in hostels and then meet other people your age. I think you'd have a better time to be honest.
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Old Monday 24th February 2020, 17:47   #7
Swiffly
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This is an interesting thread, made me think back. I was 20 the first time I drove across the US by myself. I wasn't scared to go but I got scared a few times along the way. Camping alone one night it got so bad I packed up at 3 in the morning and just drove until I was comfortable again.

In the 45 years since I've birded all 50 states by myself and made 5 more cross country drives. It can certainly get lonely, I have to agree that Europe is better for meeting people and is generally more sociable. The one area where the US trumps, IME, is that in the US you can find a hotel room almost anywhere and any time.

At birding hot spots you will likely meet other birders, that has happened to me many times and we almost automatically gel. For travel in general, if you keep your eyes open and think ahead you will be fine. If you see something you don't like just keep driving. Take bathroom breaks early and often so you don't feel you have to stop at a particular place; keep some food and drink in the car for the same reason. Groups of young men with no women among them warrant some attention, they can get out of hand pretty easily.

Bachman's Sparrow is high on my list of nemesis birds, I've dipped on them I don't know how many times. I'm a few hours drive from the northern Gulf of Mexico, if you have a place to try for them and want some short term company feel free to send a PM....

Swiffly
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Old Friday 14th August 2020, 01:32   #8
Swiffly
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Kaylie, just looking at old posts and saw this again. Did you do this trip? Find a companion? Run into the pandemic? Would you do it again?

Thx, I love reading trip reports.
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