I am very much a solo traveller, I hate travelling at someone else’s pace. My husband is pretty well trained, so he comes along from time to time. I am a kiwi, so obviously a backpacker not a glampacker Occasionally we go five star (hubby likes a nice hotel), but I like to keep it low key. Partly this is because it is cheaper, but mostly it is because you meet more interesting locals in a bush taxi than in a limousine.
My favourite way to travel is actually on foot - walking 30km a day through the Dogon valley in Mali, traversing the French alps, or hiking the arctic circle trail in Greenland, carrying my food and tent on my back. I am most happy when totally alone in the wilderness. I like to travel see as much of a place as I can, but I do it at pace, and will happily walk for hours every day to see everything there is in a city. I also like to run around places, and was inspired to copy Gunnar Garfors and run around Nauru (easier than it sounds as it is only 16km to circumnavigate the whole country), and I also knocked off running from one end of Funafuti to the other in Tuvalu.
I don’t want to judge how other people travel, but I don’t understand how someone can call an airport visit, a country visit. With few exceptions (like day trips to Yemen and the Vatican), I tried to spend a week or more in most places. Lots of places I have returned to 3 or more times, as I wanted to see more (Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Rwanda have all had four or more visits).
I am amazed by how many questions I get about how dangerous it must be to travel by yourself as a woman solo. Apart from being held up at gun point once (Colombia), I have never had any problems. Most humans are genuinely decent, and I have always been very well looked after. In sketchy countries, I occasionally used a fixer (e.g in Tripoli or in Juba), but in most places I just wander around by myself (e.g Freetown, Bangui, N’djamena). I have learnt how to do a school teacher voice and tell off young men who are being cheeky…. I ask them in a loud voice “ would you want someone treating your mother or sisters the way you are treating me???” and that typically sorts out any bad behaviour.