Travel for One, Is Always Fun

A couple of years ago I colored my hair green. The reactions of my family members was not mixed, no one liked it. One son asked, “why is your hair green?”

Henry Winkler and Nita.jpg

My answer? “Why not?” I also added, “Because I could.”

By the way, Henry Winkler didn’t blink twice at the color, and was quick to give me a photo op.

It’s the same answer when someone asks why I want to travel alone. “Why not? Also, I can.” True sometimes I travel solo out of necessity, there’s no one to go with me. Instead of letting my lack of companionship stop me, I boldly go where I’ve never been before.

Okay. Maybe not so boldly. But, I do take a deep breath and dive in. Going here and there, meeting new people, seeing new sights, attending new events, enjoying life. Some other reasons for traveling alone:

  1. No one to cramp my style. I am basically a polite and considerate person, as most of us are. However, when I travel alone, I don’t have to consider anyone else’s wants or desires. If I want to take an early morning walk and check out the local farmers market. I can, and know I won’t be disturbing my travel mate. food-vendors-2
  2. Experience new cuisines. A travel partner won’t stop me from eating what I want. However, being a considerate human (see number 1) I would avoid eating establishments that served foods my counterpart didn’t enjoy. By myself? I’m free to try anything, and find I may like something I expected to not enjoy, New England Clam Chowder is awesome, a big surprise for me. There is always the possibility I won’t like a food that has received rave reviews from others. I’ll pass on the lobster thanks. food-collage-sep-oct2015
  3. Meet new people. Most of my friends are hesitant to talk to anyone they don’t know. This cuts down drastically on conversations. It also eliminates the possibility of learning new things. skeleton in truck
  4. Solo travel allows spontaneity. When traveling with someone their choices must be considered (see number one.) Being willing to travel alone means I can go off on a tangent (sure, I’ll keep it safe) without feeling I’m abandoning my companion. Solo travel also means I can go somewhere if the notion occurs. This summer, for example, I am making an effort to see different parts of Oklahoma. With a travel partner when we went where would have to be coordinated. On my own? I go where I want, when I want (and can afford.)
  5. Add confidence. My first trip alone, not to visit family was sort of, in a way, work related. I’d just completed a video challenge and was invited to a seminar. I booked the flight and hotel room, arranged to have a roommate, all on my own.  Not only did I have a great time, and have some stimulating and interesting conversations, the trip bolstered in me. It taught me I can do whatever I want. Sometimes it may take some time and ingenuity, however, I can get it done. Like the birds on the quilt, solo travel reminds me to soar. Geese in flight quilt

 

Do you travel solo?

What’s your favorite tip for solo travel?

Do you prefer international or local travel.

 

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About Nita

Quilter, writer, speaker, mom and grandmom. I enjoy making quilts for my grandkids, and other children. I especially love hearing and sharing quilt stories with others, that's how the book came about and this blog will continue to share quilt stories and how God works with quilts to comfort and teach us.
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7 Responses to Travel for One, Is Always Fun

  1. Julia Neiman says:

    I have traveled alone but for long road trips I prefer not to go alone. Day trips are another matter. I’m a good travelling companion for someone like you Nita, I’m adventurous and love to see and try new things. I can find something to eat almost anywhere so I never hesitate to go to places that have things that are totally new and different for me. So when we go to New England together, you order the clam chowder, which I love by the way, and I’ll get the lobster. If you order the tails you don’t have to look at the lobster looking at you. It’s so sweet.

  2. hafong says:

    I have travelled alone. You make very valid points for solo travel. A threesome that doesn’t work is murder, but a twosome that doesn’t work is even worse. I’ve had both. My favourite solo was a trip to Eastern Canada to meet up with friends I’ve met only online. It was only a week and I spent the last 3 driving on my own to Prince Edward Island. I’ve been single for most of my life but now I have a partner for 8-9 years. Sometimes I feel hampered. 🙂

    Lily

  3. justjyll says:

    I agree with all of your points!! I started traveling solo at 37 (2007) because I was tired of waiting around for friends to find the desire, time, money, [insert excuse here], etc. It opened up a whole new world and I’ve never looked back. Last trip (3.5 years ago) was a vacation to Belize and I never left! It’s amazing where travel can take you!

    • Nita says:

      Justjyll,, I’ve found that many people find excuses when they just don’t want to travel or are afraid. When I was 37 traveling never occurred to me. Of course, my husband and children were involved in livestock shows and we went, a lot. Now, I enjoy traveling, even locally and it has opened up a new world. Thanks for stopping.

  4. First of all, if you ever want a travel companion- let me know. If it’s a place that holds my interest, I would be ready to join you in a heartbeat.
    But, you are right about the positives (and the negatives) of being a solo traveler. Right now, I’m on a trip to Berlin and Athens with my friend- and his 11 year old daughter. Neither of which seems to understand that the morning begins somewhere between 6 and 9 AM, not 12 PM!

  5. Alice Gerard says:

    I have traveled solo, to places such as Guatemala and Ecuador. Once there, I lived with host families. It can be fun to travel solo but, still, it would also be fun to have someone with whom to share the adventure!

  6. plaidmaggie says:

    I love to travel alone for all the reason you’ve listed. I do occasionally travel with others but I find I get stressed trying to accommodate them. I went on a trip to Ireland for my 50th bday. I had planned to go alone but decided to invite my grown children. I assured them I was going if they wanted to come or not. I made the mistake of talking about my plans at work and that night I received a phone call with a co-worker inviting herself to come along. I didn’t know her well, only that she was a widow, and nice person that I am, I agreed she could come. Next thing I know she is making plans, calling me to tell me how we need to book our flights right now, instead of staying 4 days we should stay 7, etc. I worked in the travel industry for 18 years and know the tricks to planning a trip (off-seasons, when to book, finding out of the way places to stay…). Plus, I knew I had to make this an economical trip due to finances. (She had just received a substantial settlement in a lawsuit). Once we got there I spent most of my time trying to keep her away from my son and his wife who found her irritating and embarrassing (which she was). She was the typical obnoxious American that Europeans talk about. She ruined my trip. So now, I don’t agree to travel with anyone I don’t know well. I would rather travel alone and be able to take a nap after lunch if I wish, sit in an air-conditioned art museum and ponder the meaning of life if I wish, take a tour, sit on a beach or hike to a waterfall if I wish. I love trying new cuisines – I’m not afraid to try anything.
    The older I get, the more I prefer going alone.

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