I’ve traveled alone before and I can do it again! Yay me!
Who likes to travel?
Actually, it’s kind of a silly question. Just about everyone likes traveling. It’s the where, when, how, and with who that is different for everyone.
Travel might be a camping trip to a lake an hour’s drive away, a cross country road trip, a cruise to exotic ports of call, or an airline trip to the other end of the world.
When I was married, I always had someone to travel with. For the big trips anyway. I took some smaller getaways with my mother. A weekend in Las Vegas, and another time a few days in Southern California. One of the advantages of working for a travel wholesaler. Free tickets on charter flights that weren’t fully booked with paying passengers!
My Mother had Alzheimer’s Disease, and to give my father a break, I took her away a couple of times. A weekend trip to Galiano Island. Quiet. Boring. Not such a good choice when you’re trying to keeping an Alzheimer’s patient busy.
An overnight getaway to Whistler. Now we’re talking! We had tons of stuff to do in Whistler. We walked around the village, checked out the shops, and enjoyed dinner at the very busy and affordable Old Spaghetti Factory. There was so much going on around us to keep my mother occupied.
We also took a two-week vacation to England to visit her brother and sister as my father thought it might be the last chance for her to visit and still recognize them.
In case you’re wondering why Father didn’t go … this was his vacation from being a full-time caretaker for my mother. Also, he didn’t like flying. My parents traveled a lot, but my father didn’t like heights and he didn’t like flying.
Do we need a built-in traveling companion?
One of the benefits of being married is there’s always someone to take vacations with. The deadbeat hadn’t done much traveling until we met. Most of our vacations were in western Canada and the western states, but we did vacation in Hawaii, France, and took cruises to Alaska, the Panama Canal, and Hawaii.
Yeah, well to hell with him, I could have traveled to all those places solo. No problem!
Solo travel is easy once you start doing it
Have you traveled solo before? Did you always travel with your family when you were a kid, and then with your friends, and then with your husband? No solo travel opportunities?
It’s like just about everything else in life. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Here I go!
My first solo trip was a flight from London to Vancouver when I was 14 years old. My parents had taken me to England to visit the relatives. They returned early and I stayed a few more weeks with second cousins who were a lot of fun. No problem. I was old enough to navigate my way around an airport. And confident enough that I didn’t need an airline escort.
When I was 20, I boarded a flight to Pennsylvania that involved changing planes in Chicago. Destination: a pen pal’s wedding. Unfortunately, we lost touch many years ago, before the age of computers and emails.
A few months later, I boarded my next solo flight from Vancouver to England and spent a few months in Europe, including working as an au pair in Spain.
Age 23, I booked a package tour for two weeks to Mazatlan, Mexico. This was also my introduction to the dreaded solo supplement.
Age 27, I drove to California and spent a few weeks with my aunt in Del Mar.
Age 28, I flew to Fort Lauderdale to spend a few weeks with my then-boyfriend who was doing the winter Standardbred horseracing season in Pompano Beach.
A few months later, I flew to Beijing, China on a fam trip. I was now working in the travel industry. Decided I liked travel so much that I should work in the business and try to get more free and reduced travel.
Age 29, I flew to England on a complimentary pass thanks to my seasonal employment at Air Canada that had just ended.
So, you get the picture. Traveling alone is not a problem for me. And it shouldn’t be for you either, even if your first travel experience is coming later in life.
I have more posts about solo travel coming up. Sometimes, doing things alone can be scary.
And sometimes – they can be more fun!