Puzzle peace wanted

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Grey nomads solos want peace and quiet
'Piece' at last

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
I am a solo female traveller and like to stay in van parks. I also like to sit under my awning and knit or do jigsaw puzzles. But sometimes it seems like I can’t get a moment’s peace before the ‘chatty brigade’ starts descending. I don’t mind the odd exchange of pleasantries with fellow knitting enthu­siasts but I do get irritated when complete strangers come across, stare over my shoulder, and start moving jigsaw pieces around. I like to do puzzles myself! Surely, my campsite should be my ‘territory’ unless I specifically invite people. I don’t want to be rude and I do like chatting to others … but not when I’m enjoying some ‘me’ time. Is there a secret code grey nomads use to let each other know when they want to talk?
Donna

When you stay in public places, you are inevitably giv­ing away some of your privacy, Donna. Having said that, etiquette demands there are certain boundaries, and most people … but not all … pick up on the subtle signals that others give out. The bottom line is that most grey nomads are friendly, chatty, interested people who like to say ‘hello’, but they should be sensitive to the needs of others. If you want to ‘deter’ unwanted atten­tion, I guess the most effective ways would be to pointedly avoid eye contact with people walking by and, if that doesn’t work, to keep your conversa­tional responses to a mini­mum. You might also consider investing in a full awning to give you extra privacy, or per­haps just take your jigsaws and knitting inside the van.
Jaclyn

Oh, Donna! Have you thought about wandering around the van park yourself and seeing what other grey nomads are up to? Perhaps, you’ll find yourself wanting to join that group of fun-loving card players, or to ask the chap across the way what book he is reading. Travelling brings to­gether all sorts of people with all sorts of interests and it’s a large part of what makes it such fun. Of course, we don’t always want to be in each other’s pockets all of the time … but come on! In six months time, what will give you the happiest memories … finishing that 1,000-piece puzzle all by yourself, or making a gaggle of new friends? It’s up to you though, Donna. The other op­tion, of course, is to take your knitting needles and go home!
Heidi

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