I never intended to become a Solo Traveler/Adventurer. It was born out of necessity when my partner died from brain cancer. I left San Antonio, Texas, and drove back to San Diego, California--a journey that took me five weeks to complete. Over the following year, I decided I wanted to know what it was like to travel solo, and decided I wanted to experience traveling to new areas as well as those I hadn’t seen in at least ten years.
I learned some amazing things about being alone as a Solo Traveler!
1. I LOVE the freedom to see what I want, when I want, for as long as I want!
One of the things I learned about travel is I LOVE it! The freedom to see what I want, when I want, how long I want…or not, is powerful, empowering and freeing in itself! I discovered that it was important to pick spots I REALLY felt excited and inspired by. I learned that being in my own flow, my own rhythm, generated deeper self-trust, and increased my self-confidence and self-reliance. On a road trip from Southern California to Mt. Shasta, California, a 650 mile one-way solo trek could have taken one whole day; I decided to do it in three days – wanted to experience ease in getting there in good time, without the stress of having to get there on time.
2. Fear comes up A LOT, and I just deep breathe through it!
I decided to attend a Bette Midler concert last year and when I got seated on the ground floor and was waiting an hour or so, I was nervous: nervous that I would be judged, being by myself – what would people think -- and decided in that moment – to keep deep breathing -- that I was there to enjoy Bette’s performance and that we all had one thing in common: we all came to enjoy Bette! As it came time for the concert to begin, I found that my fears had dissipated and I really enjoyed myself!
3. I am my own "cheerleader"!
In traveling solo, I discovered that I became my own “cheerleader” -- cheering myself on with “I did it! I did it! I did it!”, with my “did it” dance! Recently, I decided to go to a 70s/80s dance at the last minute and drove to a location I’d never been before. On my way there, I did lots of deep breathing, along with giving myself options that if I didn’t enjoy it, I could always go home. During this trip, I found myself wanting to turn my car back and go home, and I kept telling myself I’d be okay and could go home whenever I felt like it. I got there, paid my admission, and after a half an hour, found that the people and dancing were “dead” – no one was dancing, no one seemed to be having any fun, and most of all, there was no 70s/80s music playing! I decided waiting another hour was not fun for me, and that being at home with myself would be much more enjoyable than being in this space. So, as I walked back to my car and drove home, I was feeling great. I was so happy that I had taken the chance and followed through, that I did the “I did it, I did it, I did it” dance in my car to my favorite kind of music – just for me!
You will find that being alone as a Solo Traveler is about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. You can be your own cheerleader, whatever that is for you. You can experience more self-confidence and self-reliance by not allowing fear to dictate your decisions, and this can lead to you doing many more things in your life!