Over the years I’ve often traveled alone for work, conferences, or events, or to join friends or family. My recent San Diego week was different, a medicinal dose of outdoor rambles free from fear of falling on ice.
Much as I enjoy shared vacations, solo travel turns out to have benefits. Two restaurants seated me immediately while couples waited for larger tables to clear. One friend told me she’d love to move, rest, or eat as the spirit moved, without the need to consult a companion. Another said, “I think we, as women, take it on ourselves to try to make sure things go well for everyone. Traveling alone, when something goes wrong we can just relax and deal with it. We haven’t let anyone down.”
Fake Flamenco blogger Rebecca Cuningham writes of gaining life confidence as a solo traveler at twenty. While this may be a coming-of-age phenomenon, it can recur any time resilience starts to flag. Now I’m glad to be home revived, spring has melted the ice, and the writing that stalled amid February’s winter blues has finally started to flow.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.