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Some grey nomads are more sociable than others

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,

My husband and I are ‘Broome-ward’ bound, after setting off from Sydney five weeks ago. It’s all good. However, I have noticed that Jake is much more sociable than me … and much more sociable than I thought he would be. He loves meeting new people and is forever inviting fellow campers around in the evening. He was a salesman before he retired and is really good with people. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a sour puss. I like to chat to people but I’m not looking to make a new best friend every time we stop. I want us to have our space. I’m afraid that when we stay in a Broome van park for six weeks, I will be suffocated by all Jake’s ‘new friends’ and I won’t be able to escape.

You’re not the first to write about this issue. We’re all different Jane, and sometimes life on the road can exacerbate those differences. Where do you go from here? Talk to Jake. Tell him you sometimes enjoy spending time with just him, whether it’s out on a bushwalk or sitting around a campfire. Perhaps, he will agree to rein in his socialising if you promise to make more of an effort on ‘party’ nights. Maybe you can both agree to limit ‘social’ nights to two or three or four nights a week. Fingers crossed, Jake will begin to cherish the ‘alone’ time you two have, and you will begin to enjoy the social evenings. You might even be surprised about how much ‘new friends’ can add to a trip.

Oh, you sound like a bundle of laughs, Jane! Get out there and discover the best thing about Australia … the people who are travelling in it. Granted, there are a fair few bores and know-it-alls thrown in but, with a bit more experience, you’ll be able to spot them a mile away. There are 24 hours in a day so – even with a ramped-up social life – you should still find plenty of ‘us’ time with Jake. If you don’t interact with others, you and Jake run the risk of tiring of each other and the trip. The last thing you want is your outgoing husband to get bored of your company! Time for you to open up and start making new friends, Jane … and quickly!


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