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.
3/25/2019 10:03:11 am
Historically I have not enjoyed being alone at all. But I am developing this skill more and more, especially in my art endeavors. I have so many business travel war stories that it makes want to avoid solo travel now.
It certainly varies by individual taste - and solo business travel was never something I preferred. In most cases, though, I was meeting someone or attending something at the other end. It's been a refreshing experience to get up in the hotel wondering, "What do I feel like doing today?" and being free to go with the answer.
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I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.